South West Sydney Clinical Campuses

Congratulations to Professor Afaf Girgis AM and Dr Ahmad Alrubaie OAM

Image - Congratulations to Professor Afaf Girgis AM and Dr Ahmad Alrubaie OAM

Please join the School in congratulating a number of our colleagues that have been recognised in the Australia Day Honours List today.

Professor Afaf Girgis has been named a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia in recognition of her significant service to medicine and to medical education in the field of cancer control and psycho-oncology. 

Afaf has worked as a behavioural scientist in the area of psycho-oncology for more than 25 years. During this time, she has researched and published extensively in such areas as prevention and early detection of cancer, assessment of the unmet needs of patients and carers and
communication skills of health professionals in oncology. 

During her career, she has published more than 335 papers, abstracts and book chapters which have been cited 7212 times. Twenty of her papers have been cited more than 100 times and her Scopus h-Index is 45. She has been successfully funded with more than 146 research grants worth more than $50m, including funds from the NHMRC, Cancer Institute NSW, ARC and Cancer Australia. 

Afaf has been recognised for her standing in the field through the 2015 Lady Mary Fairfax Distinguished Researcher Award, the 2017 South West Research Hub Annual Prize, the 2017 UNSW in the South West Distinguished Research Prize, the 2017 South Western Sydney Local Health District Translational Research Award and the 2017 South Western Sydney Local Health District Board Award. She also received the Best of ASCO Abstract Award in 2017; and Best Poster Award at the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia Annual Congress in 2016.

Dr Ahmad Alrubaie has been awarded a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division for service to the Iraqi community of  Sydney.

In his capacity as a Senior Lecturer, Dr Alrubaie has made an outstanding contribution to the education of UNSW Sydney medical students based at our Bankstown-Lidcombe Campus. He became a conjoint Senior Lecturer in 2013 and is active in teaching within the Gastroenterology terms of the program and is always keen to make additional contributions to teaching activities.

Ahmad is active within the Iraqi community within Australia, particularly amongst medical graduates and other professionals. This includes his current role as the President of the Iraqi Australian University Graduate Forum where he is also responsible for coordinating courses for Overseas Trained Doctors. Ahmad is also a Member of the Joint Committee of Iraqi Organisations in Australia which represents the broad range of cultural and religious groups in Iraq including Shia, Sunni, Assyrian, Christian, Chaldean, Syriac and Mandaean groups.

In addition to these two recipients, congratulations also go to former Acting Chief Executive of the then Sydney South West Area Health Service, and current CEO of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Deb Picone who has been awarded an AO for distinguished service to the community through the coordination of improvements to the safety and quality of health care.

Local community representative and member of the Liverpool Hospital Disability and Carers Committee Mrs Grazia Fava was awarded an OAM for service to community health. 

More broadly across the Faculty a number of other academics deserve acknowledgment: 

  • Professor Helen Christensen AO: for distinguished service to medical research through the development of on-line mental health treatment programs; 
  • Conjoint Professor Kate Moore AO: for distinguished service to medicine, and to medical research, in the field of urogynaecology, and to professional groups; 
  • Professor Peter Schofield AO: for distinguished service to medical and scientific research in the field of neuroscience, and to professional institutes; 
  • Conjoint Professor Milton Cohen AM: for significant service to medical education in the field of pain management; 
  • Professor Maria Kavallaris AM: for significant service to medicine, and to medical research, in the field of childhood and adult cancers; 
  • Conjoint Professor David Greenberg OAM: service to medicine in the field of mental health; and 
  • the late Dr Neil Bright OAM: service to medical education, and to the community of Albury Wodonga. 

This is an outstanding achievement for UNSW in the South West and the Faculty more broadly. Please join us in congratulating all the recipients. 

Date Published
Saturday, 26 January 2019

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