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Professor Jeffrey Zajac receives Australia Day Honour

Members of our community were among those recognised in the 2020 Australia Day Honours list

28 January 2020

The Head of Austin Health's Division of Medical Services and the University of Melbourne's Department of Medicine, Professor Jeffrey Zajac has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his distinguished service to medical research and education, particularly in the field of endocrinology.

The recognition was announced as part of the 2020 Australia Day Honours and came as a bit of a surprise to Prof Zajac.

"It's just such an honor to be recognised by my peers in this way," Prof Zajac said.

"The way it works is that someone nominates you, without telling you. They then gather a group of likeminded people who contribute to the nomination. After that, they write to other people in your field and from various points in your career asking them for their recommendation.

"I was just so happy to hear it, it's very nice after a long career to get recognition like this."

"Prof Jeffrey Zajac has been a longstanding significant contributor to Austin Health and the University of Melbourne. Jeff's roles in teaching, research, service delivery, leadership and innovation are highly valued by Austin Health. We heartily congratulate Jeff on his OA award," Interim Chief Executive Officer, Dr Max Alexander said. 

Prof Zajac has dedicated his career to Endocrinology, a branch of medicine and science that focuses on hormones, and the glands that produce them.

"I work with a range of patients including those with diabetes, transgender people who are going through their transition, as well as people with obesity, osteoporosis, thyroid, testosterone and estrogen conditions."

"It can be very rewarding to diagnose and treat people with hormone related issues."

He has also published more than 200 papers in international scientific journals.

"We're currently studying the way testosterone works, especially its impact on bone, muscle and other tissues."

"Endocrinology is the most logical specialty in medicine, the way hormones are regulated is becoming better understood, as well as the way hormones interact with each other."

Also recognised as part of this year's Honours list was the late Robert Charles Bulley, who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the community through charitable organisations.

Robert Charles Bulley was a remarkable supporter of Austin Health, and through his Charitable Fund, generously contributed to research and patient care over the last six years.

Emeritus Professor Brendan Crotty also became a member of the General division of the order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to health education and to the community. He was the Clinical Dean, University of Melbourne Austin Health and Northern Health Clinical School from 1996-2006.