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Basil Hetzel
, 2007-2008

by Mark Kimber

inkjet print (sheet: 103.5 cm x 111.7 cm, image: 80.0 cm x 80.0 cm)

Basil Hetzel AC (1922-2017), medical scientist, came to South Australia as a three year old and was educated - like Nobel Prize winners William Lawrence Bragg, Howard Florey and Robin Warren - at St Peter's College and the University of Adelaide. After training in medicine at the University of Adelaide in the 1940s, he held research fellowships in London and Cornell in the 1950s, developing the interest in the endocrine system which was henceforth his major research preoccupation. Returning to South Australia, he joined the medicine department of the University of Adelaide in 1958 and was its Mitchell Professor of Medicine from 1964 to 1968. That year he became Foundation Professor of Social and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, a position he held for seven years. He was Chief of the Division of Human Nutrition at CSIRO from 1975 to 1985. Since 2001 he has been Chairman of the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, of which body he was Executive Director from 1986 to 1995. He was Lieutenant Governor of the State of South Australia from 1992 to 2000; during this period he was awarded the RSL's ANZAC Peace Prize and became Chairman of the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre. He was declared a Living National Treasure in 2004. He has written a number of books about iodine deficiency disorders and an autobiography, Chance and Commitment: Memoirs of a Medical Scientist (2006).

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Commissioned with funds provided by Mrs Diana Ramsay AO 2008
Accession number: 2008.3