Celebrating Surgical Research, Innovation and Quality Improvement

Dr Ray Hollings and his wife Beverly

The Northern Sydney Local Health District celebrated its first event for 2022 with the combined presentation of the Harry Cumberland Travelling Scholarship and the inaugural Ray Hollings Surgical Excellence Award.

Both awards have been established through generous philanthropic donations from the surgeons they are named after. They will be offered on an annual basis to provide support for research, innovation and quality improvement activity.

The event was jointly hosted by the Surgical Education Research & Training (SERT) Institute and the RNSH Department of Gastroenterology. A COVID safe plan was put into place to enable a limited number of consultants, VIPs, senior executives and the award finalists to attend in person with many more joining the event online.

NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox acknowledged the significant contribution both Dr Cumberland and Dr Hollings made throughout their extensive surgical careers across the Northern Sydney Local Health District, and appreciation for their ongoing support and generosity to enable these prestigious awards. 

“Congratulations to the successful recipients, I feel incredibly proud when I think about the capability here at Royal North Shore and across the district and to be able to acknowledge people with these two awards is really quite special”

NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox

Dr Bill Cumberland, son of the late Dr Harry Cumberland, and his wife Genevieve were in attendance to present the Travelling Scholarship while Dr Ray Hollings, wife Beverly and family joined in online. Mr Tevor Danos Chairman, NSLHD Board and Ms Alison Zecchin General Manager, RNSH presented the Surgical Excellence Award on their behalf.

Harry Cumberland Travelling Scholarship

Dr Geoffrey Wong was the recipient of the Travelling Scholarship for his study titled – Early recurrence after resection of colorectal liver metastases – clinical data to proteomic biomarker discovery. This work was done under the supervision of Professor Tom Hugh

Dr Krishna Kotecha was runner up finalist for his study titled – Propensity score analysis on pancreatoduodenectomy patients following neoadjuvant chemotherapy. This work was done under the supervision of Clinical Professor Jas Samra and Clinical Associate Professor Anubhav Mittal.

Ray Hollings Surgical Excellence Award

There were two recipients for the Ray Hollings award:

Dr Michael Symes – for the Spinal and Orthopaedic Research Epidemiology Database project

Dr David Marshman – for the Peri-operative blood product usage in RNSH cardiothoracic surgery

Dr Hollings congratulated the recipients of the award via video link from his home


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