More professional recognition for lifestyle medicine pioneer

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Dr Darren Morton.

The developer of the only postgraduate course in lifestyle medicine in Australia and New Zealand is now recognised by his peers as a “change-maker.”

Associate Professor Darren Morton’s “significant and sustained effort” has earned him the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine’s inaugural Lifestyle Medicine Change-Maker Award.

Darren is founder of evidence-based wellbeing program The Lift Project—adopted by several local governments across Australia to enrich and improve the lives of their residents—author of two books and director of the Lifestyle Medicine and Health Research Centre at Avondale University College.

The award cites his “extensive” experience, “passion” for lifestyle medicine and “avid” contribution to the society’s conferences.

Darren received the award at the society’s virtual international conference in December, at which he served as one of the master of ceremonies. Friend Professor Garry Egger, who teaches into the course at Avondale, received the inaugural Pioneers of Lifestyle Medicine Award, the society’s highest.

The society describes its lifestyle medicine awards—there are five in total—as recognising “the enormous impact of [passionate and influential] leaders.”

Darren believes lifestyle medicine is the future of “true health care.” “You could more accurately label our approach to health care as ‘disease care’, but lifestyle medicine can change that and bring health, happiness and hope,” says Darren. “It’s a privilege to contribute to the cause.”

With a graduate certificate and a graduate diploma, Avondale offers the only postgraduate-level qualifications in lifestyle medicine in Australia and New Zealand.