Community stalwart Bill Bowtell has been honoured with an Order of Australia this Australia Day.

Bowtell trained as a diplomat, with postings in Portugal, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe.

As senior adviser to the Australian health minister, he played a significant role in the introduction of the Medicare health insurance system (1984). He was an architect of Australia’s successful and well-regarded response to HIV/AIDS.

Between 1994 and 1996, Bowtell was senior political adviser to the Prime Minister of Australia.

He maintains a close interest in the potential impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the other communicable diseases, on the social, economic and political development of the Asia Pacific region.

From 2005 to May 2011, Bill was Director of the HIV/AIDS Project at the Lowy Institute for International Policy and, since 2009, has been the Executive Director of Pacific Friends of the Global Fund, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In these positions, he has sought to increase knowledge and awareness of the challenges posed globally, and to the Pacific region, by the three diseases. He has written and broadcast extensively on these subjects and participated in many international and Australian conferences and seminars especially in relation to HIV/AIDS.


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