Patron, obesity australia

Patron, obesity australia

Professor John Funder AC

BA MD BS PhD (Melb.) FRACP FRCP LLD (Hon) Monash

Professor Funder is a Senior Fellow at Prince Henry's Institute. He joined Prince Henry's Medical Research Centre in 1973 where he went from Senior Research Fellow to Senior Principal Research and Deputy Director. In 1990 he became Director of the Baker Institute in Melbourne and upon his 'retirement' in 2001 he became a Senior Fellow at Prince Henry's.

Professor Funder's other appointments include:

  • Professor, Department of Medicine, Monash University
  • Professorial Associate, Centre for Neuroscience, The University of Melbourne
  • Honorary Professor, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland

Research Interests

For the last 40 years, Professor Funder's area of research has been in studying aldosterone, the salt-retaining (mineralocorticoid) hormone, and the role of the mineralocorticoid receptor in organs such as the heart and kidney. Over the past decade his clinical and basic studies at PHI, and elsewhere, have demonstrated the roles of both hormone and receptor in hypertension and heart failure. John has served as a link between endocrinology and cardiology, and is internationally acknowledged as leading an exciting new era of hitherto unexpected roles for the mineralocorticoid receptors, across a spectrum of disease states.

Recent Achievements

  • 2008 - Novartis Prize, American Heart Association
  • 2002 - Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Service Award, Endocrine Society, USA
  • 1998 - Award of Officer in the Order of Australia (AO)
  • 1996 - Asia and Oceania Lectureship, Endocrine Society, UK
  • 1994 - Clinical Endocrinology Trust Medal, UK
  • 1987 - Wellcome Australia Award
  • 1979 - Senior Organon Prize, Endocrine Societies of Australia and New Zealand
  • 1984 - Eric Susman Prize, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • 1980 - Chevalier Des Palmes Academiques of the French Government

Service to the Community

Committee Membership (selected)

  • 2008- , Director, Grattan Institute
  • 2006- , Director, Alan and Elizabeth Finkel Foundation
  • 2005-2012, Director, Harold Mitchell Foundation
  • 2002- , Secretary-Treasurer, International Aldosterone Conference
  • 2002-2008, Chair, International Taskforce, Endocrine Society, USA
  • 2002-2005, Advisor, Atlantic Philanthropic Foundation
  • 2001-2011, Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, Liggins Institute and Member, Liggins Institute Board, New Zealand
  • 2001-2004, Chair, Hospital Admission Risk Program, Victorian Department of Community Services and Health
  • 1998-2005, Board Member, Royal Women's Hospital and Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital
  • 1997-2004, Chair, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation
  • 1996- , Board Member, Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation
  • 1988-2000, Executive Committee, International Society of Endocrinology; 1996-2000, Chair

Professor Funder has published over 500 scientific papers and given over 200 invited overseas presentations.

Society Membership

  • Research Australia (Board Member 2001-2004, 2004 Honorary Life Member)
  • Australian Endocrine Society (Treasurer 1978-80; Vice President 1980-82; President 1982-84; Honorary Life Member 2003)
  • Australian Society for Medical Research (Director 1974; Secretary 1975; Treasurer 1976; President 1979; Honorary Life Member 2003)
  • Endocrine Society, USA (Emeritus Member 2005)
  • Society of Endocrinology, UK (Honorary Life Member 2005)
  • High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia
  • International Society of Hypertension


Professor Sir Peter Gluckman


Professor Gluckman, one of New Zealand's best known medical scientists was the founding director of the Liggins Institute.

Professor Peter Gluckman's research focuses on what gives us a healthy start to life: understanding how a baby's environment between conception and birth determines its childhood development and life-long health - and the impact that this knowledge has for individuals and whole populations.

His research has won him numerous awards and international recognition including Fellowship of the Commonwealth's most prestigious scientific organisation, The Royal Society (London). He is the only New Zealander elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science (USA) and the Academy of Medical Sciences of Great Britain.

