Professor Sue Walker AO has been recognised as an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours list. Professor Walker is Mercy Hospital for Women Director of Perinatal Medicine, as well as Sheila Handbury Chair of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Melbourne,
Professor Walker was awarded for her distinguished service to medicine, particularly in the disciplines of obstetrics and gynaecology, as an academic and clinician, and for her enormous contribution to professional organisations.
‘I am very humbled and grateful to receive this award,’ Professor Walker says.
‘Like many people who look at this award, I suspect they see not their own names in it but the names of others who made it possible, and the ones who make it worthwhile. This award belongs to an extraordinary team of clinicians and researchers I am privileged to work with, as well as the families who have entrusted to us their dreams for safer motherhood and the best start to life.’
Professor Walker is internationally recognised as a leader in Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) with her research focus on improving the detection and management of fetal growth disorders, treating preeclampsia and ending preventable stillbirth.
Professor Walker is the co-founder and co-director of Mercy Perinatal, an international centre of excellence specialising in perinatal education, research and clinical practice. Mercy Perinatal aims to change the global landscape for complicated pregnancies that carry risks for the mother, her baby or both.
‘Our aspirational target is to ensure our research findings translate into improved outcomes for mothers and babies in Australia and around the world,’ Professor Walker says.
‘We would like to extend our educational reach to ensure the best knowledge is available to maternity care providers everywhere. In so doing, we hope to bring the day where every mother and baby arrives safely home one day closer.’
Mercy Health Chief Executive – Health Services, Adjunct Professor Linda Mellors, says Professor Walker is an extraordinary clinician and academic, and a worthy recipient of the Officer of the Order of Australia.
‘I couldn’t think of a more deserving person for the award. Professor Walker is an inspiration to us all,’ Adj Professor Mellors says. ‘We are all fortunate to know and work alongside her. Professor Walker’s work is making a real difference to maternity care which will benefit generations to come.’
Professor Walker obtained her Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) in 2000 before completing her MFM subspecialty training in 2004 and undertaking a MFM fellowship at the world leading Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto in 2007. She then returned to Mercy Hospital for Women creating capacity in the domains of complex high-risk pregnancy care, teaching, subspecialty training and research.
Professor Walker is a member of the Victorian Fetal Therapy Service, which is responsible for delivering fetal surgery services to Victorian women. Professor Walker serves on numerous RANZCOG committees and is a teacher and researcher at the University of Melbourne, where she currently heads the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.