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Honorary Fellow Professor Brendan Murphy AC Announces Retirement from Government

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The College has commended the superior health system leadership of Honorary Fellow Professor Brendan Murphy AC, after the announcement of his retirement as Secretary of the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care.

Professor Murphy has been Secretary since 2020, after joining the Department as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in 2016. His four-year tenure as CMO culminated in his pivotal role in Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where he provided critical, expert medical advice to the Prime Minister, Health Minister and National Cabinet. Since then, Professor Murphy has played a key role in establishing the National Medical Workforce Strategy.

In 2021 Professor Murphy was awarded Honorary Fellowship with RACMA. RACMA President Dr Helen Parsons CSC said Professor Murphy had made a lasting, positive impact on the Australian health system.

“On behalf of the College and our Members, I would like to take this opportunity to applaud Professor Murphy for his sustained commitment and excellence in health administration at the highest level,” Dr Parsons said.

“As the first medical practitioner to be employed by the Federal Government in such influential, decision-making roles, Professor Murphy has highlighted the crucial need and value of Medical Administrators.

“His exemplary leadership to all Australian health professionals and the Australian community, particularly in Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has embodied what RACMA and our Members strive for as Medical Leaders.”

Professor Murphy has had a long and distinguished career in health administration and management. A nephrologist by profession, Dr Murphy’s Medical Leadership roles have also included:

  • Chair Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)
  • CEO of Austin Health for more than 10 years
  • Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of Nephrology at St Vincent’s Health over a 10-year period
  • President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology
  • Board member of various organisations including Health Workforce Australia, the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

Professor Murphy also has a long-standing affiliation with the University of Melbourne and additional adjunct professorial appointments with Monash University and the Australian National University. He is widely published in his specialist area of Nephrology, has supervised many successful PhD candidates and overseen research grants well in excess of a million dollars.

“RACMA has truly benefited from Professor Murphy’s invaluableinsights and expertise over the years and the health system as a whole will miss his professionalism and guidance,” Dr Parsons said.

“Professor Murphy’s contribution and support of the College over the years have been greatly appreciated and we wish him all the very best for the future.” Professor Murphy’s retirement will be effective from 6 July 2023.

Author: Maria Cerullo

14th April 2023

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