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PA Hospital Senior Staff Specialist Nephrologist and UQ Professor of Medicine, Prof Carmel Hawley has joined the highest ranks in the country after being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) this Australia Day, sealing a lifetime’s dedication to advancing her field.
Acknowledged for her significant contribution to kidney medicine as a researcher, clinician and mentor, the Asst/Director Haemodialysis Services PAH adds the honour to an extensive catalogue of career accolades including the 2018 Kincaid-Smith medal, Kidney Health Australia’s highest award, and the prestigious 2022 Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN) TJ Neale Award.
With an illustrious career tracing back over 35 years to her humble beginnings as a medical student at UQ, Prof Hawley’s passion for kidney medicine has seen her contribute a wealth of clinical and research acumen to numerous institutions over the years.
After commencing her advanced training in 1985 at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Prof Hawley made a quick transition to PAH in 1986, before training in Sydney's eastern hospitals for two years. By 1989, Prof Hawley had returned to PAH and cemented her tenure as a Consultant Nephrologist.
"I probably knew from my third post-grad year that I wanted to work in Nephrology. It’s always hard to know why you like an area. For me, it was the technological aspects of dialysis to start with. Then when I got to PAH in 1986, the transplant work had a tremendous appeal because the survival rate and restoration of an excellent quality of life were extraordinary," she said.
36 years on, Prof Hawley’s inherent passion for the field transpires through her influence on clinical work, lecturing, research, and mentoring the next generation of specialists.
Additional to her extensive contribution to PAH and UQ, Prof Hawley also co-founded the Australasian Kidney Trials Network (AKTN) in 2005, a passion project that has garnered international recognition for its quality and impact under her stewardship, while demonstrating major advances in evidence that directly inform treatment and outcomes for people living with chronic kidney disease.
With a sphere of influence extending from the clinic to the classroom, Prof Hawley’s breadth of expertise places her at the forefront of modern kidney medicine. Known among her peers as a compassionate clinician, a dedicated researcher, and an inspiring leader, Prof Hawley is also widely admired and respected both at PAH and throughout the medical community.
In an outpouring of support, past and current contemporaries reflect fondly on Prof Hawley’s professional and personal impact.
Consultant Nephrologist, Prof Nikky Isbel said of Prof Hawley, “She has continued to be an inspiration both as a clinician an academic and a wonderful colleague. I still have a vivid memory of her explaining with great enthusiasm some breakthrough in potassium channel physiology when I was a trainee. I probably got more out of her excitement rather than love of tubular physiology.”
“Her academic abilities and vast knowledge have always blown me away but equally so has her compassion and empathy. She truly cares about everyone she looks after,” said RN Nephrology Sue Meiklejohn.
Director Metro South Health Kidney and Transplant Service, Prof David Johnson was effusive in his praise of his long-term colleague.
“Carmel has been a long-standing and passionate advocate of medical research, gender equity, continuous quality improvement, teaching and mentoring. Through her founding and leadership of the AKTN, implementation of many health system improvements, and mentoring and nurturing of hundreds of clinician-scientists over her long and illustrious career, she has substantially improved the health and well-being of many people living with kidney disease.”
Congratulations on this and many more remarkable achievements, Prof Hawley. You are an inspiration to us all, and we can’t wait to see what you do next.