Australia Day Honour for Rosemary Calder

The Mitchell Institute’s Director of Health Policy, Rosemary Calder, has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in this year’s Australia Day Honours.

Announced on 26 January each year, the awards celebrate the achievement and contribution of eminent Australians from a diverse range of backgrounds. Rosemary received the honour for “significant service to public administration, particularly in the areas of mental health and ageing, through academic roles, and to the community.”

Rosemary has had a distinguished career as a health and social policy advisor and bureaucrat, working for both the Coalition and Labor governments, and was head of the Office for the Status of Women, under the Howard Government.

In reflecting on the trajectory of her work, she notes she is often drawn to tackle those hard to solve social problems that persist despite considerable effort:

“I have often become engaged with issues, both health and community issues, that continue to impact on people or communities despite there being good services and investments to manage the problem. For me the obvious response is that we have to work harder, and earlier; and much more needs to be done to prevent or reduce the impact of these issues in the first place.”

Prior to joining the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University, Rosemary was Chief of Staff to the Minister of Health in Victoria. Other roles include: First Assistant Secretary for Acute Care, and for Mental Health and Health Workforce with the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing; Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council on Ageing; and several senior roles in the Victorian Department of Human Services, with particular responsibility for the development of state-wide health services for older people and those with complex chronic care needs.

Rosemary has made a valuable contribution to society through several board positions in the non-government sector. She is a Founding Board Member of the White Ribbon Foundation, a Board Member of the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and Children, known as Our Watch, was a Director of the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health, and Vice President of the Continence Foundation of Australia. 

Rosemary has an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Monash University and is a Monash University Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow. 

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