Em Prof Mike Daube AO has saved more lives than we can estimate because he had the guts and smarts to take on the big corporate interests that make money from selling cigarettes and too much alcohol – and he had more victories than anyone in the world. On the way he has been followed, spied on, attacked and sued, but WA has one of the lowest smoking rates in the OECD and alcohol consumption is dropping directly as a result of his work.
Now he is starting a “sort of” retirement after being West Australian of the Year 2018, and we at the AMA and in the community need to figure out how we will keep up his good work. It will take a team of passionate advocates who care more about others than themselves – the AMA should mentor and sponsor the next team of public health heroes to honour his work and build on his legacy.
Six month old Ava here has no idea who he is of course, but one day she will be grateful to grow up in a society where smoking is frowned upon and alcohol related damage is reducing.