Women’s health clinician crusader awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

Michelle Putt Uncategorised

CRE HiPP Chief Investigator Professor Helena Teede, an academic at Monash University and clinician at Monash Health, has been acknowledged with an appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) as part of the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Professor Teede received the honour in awarded an AM in recognition of her significant service to medical education and research, to endocrinology and to women’s health. She is passionately committed to partnering with the community and stakeholders in defining problems together, finding solutions through research and innovation and translating outcomes into practice for better health.

Professor Teede said she was “really chuffed” to receive the award and considered it an honour primarily as she was nominated by her team and long-term mentor, Professor Robert Norman of the University of Adelaide, also a CRE HiPP Chief Investigator.

Professor Helena Teede AM

“To be recognised in this way is humbling and importantly reflects the broader effort from those I have had the privilege to work with. I work with the most amazing teams. I feel very fortunate,” said Professor Teede.

“Two-thirds of women don’t meet healthy guidelines in pregnancy and our emphasis here is on supporting women to achieve healthy lifestyle and meet recommended pregnancy weight gain.

“It’s a widespread problem and excitingly our research has proven that healthy lifestyle support is welcomed by both health professionals and women – it enables and empowers women.”

Prof Teede emphasised the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) scheme for enabling the work of her and her team.

“The CRE scheme is a really important strategic platform to engage, support, lead and really guide large-scale change,” she said.

“The work we achieved in our initial CRE in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) reached 149 countries and we also currently have a CRE in women’s health in reproductive life that’s involved in national and international outreach. CRE HiPP is the latest to join the fold and all are working towards prevention and support for better health outcomes for women and their families.”

Prof Teede also reflected on her leadership roles as “one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job”.

“I have a strong interest in mentoring women specifically because I think that there are disadvantages, especially around their career and junctures with family or a significant promotion that can present more challenges than some of our male colleagues,” she said.

“It’s fair to say I was quite unsupported in my own journey, despite having great mentors and a supportive family,” she said. “I always worked hard but it was an issue trying to organise flexibility in our system that back then wasn’t really possible. The organisational support wasn’t there and often I was the only woman on the panel or advisory group and we needed more representation.

“That concept of throwing down a rope to help someone else behind you up, well, in my case it was more like throwing down a net ladder and pulling up as many as I could.”

CRE HiPP Director Professor Helen Skouteris congratulated Prof Teede on her honour.

“Prof Teede’s passion and drive has seen her lead the way in developing accessible and equitable preventative lifestyle health interventions, co-designed with women for women. This recognition is very well-deserved, congratulations Helena,” Prof Skouteris said.

Prof Norman, who nominated Prof Teede, said: “Helena has shown outstanding leadership in building teams and mentoring individuals that have made a lasting impact in the area of women’s health. She has done this in an inspiring and inclusive manner that is an example to all in the health and medical sector.”

Prof Tedee also holds leadership roles across health care, research and policy including as Member for the Australian Health Research Alliance, Chair of the National Women’s Health Research Translation and Impact Alliance, Director of Monash Centre for Health Research Implementation, School of Public Health, Co-Director of the Monash Institute of Medical Engineering and as an Endocrinologist at Monash Health.

A full biography of Professor Helena Teede’s extensive career achievements can be found here.

CRE HiPP acknowledges all other healthcare and research professionals recognised in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. For more information, and the full list of 2021 recipients, please click here.