Associate Professor Peter Holmes awarded prestigious Thoracic Society medal



Associate Professor Peter Holmes, former Deputy Director of Monash Lung and Sleep, was recently awarded the prestigious Society Medal by the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand at their 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting held in Canberra.

The medal recognises the outstanding contribution A/Prof Holmes has made to respiratory medicine throughout his long and distinguished career.

A/Prof Holmes has worked as a respiratory physician in Melbourne for over forty years, holding leadership positions in various Melbourne hospitals. He has served as Deputy Director at Monash Lung and Sleep for over twenty years and in private practice as Director of the Southern Region Respiratory Service.

He has held leading roles in the Lung Foundation Australia, Asthma Victoria, WorkCover and advising the Victorian State government.

Director Monash Lung and Sleep Professor Phil Bardin said that A/Prof Holmes’ is well known for his commitment to mentoring and teaching the next generation.

“He demonstrates exceptional leadership in training medical students, RACP trainees, general practitioners, and respiratory physician colleagues,” Prof Bardin said.

“Scores of respiratory physicians in Australia now model their clinical practice on the example mentored to them by Peter Holmes when they were trainees and junior physicians.

“He is well regarded for providing entertaining, practical and extremely well-received lectures and workshops about respiratory medicine topics to successive generations of general practitioners in Melbourne,” Prof Bardin said.

A/Prof Holmes early training and experience was eventful. He graduated from Monash University in 1968 with MBBS and spent his early years as a graduate at Prince Henry’s Hospital in Melbourne.

In 1970 he was conscripted into the army and served in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps as Area Medical Officer, Pacific Islands Regiment, Lae in Papua New Guinea. On his return to Australia in 1972 he again worked at Prince Henry’s Hospital and also at the Queen Victoria Hospital.

A/Prof Holmes initial training in respiratory medicine was at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital in Melbourne for two years. As a bright young registrar Peter secured a position as senior house officer in the Professorial Unit at the Brompton Hospital in London where he was awarded a prestigious Wellcome Traveling Scholarship.

Returning to Melbourne in 1979 A/Prof Holmes held appointments as a respiratory physician at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Prince Henry’s Hospital and the Alfred Hospital. As hospitals in Melbourne were demolished, moved and amalgamated, Peter consolidated his respiratory practice in the southern suburbs.

In 2001 he was appointed as an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Monash University.
A/Prof Holmes was a board member of Asthma Victoria and provided important leadership through his membership of their Medical and Scientific Sub-committee from 1977 to 1988.

Following a disturbing peak in asthma deaths in Victoria due to ambulance delays in the late 1980s, A/Prof Holmes and others were invited by the Health Minister at the time, the Hon Marie Tehan MP, to form the Victorian Government Ministerial Asthma Working Party to advise the minister about asthma management in Victoria.

Peter was the inaugural Victorian Branch Chair of the Australian Lung Foundation from 1990 until 2013 and was a member of the Federal Council during this period.