Gold Medal Winners

IRSA Gold Medal Award 2016

Associate Professor Kevin Bell is the 2016 recipient of the IRSA Gold Medal.

Kevin was the President of IRSA for 7 years from 2000 at a time of considerable change and he helped lay the groundwork for the further development of our Society as we know it today.

He studied Medicine at the University of Melbourne and trained in Radiology at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, completing his study in 1971.

Kevin became very active in Radiology affairs and he took a key role in the Economic Standing Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Radiologists. He became an advisor to the Victorian Government and the Commonwealth Government Departments of Health as they moved to establish the Medicare Schedule and develop fees for ultrasound, CT and later MRI.
Kevin was instrumental in establishment of DSA fees, operating theatre fees for Interventional Radiology (IR) procedures, and prosthetic fees for IR procedures.
After several years as a successful private Radiologist and the only private IR in Melbourne, Kevin became the Director of Radiology at Western Health Network and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Melbourne University Department of Radiology.

As an enthusiastic academic Radiologist he became the sole Australasian representative on the TASC consensus panel for management of peripheral arterial disease and totally rebuilt Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine and Interventional Radiology across the Western Healthcare Network in Melbourne. He published initial Australian papers on Coronary Artery CT Angiography based on his Western Hospital experience.

In 2005, he established the Western Hospital Radiology Clinic for screening and preparation of IR patients and has for many years provided superb mentoring for young interventional radiologists.

He remains tireless in his determination to see IR reach its full potential as a clinical speciality; he has bridged the gap from private to academic radiology in a style no others have; and he is very worthy of this honour we have bestowed upon him.

Dr Ken Thomson

IRSA Gold Medal Award 2013

Dr Robert Allen is the 2013 recipient of the IRSA Gold Medal. This award acknowledges his excellent contribution to the advancement of Interventional Radiology (IR) in Australia.

Robert was born in 1944 and displayed precocious ability with inventive engineering. He refined a volatile formula when he was 14 resulting in a premature explosion which almost cost him his life. He lost his left hand in the incident which probably channeled him into IR rather than surgery.

Robert is one of the founding figures of IR in Australia. He has built a superb IR practice at The Canberra Hospital where he has worked since 1977. With a genius for IR design, the ability to manufacture his own devices and superbly refined technical ability, Rob has one of the greatest innovative minds in the history of IR. His inventions are absolutely novel and often world’s best.

He designed the “fast urokinase” technique (using highly concentrated, contrast-stained urokinase and his own adjunctive mechanical techniques) to efficiently lyse thrombus in arteries, veins and dialysis fistulae. He designed the Allen embolectomy catheter– unique in its structure and the best suction thrombo-embolectomy catheter that the world has seen to clear thrombus and emboli from leg arteries.

Robert invented a variety of percutaneous biliary inventions including the “arachnis pentapedis” to rebuild damaged bile ducts. He found a novel way to percutaneously remove foreign bodies and designed a “pentapedis” variant to fix chronic pancreatic pseudocysts. These are but a few of his many inventions. Some of these remain world’s best techniques some 20 years after he conceived them.

Robert has sparked a generation of Australian Interventional Radiologists with his creative enthusiasm and zest for IR solutions. IRSA salutes him for his splendid efforts.

IRSA Gold Medal Award

Brian Parkinson was the Second Gold Medallist of IRSA. Surprising, as he always claimed he was not an interventional radiologist. However Brian did do a large amount of non-vascular intervention in private practice with Perretts and Partners in Adelaide, and was quite a capable direct puncture angiographer in the years before catheters did away with those techniques.

Brian’s contribution to IRSA was his amazing financial management and negotiation skills. He could extract the last dollar value out of any conference and was largely responsible for the very high quality conferences IRSA could provide even though the society was still very small. Barbara Thomson would gasp as Brian launched into another round of cost-cutting just when the conference vendor thought they had finalised the price. IRSA would not have survived without the huge number of voluntary hours Brian invested in its management, and his extraordinary organisational skills.

Inaugural IRSA Gold Medal Award 2005

The IRSA Gold Medal award was created to acknowledge individual contribution to the advancement of Interventional Radiology (IR) in Australia.

Mr Geoffrey Reeves, CEO of Cook Australia was the inaugural gold medallist of IRSA and his medal was presented in Queenstown.

Geoff was the original sponsor of IRSA and attended our meeting at Falls Creek in 1982. His support for IRSA and his encouragement to spread IRSA’s influence into Asia resulted in meetings in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Whenever we needed support to bring a speaker from overseas or to meet an educational objective, all IRSA needed to do was ask. IRSA would have foundered without his help.

Geoff formed deep personal friendships with many IRSA members and his sponsorship mirrored the support Bill Cook gave SIR throughout his life.

IRSA Honorary Life Members

2017IRSA Port Douglas
Prof Otto van Delden, Dr David Sacks, Dr Venu Vadlamudi, Dr Jeff Carpenter
2016IRSA Queenstown
Dr Raman Uberoi,  Dr Colin Nice
2015IRSA Bali
Dr David Breen,  Dr Lindsay Machan,  Dr Tan Bien Soo,  Dr Tay Kiang Hiong
2014IRSA Queenstown
Dr Andy Platts
2013IRSA Broome
Dr Marco Manzi,  Dr Nigel Hacking,  Professor Michael Lee,  Dr Hugo Rio Tinto
2012IRSA Queenstown
Professor Peter Gaines