Professor David Henderson-Smart AO

photo of david henderson-smart


It is with great sadness that The Cochrane Collaboration announces the death of our colleague and friend, David Henderson-Smart, on Thursday, 7 February 2013. Our thoughts and condolences are with David’s family, friends and colleagues in Australia and around the world.

David’s career in neonatal medicine was long and distinguished, including appointments as Director of Neonatal Intensive Care at King George V Memorial Hospital in Sydney and Chair of Neonatal Medicine at the University of Sydney. He received numerous awards for his work, including the Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ Howard Williams Medal, the Women’s Healthcare Australasia Medal, and the Order of Australia. His involvement in The Cochrane Collaboration dates back to the organization’s earliest days and was active and varied, including authorship of some 40 Cochrane Reviews and many years’ service as an Editor of the Neonatal Review Group. He also served as the Collaboration's Publication Arbiter for five years, as well as stints on the Renal Review Group’s Advisory Board and the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group. Iain Chalmers, one of The Cochrane Collaboration’s founding members, recalls David’s “crucial role in helping to achieve respect for the Collaboration’s mission and methods.”

David’s colleagues remember him as a “wonderful and generous mentor”; a source of “unfailing support for young clinicians and researchers”; and “always up for anything that was going to genuinely improve perinatal care and perinatal research”. He served on various advisory committees for Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council; was a founding member of the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network; and the lead Australian investigator for the SEA-ORCHID Project, an initiative focused on capacity building for evidence-based health care in South East Asia.

David’s contributions to perinatal care span four decades, and his involvement in evidence-based health care nearly twenty years. His focus, generosity and enthusiasm will be sorely missed throughout the Cochrane community.

A memorial ceremony to honour David has been announced:

Thursday, 11 April 2013; 10:00 am
Great Hall, Sydney University

A web page has been created for people to express condolences, recount memories and share photographs, at the link provided below.

Contributor's Information
Contributor's name: 
Cochrane Web Team
Email address: 
techsupport@cochrane.org
Updated on: March 8, 2013, 8:01