Dr Brendan Nelson first met Dr Bruce Shepherd through the late Dr Michael Wertheimer, who described Brendan as, ‘a young snoozer who was showing some good form down here (as President of the Tasmanian branch of the AMA).’ Their first meeting saw Brendan express disapproval of some of the positions Dr Shepherd had taken, whereupon Dr Shepherd supported Dr Nelson’s election to Vice President of the Federal AMA (the first Vice President of the AMA to hold office without having held any prior federal office).

Brendan’s natural talent for communication is self-evident. He has achieved high public office, as a Federal Minister, Leader of the Federal Opposition, Australian Ambassador to the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg, Australian Special Representative to NATO, and Director of the Australian War Memorial.

Listening, consulting, seeking to understand, Brendan is always able to articulate, both to his profession and to the wider public, what needs to be done to make things better. Throughout his entire career, Brendan has remained true to the principles of independent medicine, genuine in friendship, intellectually honest and willing to sacrifice himself for others. Dr Shepherd described Dr Nelson as, ‘An outstanding representative of our noble profession.’

Brendan is a worthy recipient of the Bruce Shepherd Medal for Distinguished Service to Independent Medicine.