Professor George Patton AO


The Centre for Adolescent Health is proud to announce the posthumous appointment of Professor George Patton as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his distinguished service to psychiatry and developmental epidemiology, to youth health and wellbeing, and to mental health research.

The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent means by which Australia recognises the outstanding and meritorious service of its citizens.

“George Patton is internationally recognised for his ground-breaking contributions to adolescent health. He is in the top 0.1% of cited researchers in the world across all fields of medicine, and is the most highly cited of those working in adolescent health. He has driven global policies and priorities around adolescent health and wellbeing from what was previously characterised as benign neglect to a field that is now at the forefront of international agendas. This is a monumental achievement, for which George and his legacy are appropriately recognised by the award of the Companion of the Order of Australia.” Professor John Funder

George Patton was a Professorial Fellow in Adolescent Health Research at the University of Melbourne and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, who sadly died on December 7th 2022. He was a Senior Principal Research Fellow with Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). He had a clinical background in child and adolescent psychiatry and a research background in developmental epidemiology. George had extensive engagement globally around child and adolescent health, growth and development. He chaired the 2016 Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, led three special series on adolescent health for the Journal as well as publishing sentinel papers on adolescent mortality, burden of disease, the adolescent investment case and intergenerational risks. He had consultancy and advisory roles with the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, USAID and the World Bank as well as scientific advisory roles with international groups including Peking University, Tokyo University and the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. He was a member of STAGE, the technical advisory group to WHO’s DG on Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition. George also led long term Australian longitudinal studies on the mental health, growth and development of children and adolescents, including a prospective intergenerational cohort. His research extended to large scale early intervention, prevention and mental health promotion trials from primary-care, community and school platforms in both high resource and low resource settings. His wife, Professor Susan Sawyer AM, suggested that George would have felt humbled to have been honoured in this way.

Warmest congratulations to all Australians honoured in the Australia Day 2023 Honours List on 26 January 2023.

Vale Professor George C Patton

Lancet Obituary – George C Patton

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