Respected obstetrician named CHA Emerging Leader of the Year

A Melbourne obstetrician who has earned a reputation as a leading clinician, teacher and researcher has been recognised with a national award from Catholic Health Australia.
At last night's CHA National Conference Dinner, Professor Sue Walker of Melbourne's Mercy Hospital for Women received the Emerging Leader of the Year award from CHA chief executive officer Martin Laverty.

"Professor Walker is first and foremost an outstanding obstetrician renowned for her compassionate care for her patients as well as her encyclopaedic knowledge in her field," Mr Laverty said.

"But Sue is also known as someone who is a great teacher and guide for students lucky enough to study under her. Her own research is often considered to be ground-breaking, so she leads by example in her supervision of those students."

Professor Walker is the Director of Perinatal Services at Mercy Hospital for Women and was earlier this year named the inaugural Sheila Handbury Chair of Maternal Fetal Medicine, a partnership between the hospital and the University of Melbourne.

She is demonstrating her commitment to the dignity of the human person, service, common good and preference for the poor or undeserved – CHA's founding principles – by her work in Papua New Guinea as a visiting lecturer and examiner for examinations in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Care of patients who are experiencing a difficult pregnancy is Professor Walker's greatest strength, though.

"It's these trying circumstances that are surely some of the most demanding on a clinician," Mr Laverty said. "As a mother, Sue can relate to these women, but as a highly skilled obstetrician, she can also provide answers and hope for parents struggling to come to terms with the medical challenges they are their child are facing."

The CHA Emerging Leader award honours great commitment to leadership through a research project, innovative program, introduction of change management, or a significant contribution to improving the body of knowledge in health and aged care.

It includes a $5,000 grant from Hesta to put towards professional development.

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