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D'Arcy Holman wins top tobacco award

4 December 2015

The 2015 Dr Bob Elphick Medal for outstanding contributions to tobacco control has been awarded to Emeritus Professor D’Arcy Holman AM, who recently retired after many years as Foundation Professor of Public Health at the University of Western Australia.

The Elphick Medal is awarded annually in memory of Dr Bob Elphick, a pioneering chest physician who was President of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) from its inception in 1971 and remained a driving force in tobacco control and advocacy throughout his life.

The 2015 Award was presented to Emeritus Professor Holman this morning by Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AO, Governor of Western Australia (and Patron of ACOSH).

Governor Sanderson said the award was a well-deserved acknowledgement of Emeritus Professor Holman’s enormous contributions to public health and epidemiology during a stellar career.

“Professor Holman has been regarded for many years as one of Australia’s leading epidemiologists, with an extraordinary publications record,” she said. “He has always been willing to contribute to national and state governments and many non-government organisations through reports, assisting with media, publicity campaigns and advocacy, as well as guidance and advice.”

Emeritus Professor Holman accepted the award at a breakfast in Perth today.

“When you know that something like pushing tobacco sales is so very wrong in doing enormous harm to the health of the public, I cannot think of anything more professionally rewarding than to have stood alongside the real heroes of tobacco control, being the campaigners and advocates, and supporting their work with consistent, strong, objective scientific evidence,” Emeritus Professor Holman said.

“One need only take a look at the member organisations of ACOSH to appreciate the deep levels of medical expertise and scientific credibility that have led the moves to eliminate tobacco as a cause of death in Australia since the 1960s,” he said. “It’s a tremendous honour to be recognised by ACOSH, which has represented the collective efforts of so many people whom I have admired over the years.”

ACOSH President Maurice Swanson congratulated Emeritus Professor Holman on the award.

“We are fortunate that in D’Arcy Holman we have had an outstanding epidemiologist who has not only made crucial contributions to the evidence and the literature, but has also been a very strong supporter of ACOSH and tobacco control,” Mr Swanson said. “Professor Holman’s nomination for this year’s medal was agreed and strongly supported in view of his continuing and tireless commitment to tobacco control over many years.”

-ENDS-

 For more information please contact: Emeritus Professor D’Arcy Holman AM darcy.holman@uwa.edu.au

ACOSH President Maurice Swanson 0401 090 915

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