A Wagga academic has been admitted as Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to nuclear medicine and medical radiation science.
Geoffrey Currie, an associate professor in nuclear medicine at Charles Sturt University, described his nomination for the honour as "humbling and gratifying".
"It is an honour and a privilege to be able to represent and advocate for the nuclear medicine community in Australia, as well as internationally; particularly in the USA and Canada," Dr Currie said.
"To be nominated by my nuclear medicine peers and recognised for the leadership and innovation I have provided is humbling but gratifying.
"I have been very fortunate to have been gifted with amazing opportunities for clinical practice, research and education associated with frontier technologies that change the lives of many Australians."
The AM recognises Dr Currie's work in re-engineering nuclear medicine scientist training, advanced training and scope of practice, re-defining lobbying and representation of the industry particularly those geographically or professionally isolated, re-imagining the role of the nuclear medicine scientist in research and education, and re-energising professional commitment to enhancing our communities.
"While this has also translated into high-quality graduates in our world-leading nuclear medicine and molecular imaging program at Charles Sturt University, the award recognises activities over several decades outside of my employment among political, professional and general population communities," he said.
Dr Currie has paid a special tribute to the people who have supported him in his career, including his son Hugo and daughter Josie.
"It is a fantastic reflection of my industry and my children that there are so many shared moments with them at work, in lectures, at conferences, in meetings, and at social functions across Australia and the world," he said.
Dr Currie has been a strong advocate for the health and wellbeing of rural and regional Australians and co-founded what has now grown to be Australia's largest membership of nuclear medicine professionals.
This advocacy will continue, he says.
"Disappointingly, and despite significant efforts lobbying federal and state government representatives, and local hospital administrators, my own local hospital remains unserviced by nuclear medicine," he said.
"The Riverina desperately needs nuclear medicine services at the hospital and PET [positron emission tomography] services in the community to elevate us beyond a developing health economy and create parity with much smaller communities across Australia.
"Our residents should not have to forgo basic health services or confront the costs of travelling to Sydney or Melbourne for those services. It is not the 1970s anymore."