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We are delighted to announce that ANU RegNet Professor Sharon Friel has been awarded the Public Health Mentor of the Year Award by the Public Health Association Australia (PHAA). Accepting the award virtually as part of the Australian Public Health Conference 2021 last Friday, Sharon said it was an honour and privilege to be involved in the PHAA Mentoring Program and that she loved mentoring and engaging with fantastic mentees throughout this program.
The Public Health Mentor of the Year Award is presented to a senior member of PHAA who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to mentoring and made significant contribution in mentoring early-career professionals, practitioners and students. Throughout her mentoring journey, Sharon finds regular conversations with her mentees deeply rewarding as that allows her to see them develop as academics and flourish in their careers.
On what motivated her to mentor, Sharon said she was keen to help colleagues create positive changes in their field of work as she understands the process can be challenging.
“I want to help colleagues create a step change in their field of work. To do that can be intellectually and institutionally challenging, time consuming and requires support. I am there to provide a sounding board, a completely confidential space to try out ideas, and offer strategies that I have used throughout my career.”
Reflecting on the outstanding mentors who guided her to become a global leader in the field of health equity, Sharon said it is her turn to pay it forward.
“I have experienced the power of outstanding mentors throughout my career and benefited from their encouragement to think big, be bold, be courageous and be evidence based. My aim, and commitment, is to pay it forward, tailoring my support to suit the diversity of needs, desires, backgrounds and personalities of mentees.”
Watch Sharon’s acceptance speech.