Professor Derek Smith from the University of Newcastle has been recognised as a distinguished public health academic, receiving the 2008 Sidney Sax Oration Medal.
The Medal is bestowed annually by the Queensland branch of the Public Health Association of Australia on a "person who has provided a notable contribution to the protection and promotion of public health, solving public health problems, advancing community awareness of public health measures and advancing the ideals and practice of equity in the provision of health care."
The Public Health Association of Australia is one of the peak professional bodies for public health in Australia.
Professor Derek Smith yesterday delivered the 2008 Sidney Sax Oration in Townsville, discussing occupational smoking in Australia, and the need for greater collaboration between public health and occupational health.
In May this year Professor Smith was presented with the WSO Award for Achievement in Scientific Research and Development. This annual award is presented to an individual or group that has made significant and internationally relevant contributions towards improving safety through research and development.
In 2007, Professor Smith was named Environmental/Occupational Safety Person of the Year by the World Safety Organisation for his international contribution to research in these fields.
He is a recent appointee at the University and is Director of the WorkCover NSW Research Centre of Excellence, based at the University of Newcastle's Central Coast campus. Professor Smith has previously worked for Japan's National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the National Institute of Industrial Health. He has also been based at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan.