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‘Great joy’ as St Mary’s member earns honour

Associate Professor Christine Rodda’s efforts have been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours. Picture: supplied.

Jenan Taylor

12 June 2024

Melbourne Anglican and paediatric endocrinologist Christine Rodda has been made a Member of the Order of Australia.

Associate Professor Rodda was recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours for her significant service to paediatric endocrinology, to medical research and to tertiary education.

She said her faith was a vital part of her work, and she hoped to encourage other medical professionals to see it as vital to their endeavours too.

The St Mary’s North Melbourne parishioner served at Western Health for 10 years, and headed paediatric endocrinology at Monash Health for 13 years.

She has also been Honorary Associate Professor at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne since 2014, and Clinical Associate Professor at Melbourne Medical School since 2012.

Read more: Efforts ‘quietly making a difference’

Associate Professor Rodda said she knew since high school that she wanted to work in healthcare, because she loved making things better for others.

She said receiving the honour was a wonderful opportunity for her to reflect on this journey.

Associate Professor Rodda said her paternal grandfather, husband, older sister and parents had played a large role in cultivating a hard-working approach to her efforts.

She said as a researcher and a clinician she was also motivated by Luke 12:48, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”

A life-long Anglican, she said this value was instilled in her during her school years at Firbank Grammar School as well.

Her citation mentioned her leadership of the Australia New Zealand Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, and membership of the Victorian Medical Women’s Society, along with many other achievements.

Associate Professor Rodda said working with colleagues to establish a multidisciplinary clinic for young people with type 1 diabetes was a highlight among her accomplishments.

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She said teenagers normally struggled with most things if no one supported them, and the diabetes clinic enabled them to manage their condition and transition into adult care.

Now retired, Associate Professor Rodda said she hoped to see the medical sector in Australia put more value on spirituality in end-of-life care.

She said medical students ought to be introduced to the spiritual aspects of death and dying, because many physicians felt death was a failure of their medical skills.

Associate Professor Rodda said current Australian Medical Association president Steve Robson’s recent observation that Australia needed to bring hope and love back into healthcare was inspirational.

She said she wanted to highlight another necessary ingredient in healthcare.

“I would add Paul’s faith, hope and love. That is what you should offer your patients, even if you do have faith in your own abilities as a doctor,” Associate Professor Rodda said.

Read more: ‘In my upbringing, women didn’t do this sort of thing’ 

She said she and her husband were passionate about opera and choral music, and began attending St Mary’s for worship because they loved the choir there so much.  

Vicar the Reverend Jan Joustra said Associate Professor Rodda’s recognition was a great joy to the church and its community.

He said she was a stalwart of the choir, participating in it as enthusiastically as she did on the Melbourne Opera Chorus and Melbourne Bach Choir.

Mr Joustra said a few St Mary’s members had been recognised for a range of contributions over the years, and it was always thrilling when this happened.

He said this included Associate Professor Rodda’s husband Professor Elsdon Storey.

Professor Jo Anne Douglass has also been named in the King’s Birthday Honours List. The Melbourne Anglican will feature Professor Douglass’s accomplishments soon.

Do you know of any other Melbourne Anglicans who have received King’s Birthday Honours? Email us at editor@melbourneanglican.org.au.

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