Tikkun Olam Award
The Hadassah Australia Tikkun Olam Award is presented each year to an Australian who demonstrates the finest qualities and traditions of medicine, science, teaching and humanity.
L to R: Prof David de Kretser AC, Prof Fiona Stanley AC, Prof Frank Oberklaid OAM. All former recipients with Ron Finkel, President Hadassah Australia
Tikkun Olam is a Hebrew expression that is translated as ‘repairing the world’ through our own human actions.
Tikkun Olam implies that each individual is responsible for working towards the betterment of his or her own existence and community as well as the lives of future generations.
Tikkun Olam obliges us to work towards making the world a better place for all.
In modern times,Tikkun Olam has also come to include the notion of social action and the pursuit of social justice.
2017 Tikkun Olam Award
Professor Emeritus Les White AM has had a distinguished career in clinical, academic, advocacy and health executive settings.
He started with service in paediatric oncology along with both laboratory and clinical research into childhood cancer. Prof White went on to hold inaugural appointments as Executive Director of Sydney Children’s Hospital (1995-2010) and as NSW Chief Paediatrician (2010-2016). He was President of Children’s Hospitals and Paediatric Units Australasia (1999-2004), Convener of a NSW Child Health Network (2001–2010) and the John Beveridge Professor of Paediatrics (2005-2010). He has championed the healthcare rights of children and young people in Australia throughout his career. Prof White has served on 18 not-for-profit boards (8 current) related to child health and/or medical science. In 1991 he was awarded a Doctorate of Science for his contributions to the academic literature and in 2007 he received an Order of Australia award for service to medicine, medical administration and the community in the field of paediatrics.
Les White with the Tikkun Olam Award, Ron Finkel, Marie Bashir
Previous recipients of the Tikkun Olam Award
Professor Hugh Taylor AC (2016)
Professor Hugh Taylor AC is the current President of the International Council of Ophthalmology. He is recognised worldwide for his leadership in trachoma, advocacy for improved Indigenous eye health and other initiatives to eliminate avoidable vision loss. Within Australia he was Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Melbourne for 20 years and established the Centre for Eye Research Australia. He is also Deputy Chair of the board of Vision 2020 Australia. He has also been a champion of improved health outcomes for Australian indigenous communities.
Prof. Sharon Lewin (2014)
Professor Sharon Lewin is the inaugural Director of the Doherty Institute. She leads a large multi-disciplinary research team that focuses on understanding why HIV persists on treatment, and developing clinical trials aimed at ultimately finding a cure for HIV infection. Plus understanding how HIV interacts with other common co-infections, including hepatitis B virus (HBV).
She is a consultant infectious diseases physician at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellow.
Prof. the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AC DVO (2013)
The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir is the former Governor of New South Wales (2001-2014) and former Chancellor of the University of Sydney (2007-2012).
Her high distinctions for her service to medicine were generally in the field of adolescent mental health, but she has also demonstrated a passion for helping the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in our society.
Prof. Fiona Stanley AC (2012)
Professor Stanley is a distinguished child health researcher, scientist and academic. Professor Stanley established the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, as well as the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, a unique multidisciplinary independent research institute focussing on the causes and prevention of major problems affecting children and youth.
She has over 300 publications, books and book chapters and sits on the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, is a board member of the ABC, and has served on major international, national and local committees. She was named Australian of the Year in 2003 for her research on behalf of children and Aboriginal social justice, and in 2006 was made a UNICEF Australia Ambassador for Early Childhood Development.
Prof. Frank Oberklaid OAM (2011)
An internationally recognised researcher, author, lecturer and consultant, Professor Frank Oberklaid has received a number of awards in the past, including a Medal in the Order of Australia and the Howard Williams Medal from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He has edited two books, numerous book chapters, and over 150 scientific papers on various aspects of paediatrics and is on the editorial boards of several international journals.
Under Professor Oberklaid’s leadership, the Centre for Community Child Health at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital has become recognised worldwide for its research into early childhood health, development and behaviour and for its cutting edge work in translating and disseminating research findings to inform public policy.
Prof. David de Kretser AC – former State Governor of Victoria (2010)
David de Kretser was born in 1939 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and migrated to Australia in 1949. He was educated at Camberwell Grammar School, then received his medical degrees from the University of Melbourne and his Doctorate of Medicine from Monash University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
Professor de Kretser was the founding Director of the Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development and a Professor of Anatomy at Monash University He is internationally recognised for this work in endocrinology and male infertility. Professor de Kretser served as the 28th Governor of Victoria from 2006 until 2010.
Steve Bracks AC – former Premier of Victoria (2009)
Born in Ballarat in 1954, and educated at St Patrick’s College, Ballarat and Ballarat University, Steve Bracks entered Parliament in 1994, and after serving as a Shadow Minister became Leader of the State Opposition early in 1999. Later that year Mr. Bracks become Victoria’s 44th Premier. Since retiring from Parliament in 2007 he has held a number of major honorary positions and chaired several National authorities, including the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association.
He also serves on the boards of a number of prominent companies and organisations. He is a leading advocate for both multiculturalism and Aboriginal reconciliation. Mr. Bracks received a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2010 for services to the Parliament and community of Victoria.