May 8, 2017

Congratulations to our Lifetime Achievement Award winners

For the past five years, Lung Foundation Australia has been recognising the contributions of our volunteers. We have dozens and dozens of dedicated patient advocates and clinical experts who give generously and freely of their time to help us deliver important services to our communities. This year, Lung Foundation Australia has proudly welcomed five new members into our lifetime achievement award club. All five recipients have made significant contributions to helping people living with lung disease across Australia.

Dr Steven Rudolphy has been a member of Lung Foundation Australia’s General Practice Advisory Group since 2007 however Steven’s special interest in respiratory goes back at least two decades when he was appointed to a General Practice Group established to assist the National Asthma Campaign. Steven has recently announced his decision to step down. His contributions have been important and he will be missed.

Dr Helen Bell, a respiratory and sleep physician from Western Australia joined the Lung Foundation’s COPD Coordinating Committee in 2008. Helen has brought a fresh perspective to the work of the COPD group over the past almost 10 years as well as helped in promoting the work of the Lung Foundation, raising awareness of lung health and symptoms as well as a regular at lung function testing and World COPD Day events.

Ms Caroline Polak-Scowcroft is the Deputy Chair of our COPD Patient Advisory Group and became involved with the Lung Foundation as the carer for her husband, Bill who had COPD. Bill was a passionate advocate for those with COPD and particularly pulmonary rehabilitation, and became the inaugural co-chair of the COPD Patient Advisory Group, which he held until he passed eight years ago. Following Bill’s passing, Caroline took up Bill’s mantle and has continue to be a passionate advocate for those affected by lung disease. Caroline has played a significant role in ensuring the patient voice is brought to our resources, including our Better Living with COPD booklet and online training program for patients.

Lung Foundation Australia has proudly welcomed four new members into our lifetime achievement award club. All four recipients have made significant contributions to helping people living with lung disease across Australia.

Ms Victoria Taber was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 when a routine chest x-ray before a teacher exchange showed a shadow on her lung. She was 29 and a never smoker. After surgery to remove the affected lung, and 16 rounds of chemotherapy for lung cancer, she was warned by her specialists that the chemo may have affected her ability to have children. Victoria’s miraculous early diagnosis and successful treatment have led to two further miracles; her two sons, Archie and Lenny. Victoria has been a strong and loyal advocate for Lung Foundation Australia on behalf of those with lung cancer promoting the message of early diagnosis and debunking the myths around lung cancer.

Associate Professor Matthew Peters has made significant contributions to the Lung Foundation for almost 15 years. Matthew was an inaugural member of the Lung Cancer National Program, joining in 2002 and the National Council which he joined in 2004. Matthew’s leadership has been instrumental in shaping many of the programs that form important elements of the Lung Cancer Program including the Lung Cancer Network Australia which brings patients together to support on another and advocating for lung cancer nurses in Australia.