Traumatic stress researcher wins lifetime award
Friday, 26 October 2012
The University of Adelaide's Professor Sandy McFarlane AO has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) based in the United States.
This is the highest honour given by the Society to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of traumatic stress.
Professor Alexander (Sandy) McFarlane is Professor of Psychiatry and the Head of the University of Adelaide's Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies.
He is a world-renowned expert on post-traumatic stress disorder who has consulted on many major disasters and conflicts, such as the Ash Wednesday bushfires in the 1980s and the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in 1990.
Professor McFarlane is a Past President of both the ISTSS and the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He has held roles as Senior Adviser in Psychiatry to the Australian Defence Force and the Department of Veterans' Affairs. He has acted as an adviser to many groups in post disaster situations, including the Kuwait Government and the United Nations.
Professor McFarlane established a research program to investigate the physical and mental health of all Australian veterans and serving military personnel who have been deployed to the Middle East. He is also the principal investigator of the Defence Health and Wellbeing Survey which has examined the mental health of the entire Defence Force.
Apart from his interest in post-traumatic stress disorder in relation to disaster victims, military personnel and civilian accidents, Professor McFarlane has a particular interest in the impact of childhood trauma on adults' ability to adjust to traumatic events.
Professor McFarlane has published more than 300 articles and chapters in various refereed journals and has co-edited three books. He is a member of several international advisory boards in the field of traumatic stress and has lectured and run workshops in Europe, the US, Asia and South Africa. He frequently appears in the media as a commentator on the impact of war and disaster.
Professor McFarlane's past awards and honours include the Robert Laufer Award, the Organon Senior Research Award, the Founders Medal of the Australian Society for Psychiatric Research, and the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).
The ISTSS Awards Committee said: "Though there were many outstanding nominees for this year's Lifetime Achievement Award, Professor McFarlane stood out from this very distinguished group. The field of traumatic stress owes much to him and his efforts."
Director, Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies
School of Population Health
The University of Adelaide
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Mr David Ellis
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The University of Adelaide
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