Emeritus Professor Holman retired as UWA's first professor of public health on 30 September 2014, after a career spanning 41 years as an epidemiologist, public health physician and law graduate whose work has spanned leadership positions across the academic, government, community and private sectors. In 1994, he moved from a senior executive post in government to full-time academia as the Foundation Professor of Public Health at The University of Western Australia. He subsequently built a reputation as a researcher who made a difference. Over the years his team at UWA budded off 13 professors from among its PhDs and post-doctoral fellows. In 2006, he received the Sidney Sax Public Health Medal, Australia’s highest professional award for lifetime achievement in his field. He is also the recipient of the inaugural Cancer Council WA Career Achievement Award and a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to medicine in the fields of epidemiology and public health.
Professor Holman is a public health research strategist and methodologist who has published extensively in high impact journals. Much of his work has been concerned with evaluations of health services delivery, organisation and effectiveness.
Awarded some $65 million in competitive research funding as a chief investigator. These include several large NHMRC program grants, many NHMRC project grants and a WA-Based Centre of Excellence grant.
CIA on an extended five-year NHMRC Project Grant ranked in category 7, ‘highest international quality and research performance’, which required every panel member to assign 7/7 independently. Numerous other NHMRC project and program grants, including many NHMRC project grants ranked in category 6.
CIA on Australia’s first and most productive five-year NHMRC Population Health Research Capacity Building Grant of $3.0 million (2003-2007). Its team investigators generated 319 publications, 213 conference papers and 106 further research grants.
CIA on a $2.1 million five-year Centre of Excellence in Science and Innovation awarded by the WA Government. In its first three years (2006-2008), the Centre published 192 peer-reviewed journal articles and attracted $50.6 million in out-of-state research revenue.
CIA on $2.2 million NHMRC Partnership Grant (2011-2014) to conduct a cluster randomised trial of interventions to improve cancer outcomes in rural Australia.
Director, Health Promotion Development and Evaluation Program, Departments of Public Health and Management, The University of Western Australia, 1992-1994.
Assistant Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Program Development and Commissioner’s Special Consultant, Health Department of Western Australia, 1988-1991.
Director of Epidemiology, Health Department of Western Australia, 1984-1988.
Medical Officer of Health, Executive Branch, Public Health Department of Western Australia, 1983-1984.
Coordinator, Western Australian Lions Melanoma Research Project, 1980-1982.
Resident Medical Officer, Royal Perth Hospital, 1979.
Instigated and led the world-class Western Australian Data Linkage System for the first 12 years of its history (1995-2006) – now an international icon in population heath research infrastructure. Brokered and led Australia’s first comprehensive cross-jurisdictional linkage of Commonwealth and State health data: although now overtkaen by more recent developments, this was the first time since federation that more than a decade of government health data for a single Australian state were linked at the individual level to provide a complete picture of health system performance. Established the Family Connections Genealogical Database to support genetic research in 2002. Consultant on establishing the Centre for Health Record Linkage in New South Wales in 2005 and on the recent $20 million NCRIS-funded roll-out of a national network of data linkage facilities, all of which are modeled on the WA system.
Instigator and Chair of an inter-faculty Task Force to develop an undergraduate degree program in Health Science at UWA. Chaired the Health Science Program Committee from 2000.
Professor Holman, his research coworkers and students have published extensively in epidemiology, health services research, health program evaluation, and the prevention and treatment of chronic and communicable diseases.