In 2009 he became a Knight of the New Zealand Order of Merit replacing the 2008 Distinguished Companion of the NZ Order of Merit, for services to medicine and having previously been made a Companion of the Order in 1997. In 2001 he received New Zealand's top science award, the Rutherford Medal. In November 2011 he was awarded the inaugural Callaghan Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand for an outstanding contribution to science communication.

In July 2009 he was appointed the first Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand to promote the public understanding of science, with a focus on young people. For more information visit Office of the Prime Minister's Science Advisory Committee.

A University of Auckland Distinguished Professor, he is Professor of Paediatric and Perinatal Biology. He was formerly Chairman of the Department of Paediatrics and Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences for nine years. He has been extensively involved in many aspects of science, health and educational policy development.

Professor Gluckman is an international advocate for science, promoting the translation of discoveries in biomedical research into improvements in long-term health outcomes. His work with organisations such as the World Health Organisation has brought growing recognition of the importance of a healthy start to life.

He is the author of over 550 scientific papers and reviews, the editor of eight books and the author of five books.

Professor Gluckman is passionate about communicating a better understanding of science in the community and, with colleague Mark Hanson of The University of Southampton, has co-authored two books for non-scientific audiences: 'The Fetal Matrix' (2004) which summarises his ideas on how events in early life lead to altered disease risk in later life and 'Mismatch - why our world no longer fits our bodies' (2006). Mismatch explains that many of our current social and health problems, such as the current obesity epidemic, and its consequences including diabetes and heart disease, are the result of our bodies not keeping pace with the world we inhabit.

With Hanson and Dr Alan Beedle, he is co-author of the first text book and organised summary of evolutionary medicine, Principles of Evolutionary Medicine (Oxford University Press, 2009), published 200 years after Charles Darwin's birth.


patron, obesity australia

patron, obesity australia

Harold Mitchell AC

Hon. LLD (Deakin)

Harold Mitchell is a leading Australian businessman and regarded as the country's most influential media planner and buyer.

The son of a saw-mill worker, Harold's career in advertising started at the age of 17 when he left the Victorian country town of Stawell for Melbourne with £2 in his pocket and found a job as an office boy in an ad agency. At 24, he became the media manager at USP Needham, and by the time he was 33 he was running the media buying operations of Masius Wynne Williams, Australia's third-biggest ad agency.

Harold Mitchell pioneered the idea of an independent media agency in 1976 when he opened the doors of his own business, Mitchell & Partners. He felt that the business community had a need for an enterprise that was totally dedicated to the task of researching, analysing and buying media. Mitchell & Partners is recognised as one of the first media specialist agencies in the world and has a distinguished 30+ year history, including many industry firsts and the proud ability to respond to the changing and evolving media landscape.

In May 2007 Harold sold his family business to the listed company emitch and formed Australia's largest independent communications group, "Mitchell Communication Group". The company works with clients across media planning & buying, strategy, digital media & marketing, branded entertainment, public relations, brand experience, sponsorship, sportsground marketing, direct marketing and corporate social responsibility.

Today, Harold is the Executive Chairman of Aegis Media Pacific which has an annual turnover of over $1 billion with offices in Australia and New Zealand.

In December 2000 he launched the Harold Mitchell Foundation, a philanthropic foundation to distribute funds between health and arts projects.

Harold is well known for his generosity with his time and his desire to give back to society. In January 2004 Harold was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia for his services as a benefactor and fundraiser in support of artistic and cultural endeavour. In 2010 he was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the community through leadership and philanthropic endeavours in the fields of art, health and education and as a supporter of humanitarian aid in Timor-Leste and Indigenous communities.

In the past Harold has served as President of the Asthma Foundation of Victoria (1993–2003), the Melbourne International Arts Festival (1994 – 2001), the National Gallery of Australia (1998 – 2005), the Museums Board of Victoria (2001– 2008), and Opera Australia (1999 – 2009).

Harold is currently the Executive Chairman of Mitchell Communication Group, Chairman of CARE Australia, Chairman of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Chairman Art Exhibitions Australia, Chairman Melbourne Rebels Rugby, Chairman ThoroughVision, Vice President of Tennis Australia, Director Television Sydney, and Committee Member of the Grattan Institute's Public Policy Committee.

