College Fellows recognised in 2017 Queen's Birthday honours

Sector news
13 June 2017

Dr Jill McIlraith awarded MNZM for services to women and health

Dr McIlraith, who became a Distinguished Fellow of the College in 2016, has been recognised for her services to health and women  as a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

The Dunedin GP and sexual health doctor moved to Dunedin from South Africa in 1987.  She soon began working in the Southern DHB’s sexual health clinic where she still works as clinical leader for the sexual health service and clinical advisor for the DHB’s sexual abuse assessment and treatment service.  She also serves on the Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care’s 24 hour roster and has been a sexual health educator to numerous groups.  

In 1991, along with three fellow female GPs, Dr McIlraith opened the city’s first all-female practice, Aurora Medical centre in South Dunedin, as few practices at that time offered a good balance between work and family. She has a long record of service with the College, including being a general practice registrar teacher for 20 years.

A former journalist, Dr McIlraith says being a GP combined her people and communication skills with medicine.  “You never know what you’re going to do each day; some people hate that, but there wasn’t much that you couldn’t throw at me after working for five years as a journalist in South Africa,” she says. 
Major Charmaine Tate awarded a New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration for services to NZ Defence Force

New Zealand Army doctor, Major Tate’s diverse and illustrious career has included several tours in Afghanistan and she has given humanitarian aid in natural disasters around the world.  In 2009, she received a US Navy and Marine Cops Commendation medal for saving the life of a U.S. Marine who was severely injured in an explosive breaching exercise.   She said she was glad to be “in the right place at the right time to be able to contribute to a good outcome for the young Marine.” 

Major Tate served as a medical officer in East Timor and did several Afghanistan tours as Regimental Medical officer for the 1NZSAS regiment from 2004 until 2013.  She has been dedicated to supporting Defence Force personnel and their families, especially those who have served in the Special Forces suffering from deployment-related illnesses.

Involvement in natural disasters has included being part of the New Zealand medical team deployed to Sumatra to respond to the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean.  Major Tate commanded the Urban Search and Rescue medical teams following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.  Later that year she was sent to Japan to assist after the Great North-Eastern Japanese earthquake.

Based in Auckland, Major Tate was awarded Fellowship of the College in 2014.