The Companion of Menzies provides an opportunity to recognise exceptional contributions and support to the continued development and success of Menzies School of Health Research.

The 2021 recipients of the Companion of Menzies are:

Professor Simon Maddocks 
Professor Simon Maddocks’s leadership as a past Charles Darwin University Vice Chancellor and previous Chair of the Menzies Board, contributed to crucial developments at Menzies. This includes initiatives to attract new researchers to the NT and securing funding for new Menzies facilitates at Royal Darwin Hospital and Charles Darwin University campuses. 

Ms Olga Haven 
Olga Haven spent her professional life advocating for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She has held a range of senior leadership roles across the public and private sector, and remains active in leading critical national initiatives and NT initiatives to support better outcomes for First Nations people. Olga has been a longstanding contributor to Menzies both as a previous board member, and through organisational partnerships. 

Nanna Nungala Fejo
Nanna Nungala Fejo was a Warumungu woman who was forcibly removed from her family and community at Tennant Creek as an infant. Starting work in healthcare at the age of 16, she was a life-long advocate for improving the health of all. Passing in 2022, Nanna Nungala Fejo leaves a lasting legacy from her work with the Strong Women, Strong Babies, Strong Culture Program, helping to empower women in communities with culturally appropriate health care.   

2019 recipients: 

Pat Anderson AO
Pat Anderson’s leadership over many years in the establishment, growth and sustainability of Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) and the Lowitja Institute helped contribute to developing a cohort of leaders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research and community-driven approaches. She is a powerful social justice advocate who works tirelessly to improve health, education and protection outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples.

Professor Tony Barnes
Tony Barnes in his role as Director provided leadership of the CRC for Aboriginal and Tropical Health and maintains strong research collaborations and institutional engagement with Menzies through his leading role as a statistician and in exploring the demography of the Northern Territory at the Northern Institute at Charles Darwin University.

Inaugural (2018) recipients:  

Dr Val Asche 
Dr Asche was the head of the microbiology research unit at Menzies School of Health Research from 1986 to 1994 under its founding director Professor John Mathews. She continues her support for Menzies and we have the annual Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence. 

The Hon Austin Asche AC QC
Austin Asche was Former Northern Territory Administrator, Chief Justice and Inaugural Chair of the Northern Territory University whose support over the years has been wonderful for all of us at Menzies.

Richard Ryan AO 
Richard Ryan also has a long association with Menzies Chair for numerous years before becoming the inaugural Vice Chancellor of the Charles Darwin University (CDU). Richard returned to us from CDU and makes sure he keeps the wheels running as our treasurer and co-chairs our finance committee.