Associate Professor Peter Downie has been appointed Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to paediatric oncology, to teaching, and to research.
A/Professor Downie was Chair of ANZCHOG from 2007 to 2014 and led a period of immense growth within the organisation. In particular, he was instrumental in securing government funding for ANZCHOG’s clinical trials infrastructure and developed a robust, national organisation focussed on collaboration and engagement of health professionals involved in paediatric oncology throughout Australia and New Zealand. This foundational work provided the platform for further expansion of ANZCHOG in subsequent years, which has been vital to building our current level of clinical trial activity.
A/Professor Downie has also been an active member of ANZCHOG’s Survivorship and Leukaemia/Lymphoma Groups, reflecting his leadership and interest in these areas, promoting research, collaboration and mentoring to improve clinical care.
A/Professor Downie is the current head of Paediatric Haematology-Oncology and Director of the Children’s Cancer Centre at Monash Children’s Hospital (MCH), where he has practiced since 1994. He has led the significant expansion of the Children’s Cancer Centre during this time, training 18 paediatric oncologists and developing a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary oncology service, and embedding a high-quality clinical trials program. He has also held a number of significant clinical roles at Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), and his role as Medical Director of the Victorian Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service (PICS) provided strong continuity for patients and families cared for RCH and MCH.
Peter continues to work with researchers within Monash University and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, and more recently, was a part of the leadership team who received support from Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to establish the Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium (VPCC). This new initiative will support a collaboration of Victorian hospitals and research institutes to improve long-term outcomes for children with cancer through world-class medical research and innovation.
Peter has also been an avid fundraiser for the sector. He is a familiar figure in the Murray to Moyne cycle relay (participating in over 18 events), as well as supporting numerous other charitable initiatives that assist children, their families and research.
We congratulate Peter on this well-deserved recognition of his outstanding achievements in paediatric oncology.
ANZCHOG is a non-profit organisation committed to ensuring Australian and New Zealand children receive world-class cancer care. We are the peak professional body for paediatric oncologists and health professionals who care for children with cancer, spearheading national initiatives to enhance clinical care through communication, research, networking and education. We are also the national cooperative clinical trials group for childhood cancer, actively working with trial consortia around the globe to ensure Australian and New Zealand children have the opportunity to access the latest promising cancer treatments.