Issues Magazine

Palliative Care Pioneer Is Australian Senior of the Year


Flinders University

Emeritus Professor Ian Maddocks, who was appointed the first Chair of Palliative Care at Flinders University 25 years ago, has been named The Australian Senior of the Year for 2013.

The award was announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Australia Day 2013.

Accepting the national award, which follows on the South Australian Senior of the Year honour awarded in November last year, Professor Maddocks said people who were near death were formerly isolated by regimes of hospital care.

He said while care of the dying had come a long way in recent decades to include the positive involvement of the family and increased levels of care at home, more resources need to be devoted to palliative care to ensure that such services are available to all.

Professor Maddocks was appointed as Professor of Palliative Care in 1988, after promoting the development of palliative care treatment and services in southern Adelaide for some years.

At Flinders University he pursued a rigorous and innovative teaching and research program, as well as caring for patients.

He was elected as the first President of the Australian Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, and was also the first President of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Palliative Medicine.

Recognised also for his work in tropical and preventative medicine, his texts are used internationally, and he has received a number of international awards for his work.

He is also strongly involved in advocacy for peace, helping to lead both the Medical Association for the Prevention of War and the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War. Now aged 82, he continues to be involved in the treatment and care of the terminally ill.