In December 2002 Deakin University conferred on him an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. In July 2005 he was awarded the Richard Pratt Business Leader Award given by the Australian Business Arts Foundation in recognition of excellence in arts leadership, and in September 2008 the University of Western Sydney presented Harold with an Honorary Fellowship as part of the University's Spring Graduation ceremonies.



Professor Paul Zimmet AO

MB BS, MD (Adel), PhD (Monash), FRACP, FACE, FACN, FAIID, FAFPHM, FRCP (Lon), FTSE, Honoris Causa Doctoris (Complutense, Madrid), Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa, Monash)

As Director Emeritus and Director of International Research at the Diabetes Institute, Paul Zimmet pioneered Australia's first Institute dedicated exclusively to diabetes, and became the Foundation Director when the International Diabetes Institute opened in 1984. He was appointed to the Chair of Diabetes at Monash University in 1989.

Professor Paul Zimmet holds the following positions:

  • Director Emeritus and Director of International Research, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
  • Professor (Hon) Monash University
  • Professor (Adjunct) University of Pittsburgh (USA)
  • Professor (Hon) Deakin University, Victoria
  • Head, WHO Collaborating Centre for the Epidemiology of Diabetes Mellitus.

Research Interests Professor Zimmet's research in Australian, Pacific, and Indian Ocean populations has highlighted the rise and rise of diabetes worldwide, providing new insights into the genetic and environmental determinants of type 2 diabetes.

His advocacy has brought attention to the national and global epidemic of diabetes. He led the team that carried out the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab), the first ever national diabetes and obesity study in Australia, in 2000. He was the inaugural President of the Australian Society for the Study of Obesity.

He has published over 700 scientific papers, chapters, and reviews in peer-reviewed journals and books. He is co-editor of the widely used text on diabetes - International Textbook of Diabetes Mellitus, and is also co-editor of The Epidemiology of Diabetes. He co-chairs the International Diabetes Federation Taskforce on Epidemiology and Prevention of Diabetes where 20 world experts developed a position statement and a series of recommendations on diabetes.

In 1993, Professor Zimmet was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) for distinguished services to medicine and education, particularly in the field of diabetes. In 2001 he was honoured as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for medical research of national and international significance, particularly in diabetes, and for contributions to Australia's biotechnology development.

Named Lectures and Awards

  • 3rd "Tsuji Memorial Lecture", 4th Symposium on Diabetes Mellitus in Asia and Oceania and Symposium on Diabetes Education - Melbourne, Australia, 1984
  • Annie B Cunning Lecture, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 1985
  • Kelly West Medal and Award Lecture, American Diabetes Association, 1991
  • Bernard Pimstone Memorial Lecture, Society for Endocrinology Metabolism and Diabetes, South Africa, 1991
  • Eli Lilly Award Lecture, International Diabetes Federation, 1994
  • The Masaji Takeda Medal for Medical Science and Health Care Achievement, 1994
  • The Inaugural Peter Bennett International Diabetes Epidemiology Award, 1997
  • The Inaugural Professor Xi-Oren Pan Memorial Lecture, International Diabetes Federation, Western Pacific Region, 1999
  • The Professor A M Cohen Memorial Award & Lecture, European Association for the Study of Diabetes, 2000
  • The Harold Rifkin Award, American Diabetes Association for International Service and Research in Diabetes, 2002
  • The Kellion Diabetes Medal, The Annual Award for Distinguished Diabetes Research in Australia, Australian Diabetes Society, 2003
  • The David Curnow Award Lecture, Australian Association of Clinical Biochemistry, 2003
  • UNESCO/Hellmut Mehnert/German Diabetes Union Award, European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), 2004
  • Banting Award Lecture, Diabetes United Kingdom, 2005
  • Charles Best Award Lecture, Canada, 2006
  • Novartis Global Diabetes Prize Award, recognising longstanding contributions and accomplishments in clinical research, education,and clinic practice which have had a major impact on the field of Diabetes Mellitus, 2007
  • Grand Hamdan International Award for Medical Sciences in the field of Diabetes Mellitus, Dubai, 2010