Honorary awards

Dr Barry Rex Catchlove

The title of Honorary Fellow of the University was conferred upon Dr Barry Rex Catchlove at the Faculty of Medicine graduation ceremony held at 11.30am on 2 May 2008.

Dr Barry Catchlove

The Deputy Chancellor Alan Cameron AM conferring the title upon Dr Catchlove, photo, copyright Memento Photography.


Deputy Chancellor, I have the honour to present Dr Barry Rex Catchlove (MBBS ’66) FRACP, FRACMA, FCHA for the conferring of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.

Dr Catchlove has been a tireless ambassador in promoting the University (and the Faculty of Medicine) to the community at large for the last eight years, as President of the Alumni Council, as President of the Medical Graduates Association and through his active involvement with the Sydney University Medical Foundation.

His contribution goes back much further, however, to his time in the 1970s when he was Director of Medical Services at the Royal North Shore Hospital, a period of significant strengthening of academic links with the University.

Dr Catchlove’s contributions to the University reflect his many and large-scale achievements in the wider community, particularly as a medical administrator at the most senior levels. Among them: reinstating the Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria as one of the top paediatric institutions in the world; introducing a radical new clinical management model that has been widely introduced across Australia; multi-million dollar expansions of health organisations; Chair of the Health Insurance Commission; advising the World Bank and consulting to governments in Australia and overseas, particularly in the Middle East, Pakistan and South-east Asia.

In 2000 Dr Catchlove, as the new President of the Medical Graduates Association, began transforming the MGA into a dynamic and high achieving organisation.

He strengthened its links with the Faculty of Medicine, the University’s Medical Foundation, the Medical Society and the School of Public Health; initiated continuing education opportunities for medical alumni; presided over the redesign and significant outreach of the alumni magazine, Radius; initiated dedicated overseas and Australian study tours for medical alumni and encouraged links with overseas alumni.

Reunions, recognition of eminent alumni, networking events for new and international alumni, all rose to new heights under Dr Catchlove’s leadership. He considers his most important achievement to be the establishment of alumni-supported scholarships for medical students experiencing financial hardship. Responding to a medical student survey highlighting the problem, the Medical Graduates Association raised through alumni an initial $150,000 to support seven annual scholarships named after prominent alumni.

Dr Catchlove has also made a significant contribution to the University’s Medical Foundation through his active membership of the Foundation’s Council and Executive Committee from 2001 to 2007. In addition, he sits on the Appeal Advisory Committee for the Foundation’s Healthy Futures for Young People Appeal which will support the establishment of a Chair in Adolescent Medicine at the University of Sydney and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Over the years Dr Catchlove expanded his interest in alumni affairs across the University and in January 2006 he was elected President of the University of Sydney Alumni Council.

His election to this position provided a driving force behind the transition of the then Standing Committee of Convocation, into a vibrant, effective and high-profile volunteer committee. He was responsible for its renaming as the Alumni Council, in order to ensure its relevance and increase its visibility across the alumni population.

Dr Catchlove led the Alumni Council’s first strategic planning workshop in March 2006, an initiative which spearheaded the development of a new mission and vision for the Alumni Council.

Today, as the peak alumni body of the University, the Council plays a central role in building a life-long partnership between the University and its alumni, commencing as undergraduates, to reach, engage and represent them in the life and work of the University.

Under Dr Catchlove’s leadership, the Alumni Council provides a representative and independent voice to the University Senate, has established strong and ever-developing links between the University and its 45 alumni associations and chapters, and supports and nurtures these associations and the Alumni Relations Office, in their many endeavours.

The vision, enthusiasm and energy with which Dr Catchlove has led the Alumni Council have helped enhance awareness of alumni and their importance to the University of Sydney community. There can be no doubt that Dr Catchlove’s efforts have contributed significantly to enhancing the prestige and importance of alumni throughout the entire University community, and to opening up the University community to the potential inherent in the active engagement of alumni with the University.

Deputy Chancellor, I present Dr Barry Rex Catchlove for the conferring of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.