Dr Austin Curtin AM

Head shot of Dr Austin Curtin


Austin grew up and was educated in Sydney. He represented NSW in the sport of rowing, both nationally and internationally, and has a University Blue in Boat. He trained in Surgery in Sydney and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He has been in practice as a surgeon on the North Coast since 1985.  He has been in full time surgical practice with appointments to Lismore Base Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital and Casino Hospital.

He was the supervisor of surgical training in Lismore from 1995 to 2001. He has also been involved with teaching medical students in Lismore since 1995 and was appointed Sub-Dean (Lismore) of the Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney in 2001. He is currently attached to The University Centre for Rural Health in Lismore.

Austin has served on the Board of St Vincent’s Hospital Lismore since 1992 and on the Board of the Northern NSW Local Health District from 2011 to 2012.   He was the inaugural Chair of the NSW Institute of Rural Clinical Services and Teaching (now, absorbed into the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and The Health Education and Training Institute.)

He was made an Honorary Fellow of Southern Cross University in 2008. He currently holds an appointment to both Southern Cross University and The University of Sydney as an Adjunct Associate Professor.

Austin has a lifelong interest in trauma care. He currently serves as a Reservist with the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, and served in full time Army service in Afghanistan in 2014.  He also has a strong interest in melanoma and has held an NH&MRC grant to investigate melanoma care on the North Coast.

Austin is married with 5 children and has lived on the Far North Coast for more than 30 years. Austin’s move to Lismore in 1985 led to a love of community and rural and regional life. He has a passion for rural people and their constant fight for equality in health and education opportunities. He has been an advocate for rural and regional health since 2000 and currently chairs the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Rural Health. He is passionate about the benefits of a functional community and its importance in navigating life. He has an interest in the opportunities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians achieving equality in health outcomes.

In 2020, Austin was honoured as a member in the General Division for the Order of Australia for his significant service to medicine and health outcomes in regional communities.