Sidney Sax Medal 2017 awarded to the late Jeff Cheverton; scholarship set up in his honour

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Sidney Sax Medal for 2017 was tonight awarded to the late Jeff Cheverton at the Australian Healthcare and Hospital Association’s (AHHA) annual dinner in Sydney.

‘The Sidney Sax Medal is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the development and improvement of the Australian healthcare system in the field of health services policy, organisation, delivery and research’, AHHA Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven said.

‘We are proud to award this medal to Jeff, who demonstrated excellence in health leadership throughout his career until his sudden and unexpected death on 1 March 2017. He was 49 years old.

‘As a member of AHHA’s Board and as a national thought leader, Jeff’s enthusiasm, drive, ‘can do’ attitude and unwavering contribution to improving health and human services are not easily found or replaced.

‘Government, non-government, change management, system reform, disability, mental health, housing, and of course primary healthcare—Jeff did it all, and with a vigour and commitment to equity, human rights, and economic empowerment that benefited not only clients, but the organisations he worked for, the teams he led, and the many boards he sat on, including the Board of AHHA.

As an AHHA Board member, Jeff represented us in the most engaged and exemplary manner, notably as our representative on the National Aged Care Alliance. In short, he did a lot for us and for health and community services in Australia’, Ms Verhoeven said.

In accepting the award on Jeff’s behalf, his partner, Rod Goodbun, noted that Jeff ‘had a way of making a room come alive, and making solutions to seemingly impossible tasks clear and “do-able”.’

‘He was a great talent and a beautiful man. He would have been thrilled to win this medal if he was with us today’, Mr Goodbun said.

AHHA Board Chair Dr Deborah Cole announced that in partnership with Brisbane North Primary Health Network, and the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network—Jeff’s final two workplaces—a Jeff Cheverton Memorial Scholarship had been established to honour his memory.

‘The six-week scholarship is for postgraduate tertiary students, early career researchers and individuals working in primary health, mental health, aged care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, and LGBTQI health. All of these areas were close to Jeff’s heart’, Dr Cole said.

‘I am pleased to announce that we have two winners of the scholarship for this inaugural year:
Dr Mikaela Jorgensen, from Macquarie University, who will conduct a review of local and international research on the impact of consumer-directed care following community aged care policy reforms
Miss Madelaine Thorpe, from Brisbane South Primary Health Network, who will produce an issues brief calling for a Primary Health National Minimum Data Set to change how PHNs collect and share data.’

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, community and primary healthcare services, and advocates for universal, high quality and affordable healthcare to benefit the whole community.

Media enquiries: Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, 0403 282 501