Dr Curtin received his award at a graduation ceremony at the Lismore campus on Saturday, September 20.
Dr Curtin, a father of five, was born in Sydney and completed his tertiary education at Sydney University, graduating with Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees in 1977. Dr Curtin then commenced his medical career at Royal North Shore Hospital and within three years was appointed to the role of surgical registrar.
In 1982, Dr Curtin continued his surgical training as a senior tutor at the Queens University in Belfast and as senior registrar, at both the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Belfast City Hospital.
He has been involved in clinical practice as a surgeon in rural NSW for the last 22 years. His involvement in research has been stimulated by the development of opportunities in rural NSW and he has been the principal proponent of the development of a clinical trials group in northern NSW. This is now established under the auspices of Southern Cross University and is based in the Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health.
In 2005 Dr Curtin was appointed the inaugural chairman of the NSW Institute of Rural Clinical Services and Teaching. One of their prime goals is to develop the potential of rural clinicians in the area of research. This institution controls an annual research budget of approximately $1.5 million.
Dr Curtin is also a member of the Rural Health Task Force, co-chair of the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Southern Cross University, as well as being active in the Australian Army Reserve as a surgeon, holding the rank of Major.
He said he intends to continue practising surgery in Lismore (where he resides on a rural property with his wife, Annie), for many years to come and looks forward to the growing opportunities of integrating the good clinical work that is practiced on the North Coast with the research and academic strengths of Southern Cross University.
Photo: Dr Austin Curtin (right) who was made an Honorary Fellow of Southern Cross University on Saturday, with Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark.
Media contact: Zoe Satherley Southern Cross University media officer, 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.