WHA Medal of Distinction 2022 Recipient 

Congratulations to our 2022 Medal of Distinction Recipient – Prof Leonie Callaway. We would like to thank our members for their dedication and commitment to our vision, and for their time and generosity in contributing to the WHA Member Community.

About Prof Leonie Callaway's work

Professor Callaway’s contribution to women’s and newborn health in the Australian population, includes: 1) National guidelines: She led the development of national clinical practice guidelines for the management of pre-gestational diabetes and screening for gestational diabetes (GDM); and, 2) Translation of Research into Practice including research regarding breastfeeding and insulin therapy in women with type 1 diabetes underpins the practical advice provided in national guidelines.

She has also led significant improvement into health systems, services, policy, programs, specifically writing, implementing and evaluating local and state-wide clinical practice guidelines (Obesity, Diabetes, Growth Restriction, Obstetric Cholestasis, Hypertension, Thromboembolism, COVID-19 and pregnancy). She also led the simplification of GDM screening processes during the pandemic in Qld, adopted Australia wide and internationally, with publications in press. She has >20 local, inter/national presentations about compassionate clinical care for larger bodied women (based on her research about childhood trauma), with consistent feedback that these profoundly affect clinician attitudes and clinical practice.

Professor Callaway leads the Queensland Maternity and Perinatal Queensland Council enquiry into preventative strategies for maternal suicide. Professor Callaway contributes to health system reform to prevent adverse health outcomes through early life public health and health service interventions (prevention of low birth weight and prematurity, promotion of mother-infant attachment and breastfeeding).

Professor Callaway advocated for and contributed to amendment of the Public Health Act of Qld to make reporting of maternal deaths compulsory, implemented in 2014. Professor Callaway advocated for inclusion of Body Mass Index in routinely collected perinatal data Australia wide (late 2000’s) and led the introduction of routine congenital syphilis screening at 28 weeks gestation throughout Qld in 2022. Her senior leadership experience includes a strong track record of community partnership (primary healthcare networks, government, community and consumer organizations, specialist societies, media) and promotion of consumer voices. 

 Professor Callaway eight PhD scholars supervised to completion, with a further eight under supervision. Supervisor for >40 basic and advanced physician trainees. College examiner. In the past 5 years, as Director of Research, led a >30% increase in publications, grant funding and clinicians undertaking PhD’s, through role modelling and mentorship.

The 2022 Medal of Distinction Nominees

WHA would also like to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions to women’s health of the following individuals who were nominated for this award.  Each of these individuals go above and beyond to make a positive difference to women and their newborns and are an inspiration to their peers, and to the whole WHA community.  Congratulations and thank you for your ongoing leadership.

Linda Campbell – Midwifery/Nursing Unit Manager, Northern Adelaide Local Health Network, SA
Vicki Clifton – Professional Fellow, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Mater Research, QLD 
A/Prof Lisa Hui – Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, Mercy Hospital for Women, VIC
Tracy Martin – Nursing and Midwifery Co Director Surgery and Specialist Care Directorate. Rockingham Peel Kwinana Group, South Metro Health Service, WA
Dr Patricia Moore – Obstetrician and Gynaecologist; Head of Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit; Head of Abortion and Contraception Service, Royal Women’s Hospital, VIC
Prof John Newnham – Professor Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Maternal Fetal Medicine) / Chair, Steering Committee Australian Preterm Birth Alliance, The University of Western Australia
Kate Reynolds – Coordinator of Midwifery, WA Country Health Service
Cherise Smith – Coordinator and Midwife, the Women with Individual Needs (WIN) Clinic, The Royal Women’s Hospital, VIC
Jennifer Waterson – Clinical Nurse Consultant, Perinatal Mental Health, Toowoomba Hospital, QLD