FORMER Bendigo man Ian Baldwin thought it was a joke when he was told he was named a member of the Order of Australia medal (AM).
"I originally received the email notification on April 1, and honestly I thought it was a friend playing an April Fools joke," Professor Baldwin said.
"That's something they would do, so I didn't respond to it until I received a phone call in May from the office for the Governor General.
"I immediately thought of the email and it all hit me pretty quickly from then."
Born and raised in Bendigo, Prof. Baldwin began his career in nursing, but he wasn't just interested in that field.
"I changed across to nursing eventually, but I have always had an interest in machines and actually started studying mechanical engineering," he said.
"As a young guy I did a lot of work with my dad fixing cars so when I saw a dialysis therapy machine, I immediately thought it was exciting and interesting."
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Prof. Baldwin completed his nurses training at Bendigo Base Hospital before moving to Melbourne and the then Prince Henry's Hospital in 1987.
"I started my career in a regional city, and although this had career limitations, I met people who quickly suggested I should move on to advanced training in Melbourne and meet the leaders there," he said.
"After this challenge was met, I consolidated with experience in Perth, WA, but from my study soon appreciated the pleasure and reward helping people learn in a complex clinical environment such as an ICU," he said.
"The next journey back in Melbourne linked me with some of the best in acute medicine and their support and collaboration linked me to a future with more study, national and international contributions and affiliations and some great and original research."
Prof. Baldwin went on to complete his PhD where his specialised focus was people with kidney failure and need for ICU dialysis.
Since then, he has become a faculty member for IRRIV in Vicenza, Italy, Acute Dialysis Quality Initiative (ADQI) and CRRTonline.org in San Diego, USA.
He has also been received the Vicenza Award, an award for Best abstract presentation, an Australian Nursing Award in 2004 and post graduate research prizes for RMIT and La Trobe University.
But Prof. Baldwin said he is humbled by his AM nomination.
"To receive this award and honour is very meaningful to me as an Australian and after almost 40 years in public health, but I do avoid the spotlight," he said.
"I guess the Order of Australia Membership (AM) is an example of where hard work, study and collaboration can see small town things grow to big city, and National accolade."
Prof. Baldwin currently works as a Professor, educator and researcher at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne.
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