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Curtin sexology expert receives Order of Australia award

Media release

Associate Professor Rosemary Coates from Curtin University’s School of Public Health has received one of Australia’s highest honours by being appointed an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia.

Associate Professor Coates, from South Perth, was one of 439 Australians recognised on the 2012 Australia Day Honours list. She has been acknowledged for her distinguished service to the community in the field of reproductive and sexual health, and to medical education and research.

Associate Professor Coates has dedicated her life to sexual health and medical ethics with over three decades of experience in the teaching and research arena. She is currently the President of the World Association of Sexology.

In 1978 she developed and introduced the sexology teaching and research program at Curtin University. Her areas of expertise include general medical ethical issues and ethics in sexual issues including research, human sexual rights and sexual slavery.

Associate Professor Coates is a technical advisor on three World Health Organisation (WHO) working groups, where she reviews and provides advice about sexual health.

She has also held various committee positions at Curtin, including Chair of the Curtin University Ethics Committee, a position she held for eight years.

Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Health Sciences Professor Jill Downie said she is immensely proud of Professor Coates’ exceptional achievement.

“Her long-term contribution to sexology and medical ethics both nationally and internationally makes her Order of Australia award richly deserved,” Professor Downie said.

Associate Professor Coates said that she was surprised and both humbled and honoured by the prestigious accolade.

“The Order of Australia award is extremely special and I want to thank everyone who has supported me over the years.”

The Australian honours system represents the highest level of recognition accorded by our nation for outstanding achievement and service.


Kristy Jones, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 9085, Mobile: 0401 103 877, Email: