Medal of Order of Australia: Tissa Wijeratne

Tissa Wijeratne was recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to medicine as a neurologist.

Currently chair of the Department of Neurology at Western Health, Tissa is a Professor in Neurology and clinical Associate Professor in Medicine at Western Health Clinical School.

Tissa’s career has been truly stellar, full of groundbreaking achievements and world-firsts.

During the first 18 months of the global pandemic, while practising clinically at Western Health, Tissa identified and named “Post Covid-19 Neurological Syndrome” as a new and distinct syndrome. This syndrome is now known globally as “long COVID”. Tissa also completed a world-first PhD on the effects of long COVID on brain health.

In 2016 Tissa became the first Sri Lankan-born neurologist to lead an academic neurology department in Australia, and he is the first ever visiting Professor of Neurology to be appointed to a Sri Lankan University, with appointments as Visiting Professor of Neurology at Rajarata University, Sri Lanka and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya.

Tissa has published more than 3000 print and radio segments as a medical journalist, and has appeared on national radio and television in Sri Lanka and Australia. Tissa was the lead contributor for the World Brain Day education material which was distributed throughout the world in early July 2014 and he continues to publish public health education materials globally through World Brain Day in collaboration with the World Federation of Neurology.

Tissa’s research, public health education and clinical practice save and improve peoples’ lives throughout Melbourne’s west, and around the world and we couldn’t be prouder to have him here at Western Health.

Please join me in congratulating Tissa for his thoroughly deserved inclusion in the prestigious Honours List. Even more importantly, let’s thank Tissa for his extraordinary contribution to Western Health, to global neurology and to our understanding and treatment of COVID-19.

Adjunct Professor Shane Crowe
Acting Chief Executive Officer