ANZSCTS President’s Awards

by | Nov 23, 2023 | News | 0 comments

Presented at the ASM Conference Dinner, Wellington New Zealand 11 November 2023

These 3 recipients embody the ANZSCTS President’s award. All have not only contributed to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, but also to the specialty and society. The awardees are not only dedicated surgeons, but they are also noted teachers, mentors, and valued colleagues. Thank you for your service to the Society and Cardiothoracic Surgery in Australia New Zealand.

Associate Professor Andrew Cochrane, AM


Andrew undertook advanced training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Alfred Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital and overseas fellowship in the United Kingdom. He has been a consultant cardiac thoracic surgeon at Prince Charles Hospital (1993-1995), The Royal Children’s Hospital (1995-2008), and Monash Medical Centre (2003-2022) At Monash Medical Centre he set up the adolescent and adult congenital heart surgery program for patients with grown up congenital heart disease. He has published over 100 peer reviewed papers.

Andrew has been a member over countless charitable teams to Pacific Islands, Timor-Leste, and Asia. He has provided pro bono care for patients brought to Australia through Rotary and the Children First Foundation. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2012 for his work in this field. He has committed an enormous amount of time and energy to the Society and the College. He has been Chair of the Science and Education Committee for 9 years. In this role has been central in organising the annual scientific meeting and the trainee education days. He has been a member and deputy chair of the CTS Training Board. He has been on the RACS Victorian State council and is the Specialty Elected Councillor to the RACS Federal Council. He was a Board member of the National Cardiac Registry for 3 years. He has taught and has been on the organising committees for ASSET, CCrlSP and CLEAR courses for the College.

Andrew is an editor for both Heart Lung and Circulation and the ANZ Journal of Surgery. He is on the Steering Committee of the ANZSCTS Database. He is engaged in philanthropic work in the fields of music and economics as the Director of the Schofield-Cochrane Charitable Fund. Andrew is a former Victorian representative middle-distance runner and has participated in many Murray River marathons. He still maintains a high level of fitness by regular running training.

Dr Richard Bunton

Born in a little country town in New Zealand, Waianiwa, into a farming family. He entered Medical School (Dunedin) in 1971, graduating in 1976. During medical school Dick played representative rugby for the province. Dick entered surgical training and gained FRACS in Cardiothoracic surgery in 1983. In 1984 he was at the Brigham in Boston under Larry Cohn, then in 1985 at Boston Childrens under Aldo Castenada and then moving onto Southampton with Sir Keith Ross. Dick returned to Dunedin in 1986.

He was appointed Head of Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Dunedin hospital since 1995. Dick also served as Chief Medical Officer from 2004-2012 and as Medical Director of Patient Services for 5 years. At the direction of the Minister of Health (Rt Hon Jenny Shipley) he led the clinical establishment of the public Cardiothoracic unit in Christchurch. Dick led a surgical team into Xian, China, to teach Cardiothoracic Surgery for 4 years – supported by the medical charity Project Hope, the project being led by Harvard University.

Dick was awarded a medal for outstanding service to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons for roles as an Examiner (9 years), Board Member (4yrs), Deputy Chairman (4yrs) and the Chairman (4 yrs) of the Board of Cardiothoracic surgery.

Dick continues to be an independent medical advisor to both the ACC and HDC for more than 20 years. As Chairman of the Dunedin Basic Medical Sciences Trust, he convenes two residential courses. One course prepares trainee surgeons for their first major exam. The course has the highest pass rate in Australasia. The other course prepares advanced trainees in Cardiothoracic surgery for the mid training exam. Dick also has a keen ongoing interest in rugby union and has established a winery.

Professor Julian Smith

Julian graduated in Medicine from the University of Melbourne and trained in General and Cardiothoracic Surgery at The Royal Melbourne, Alfred, and Royal Children’s Hospitals. Following overseas Cardiothoracic and Transplant Fellowships at Stanford and Cambridge, he was appointed as a Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Deputy Head of the Heart and Lung Transplant Service at the Alfred under Don Esmore’s leadership. Following his appointment as Professor of Surgery at Monash University in 2001, he moved to Monash Health as the Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery, a position he held until 2023.

Soon after returning to Australia in 1995, Julian was appointed as Secretary of the RACS Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery (the precursor to ANZSCTS) and the RACS Board of Studies in Cardiothoracic Surgery. He later served as Chairman of the Board of Studies for 3 years. He helped facilitate cardiothoracic surgery’s transition from a RACS Division to an independent specialist Society in 2000 and was the Society President from 2010 to 2012.

Julian contributed to the establishment of the ANZSCTS Database and has been a Member of its Steering Committee and Chairman of its Research Committee since their inception. He is currently Chairman of the Australian and New Zealand Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery Research Institution, the governing body for the Databases (Cardiac, Thoracic and Congenital).

From 2008 to 2016, Julian was a Fellowship-elected RACS Council Member. He was a Member of the RACS Cardiothoracic Court of Examiners for 10 years and Chairman of the Court from 2013 – 2016 during which time significant evolutionary changes in the exam format were commenced. Having been a member of the Editorial Board of Heart Lung Circulation for 25 years, he is now Editor-in-Chief of the ANZ Journal of Surgery.

In addition to a busy clinical practice at Monash and now at the Victorian Heart Hospital, his particular interests have been in transplantation, mechanical support of the circulation, less invasive surgery and surgical robotics, surgical education and training and the monitoring of cardiac surgical outcomes through the ANZSCTS Database.

Emily Granger

ANZSCTS President


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