Awarded with honours
When Christopher ‘Kit’ Fairley AO was in primary school, a teacher told his parents he was one of the ‘most stupid’ students she had ever taught, and unlikely to ever complete the curriculum.
Growing up with severe dyslexia in the 1960s made it a challenging road for Kit. He put up with being misunderstood in an education system that made no effort to be considerate or supportive, and sustained numerous scars inflicted by hurtful comments and blows from fellow students.
Today, Kit is a professor and director of The Alfred’s Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and was yesterday awarded with Queen’s Birthday honours for his lifelong commitment to community health. It’s a gong he said he is proud to accept and, on a very personal level, further proof that you can overcome a learning difficulty and make an impact.
“It’s an extraordinary privilege to be recognised at this level by the Australian Government,” Kit said.
“While these awards are given to individuals, they are also a credit to everyone that has been on this journey with me.
“It is recognition of the tremendous support, hard work and contribution that my colleagues at MSHC and I have made. Together, we have achieved a lot for our community.”
Prof Kit Fairly AO was recognised for distinguished service to community health, particularly in the area of infectious and sexually transmitted diseases, as a clinician, researcher and administrator, and to medical education.
Also recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours was the head of The Alfred’s cystic fibrosis service, Prof John Wilson AM.
John was awarded for his significant service to medicine, and to medical research, in the field of respiratory disease, and to professional organisations.
He said the achievement was a team effort, and thanked those who have been supportive over the years.
“Through a number of medical education organisations – including Monash and the RACP – I have been fortunate to see young Australians fulfil their potential as scientists and doctors of the future,” John said.
“It’s a fabulous opportunity to work in the Australian healthcare system – connecting basic science with clinical care.”
Congratulations to Prof Fairley and Prof Wilson.