Sydney, Australia | Leisa O’Connor/Record Staff

Sydney Adventist Hospital neurosurgeon Professor Brian Owler was among a diverse group of Australians recognized for their contributions and service to the community in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honors list.

Professor Owler, past president of the Australian Medical Association, was appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM), acknowledging “significant service to medicine through the leadership and administration of professional medical organizations, and to education”.

His role as a neurosurgeon, in which he sees all too often the devastating results of high speed car accidents, led him to work with the NSW Government and front a high-profile media campaign aimed at reducing the road toll.

“It sometimes just takes one split-second decision to end in a world of tragedy and I have seen everyday people, good people, who made those split-second decisions that ended up costing either them or tragically their family and their children’s lives and of course the lives of others as well,” he said.

“Having the recognition for this type of work, I think underlines the importance of the work and I think it does help influence some of the decision making that goes on in relation to these sorts of activities and of course policy as well.

“There is no doubt that being able to influence policy that affects not just the patient in front of me but the patients who come after me, and of course the wider community as well, is a very powerful thing.”

Professor Owler specializes in neurosurgical conditions as well as spinal disorders covering both child and adult conditions.