Marita Cowie receives Australia Day award for rural health work

Marita Cowie receives Australia Day award for rural health work

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The CEO of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine has been recognised in this year's Australia Day honours.

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Marita Cowie has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.

Marita Cowie has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.

CEO of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine Marita Cowie has been recognised in this year's Australia Day honours.

Marita Cowie has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to community health in rural and remote areas.

Ms Cowie took on the inaugural CEO role with the college, created to provide postgraduate training for rural GPs, in 1998 and has held it ever since.

She has also been the company secretary for ACRRM since 1998.

Ms Cowie said the honour was an important recognition of the amazing efforts and achievements the people she had worked with during her career.

"I'm most proud of the vision and the hard work of both the members of the college and my team to build it into what it is today," she said.

"It's certainly not a one-woman game."

Coming from a policy background in agriculture, Ms Cowie had worked with United Graziers Association of Queensland and Genex before making the switch to the rural health sector.

Prior to the establishment of ACRRM Ms Cowie said she had been working with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners to establish rural GP training.

"When I was applying [for the ACRRM role], it had already sparked my interest and my passion for rural health," she said.

Ms Cowie, who grew up at Kingaroy, said her family background in agriculture contributed to her wanting to work to benefit rural communities.

She is a member of the Practice Incentive Program Advisory Group, the National Rural Health Alliance and the National Rural Generalist Program Taskforce and Deakin University School of Medicine's Clinical Leadership Advisory Committee, an executive member of the World Organisation of Family Doctors' Working Party on Rural Practice, and an adjunct associate professor with JCU's School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Ms Cowie has also been the director and deputy chair of Asthma Australia since 2014 and the director and deputy chair of the Asthma Foundation of Queensland and New South Wales since 2015.

Prior to the merger of the Queensland and New South Wales Asthma Foundations, she was director of the Asthma Foundation of Queensland from 2013 to 2015, holding the role of chair from 2014 to 2015.

Her work in rural medicine has seen her receive accolades including a Honorary Doctor of Medicine through James Cook University and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia Distinguished Service Medal.

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