Old Haileyburian Honoured

Haileybury’s annual Founders Day Assembly saw the 2018 Old Haileyburians Association (OHA) Medal posthumously awarded to motor neurone disease (MND) campaigner Dr Ian Davis (OH ’95).

The assembly marked 127 years since the School was founded in 1892 by Mr Charles Rendall.

From humble beginnings, Haileybury has grown into a large global school with campuses in Keysborough, Brighton, Berwick, Melbourne (City), Darwin and Beijing.

The annual Founders Day Assembly celebrates the School’s rich history and those who have made significant contributions to the Haileybury and greater communities.

Each year, the OHA enjoys appreciating and recognising former students who contribute to the community beyond expectation in their field of endeavour.

It was delighted to award the 2018 OHA medal to Dr Davis, who died last year.

Ian was just 33 when diagnosed with MND in 2011. He dedicated the rest of his life to improving awareness of the disease and raising critical dollars for research and drug development to find a cure.

Before his diagnosis, Ian worked in a haematology practice at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

He had completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Hons) at Monash University, a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons) with the University of Melbourne, and a Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery (BMBS Hons) with Flinders University.

Ian played a pivotal role when FightMND was established in 2014, after he retired due to his ailing health. He served as Foundation Chairman for three years and chaired the FightMND Cure subcommittee until July 2018.

Ian used his medical background and experience to provide the Foundation with significant knowledge and expertise to achieve positive progress in the quest to find a suitable MND treatment and cure.

Since FightMND’s inception, Ian’s tireless work, passion and commitment has impacted upon and inspired people affected by the fatal condition worldwide.

Among his many achievements was creating the first Australasian Motor Neurone Disease Symposium in March 2018. It attracted more than 400 delegates globally with the joint intent of creating a world free from MND.

Ian’s dedication to the cause continued until his final days, ensuring that others will continue to apply the same rigour in their pursuit of the most promising research.

FightMND has raised more than $30 million in four years.

The legacy Ian leaves will be profound, and everyone affected by MND—be they patients, families, carers or researchers—has a great deal to thank him for.

Ian’s wife, Dr Melissa Yang, accepted the OHA Medal on his behalf. It was a wonderful opportunity to share his story and achievements with current Haileybury students.