Mercy Health surgeon humbled by Queen’s Birthday Honour

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Setting the highest of standards and then achieving them has been a hallmark of the career of Mercy Health surgeon Professor Peter Grant.

Recognised in this week’s Queen’s Birthday Honours with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM), Professor Grant’s citation reads: For services to gynaecological oncology.

Tributes such as a doyen and giant of his field, according to his colleague Dr Simon Hyde “have left Peter a touch embarrassed and red-faced” but his endeavours and achievements are both “nationally and internationally recognised and the award is richly deserved.”

Dr Hyde said that Prof. Grant has always demonstrated an unwavering dedication, however, first and foremost has been his commitment to caring for those that are forced to navigate the immense challenges of dealing with gynaecological cancer.

“He has always been passionate in his advocacy for those that he treated and for their families as well.

“Peter has been my mentor, colleague and sounding board but within sight of the finishing tape of his own career, he was sufficiently gracious to pass on the position of Head of Unit which he’d held for close to two decades.

“He has always acknowledged the benefits of succession planning and the imperative nature of passing the baton in a timely manner, whilst still being there to offer sage counsel.

“Not all of us have been fortunate to have been guided by someone who has had such an extensive and illustrious career, however, those of us here at the Mercy Hospital for Women have been truly privileged to have had Peter as a colleague.

“Passing on knowledge and experiences is critical in our area and Peter’s always available and supportive when a colleague faces a challenge or needs support,” said Dr Hyde.

Prof. Grant did his Fellowship in Canada at Victoria’s General Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1985-87. He returned to Melbourne but then opted to work for five years at Sydney Royal Women’s Hospital before joining Mercy Health.

But what might not be so well known among staff whose tenure with Mercy Health is more recent is that Professor Grant is also a member of another exclusive Australian club – he is an Olympian who competed on the track for Australia at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

While he didn’t bring home a medal, his name is enshrined on Australian athletics honour boards after winning the national 400 metres hurdles titles in both 1977 and 1979.

A further highlight occurred in the lead up to the Sydney Games in 2000 when he was selected to run with the Olympic torch near where he grew up in Echuca, and was honoured with the task of lighting the Olympic cauldron on the Murray River paddle steamer “PS Pevensey”.

Prof Grant retires from his Mercy Health position later this year – undeniably he will be missed by his close colleagues but more significantly by his patients and their families.

In Dr Hyde’s words: “The standards set by Prof Peter Grant are extremely high, they will live on and we will always strive to maintain them.”

Last reviewed June 16, 2021.

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