On behalf of the Australian Thyroid Foundation (ATF), we would like to congratulate our Chief Medical Adviser, Professor Creswell Eastman AO, who was awarded an Office of the Order of Australia (AO) as part of this year's Australia Day Honours list.
Professor Eastman’s AO was presented for ‘Distinguished service to medicine, particular to the discipline of pathology, through leadership roles, medical education, and as a contributor to international public health projects.’
Beverley Garside – ATF CEO was honoured to be invited to give a recommendation from the Office of the Order of Australia on behalf of Professor Eastman.
Professor Eastman has always shown great support and interest in the ATF and in 1997 as Director of ICPMR at Westmead Hospital found office space within his department for the ATF to use, including all the facilities of the department. This was a most generous offer and helped the ATF to conduct its daily duties and hold regular committee meetings. The ATF office space continued until his retirement as Director in 2006.
Professor Eastman supported the work of the ATF and promoted the organisation by inviting prominent Endocrinologists and Endocrine Surgeons to become Medical Advisors of the ATF. In 1999 the ATF honoured Professor Eastman with the title of Patron for the vast contributions he had made, and continues to make to the ATF. This included his continued research into Iodine Deficiency and the connection of Thyroid Disorders affecting pregnant women. This research has both proven to improve outcomes for future generations of Australian children and the Asia Oceania region of the world.
Until recently Professor Eastman was the Director of ICCIDD for the Asia/Pacific region and the Chair of the ACCIDD. Both are respected as world authorities for Iodine Deficiency.
In 2003, Professor Eastman invited the ATF to be part of the National Iodine Nutrient Study (NINS) which showed 50% of 8-10 year old school children were mildly iodine deficient. Further studies also showed 50% of pregnant women were also mildly iodine deficient. This research proved that without a daily iodine intake, the pregnancy and the developing baby can be impaired. Further research has shown that an adequate thyroid hormone level during this time is also important to this group of women and their pregnancy.
Professor Eastman was instrumental in forming a committee, which the ATF was a member. This committee recommended The Food standards of Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) decision in October 2009 to introduce Mandatory Fortification of Iodised Salt into bread making to help overcome iodine deficiency in Australia.
From Professor Eastman research, The National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in January 2010 recommended all pregnant and breastfeeding women should ingest 250 mcgs of iodine daily through a pregnancy and breastfeeding supplement. Pregnant and breastfeeding women cannot possibly get the recommended daily intake of iodine from food alone, so it is essential that they take a supplement during this time.
Professor Eastman has conducted Iodine Deficiency Research, in Tibet, China, Thailand and many other countries of the Asia Oceania region which has shown outstanding results in overcoming iodine deficiency. Many governments of this region have ruled that all salt manufacture must include iodine. Salt is the simplest and cheapest form of iodisation, which all humans use in their daily life and has proven to overcome iodine deficiency, goitre and cretinism in this region.
In 2014 Professor Eastman was awarded the Health Promotion Princess Award by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand. The award was presented to Professor Eastman for his outstanding research outcomes which he had completed in Thailand and improved iodine deficiency outcomes in Thailand.
Professor Eastman is currently researching iodine deficiency and thyroid health outcomes in central Australia. This research is primarily looking at young Aboriginal women of childbearing years. This group of women usually do not have a substantial iodine enriched diet, which impacts on their health and their pregnancies. It also shows poor development and learning outcomes in their children. Iodine supplementation is being provided for this age group to assess and improve outcomes for future generations of children in this area.
In 1975, Professor Eastman was one of the founding fathers of the Asia Oceania Thyroid Association (AOTA), the regional thyroid medical association. The AOTA brings together thyroid specialists and other associated medical professionals from this region and other parts of the world. Professor Eastman was instrumental in ensuring the ATF was invited to be part of the AOTA.
As a Clinical Professor and part of the facility at Sydney University, Professor Eastman continues to teach Endocrinology to medical students of the university, with his passion, enthusiasm, and experience projecting onto his students.
As CEO of The Australian Thyroid Foundation, I cannot think of a more deserving person to receive this award and promotion within the Order of Australia. Professor Eastman has made a lifetime commitment and contribution to improving outcomes of future generations of Australians and the Asian Oceania Region, through his iodine deficiency and thyroid disease research. His commitment to ensuring future generations reach the potential they were intended through his contribution to research is outstanding.
On behalf of the ATF, I would like to congratulate Professor Eastman as I am sure all ATF members and supporters, many who have been under his care as their Thyroid Endocrinologist, will wish Professor Eastman the very best in receiving this reward from the Office of the Order of Australia.
ATF Chief Executive Officer