Issue 9
Monday, 05 November 2018
Charles Darwin University
Dr Valerie Asche, one of the inaugural recipients of the Companion of Menzies award
Dr Valerie Asche, one of the inaugural recipients of the Companion of Menzies award

Menzies rewards commitment to health research

Professor Paul Torzillo has been awarded the prestigious Menzies Medallion for his leadership nationally in Aboriginal health care, research and policy.

Professor Torzillo was presented with the award in recognition of his work to improve the health of Aboriginal people across urban, rural and remote Australia. 

He is a Senior Respiratory and Intensive Care Physician at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and Medical Director of the Nganampa Health Council in South Australia.

Menzies Director Professor Alan Cass said Professor Torzillo has been a tireless campaigner for Aboriginal health in the Northern Territory and across Australia and has been a key and active collaborator with Menzies.
“Professor Torzillo has maintained his involvement with Menzies for many years working in research collaboration on ear disease, vaccines and respiratory disease,” Professor Cass said.

The Menzies Board has created a new award this year, The Companion of Menzies, to recognise exceptional contributions and support to the continued development and success of Menzies School of Health Research.

The inaugural recipients are Dr Valerie Asche, The Hon Austin Asche AC QC and Richard Ryan AO.

Dr Asche was the head of the microbiology research unit at Menzies from 1986 to 1994 under its founding director Professor John Mathews. She continues her support for Menzies with the annual Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence.

Mr Asche was former Northern Territory Administrator, Chief Justice and inaugural Chair of the Northern Territory University and was recognised for his outstanding support to Menzies over the years.

Mr Ryan was Chair of the Menzies Board for numerous years before becoming the inaugural Chancellor of Charles Darwin University. He is currently Menzies’ treasurer and co-chairs the finance committee. Mr Ryan and his family also provide annual support for Menzies and Charles Darwin University with the Ryan Family Prize at Menzies and the Ryan Family Awards at CDU.