Professor Fiona Bull, Director of The University of Western Australia's Centre for the Built Environment and Health, was this week presented with her MBE in London by HRH Prince William.
Professor Bull's appointment as Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for Services to Public Health was announced in June as part of the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours.
Awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community, the MBE recognises her long-standing commitment and tireless work towards increasing physical activity levels to benefit public health.
Professor Bull, an internationally recognised expert and advisor to the World Health Organisation, said she was very humbled to receive the award.
"It was a complete surprise but welcome recognition of the importance of research into the promotion of healthy active living and the extensive work of many colleagues with whom I collaborate around the world," she said.
Professor Bull said Prince William was very interested in physical activity and concerned about the need to increase participation post-2012 Olympics.
"He was incredibly charming and well briefed he even asked if we were well funded for research in this area and regretfully I had to indicate we were not."
After working in the UK between 2004 and 2009, Professor Bull returned to UWA's School of Population Health. In 2011 she became Director of the Centre for Built Environment for Health, combining her international research and focus on promotion of physical activity as a leading way to reduce risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Professor Bull has led world leading research on how city planning can influence healthy behaviours like walking and cycling, playing sports and active recreation. Award winning projects include POS Tool and Health Active by Design. Both projects were recognised by the Planning Industry of Australia in 2013 and 2014.
She recently moved to the Faculty of Science to strengthen links between sports science and human geography while advancing the study of ‘geo-health' a multidisciplinary field of study combining health, demographics and geography.
Currently President of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH), she is senior advisor to the World Health Organisation and member of the working party of the WHO Commission on Childhood Obesity.
She led the development of the National Policy on physical activity ("Start Active Stay Active" launched 2011); the ‘Toronto Charter for Physical Activity: A Global Call for Action' and ‘NCD Prevention: Seven Investments that work for physical activity'. These have been influential reports in the global agenda and research translation.