Australia Day Honour for Professor Julie Bernhardt

Professor Julie Bernhardt, a global thought leader in the field of stroke, has been named in the Australia Day Honours list as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

Professor Julie Bernhardt

Professor Bernhardt is a Deputy Director of the Florey Institute and co-head of our stroke division. Professor Bernhardt is also the Director of the Centre for Research Excellence Stroke Rehabilitation and Brain Recovery, and is a professor with the University of Melbourne. She holds several international posts including committee roles with the World Stroke Organization and the World Federation of Neurorehabilitation.

Professor Bernhardt is passionate about improving the retention and career advancement of women in science, advocating to drive systemic change so more women lead and excel in medical research.

In 2013 she founded the Women in Science Parkville Precinct (WiSPP) initiative, which supports and agitates for structural change across five of Melbourne’s medical research institutes, employing more than 4,000 researchers.

Professor Benhardt has designed structural reforms to increase the participation of women in the research workforce, particularly in middle to later career stages when the “glass ceiling” becomes more evident.

With philanthropic support she has demonstrated systemic shortcomings in the sector and has implemented plans to drive change.

As a result of her successful initiatives in this area, in 2016 she was invited to talk on gender equity in science at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China.

Over the previous five years Professor Bernhardt has received numerous prestigious awards, including:

•  Westpac/Fairfax 100 women of Influence Award, Global Category winner (2016)

•  the American Heart Association Stroke Rehabilitation Award, Los Angeles, USA (2016)

•  Leadership award of the Australian Chief Executive Women’s Organisation (2016)

•  Austin Medical Research Foundation Distinguished Scientist (2016)

•  Princess Margaret Memorial Lecture, Liverpool UK, December (2015)

•  National Australia Bank Women’s Agenda Leadership Award – Change Champion of the year (2015)

•  The Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship (2012).

In her capacity as a stroke rehabilitation clinical triallist, Professor Bernhardt has been an esteemed Chair, Director or committee member of numerous professional stroke organisations, including:

  • World Stroke Organization
  • World Federation of Neurorehabilitation
  • Neuroscience Trials Australia
  • Australasian Stroke Trials Network
  • Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
  • Australian Stroke Research Network
  • National Stroke Foundation
  • Stroke Society of Australasia
  • Australian Physiotherapy Association
  • International Network of Stroke Professionals Interested in Rehabilitation and Evidence based Practice
  • Neurorehabilitation Clinical Trials Special Interest Group

Professor Bernhardt has been recognised by the committee as a highly strategic and big picture thinker, not afraid of complex challenges and someone who revels in blue-sky thinking.