International role for ARPANSA deputy


Brendon Hammer congratulates Gillian Hirth. Image: Twitter.

The deputy chief executive of Australia’s radiation safety regulator has been elected as chair of a United Nations scientific committee.

Dr Gillian Hirth will chair the UN body that considers the potential dangers of atomic radiation, UNSCEAR, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency proudly announced this week.

Hirth is ARPANSA’s head of radiation health services as well as its deputy CEO. She will chair the UN committee’s 66th and 67th sessions in 2019 and 2020.  She took over the role in June from Dr Hans Vanmarcke of the Nuclear Research Centre in Belgium.

Her ARPANSA colleagues congratulated her in a public statement and said the appointment recognised her expertise and leadership in radiation health, and Australia’s international contributions to nuclear science.

“Gillian has been involved with the Committee since 2012 and previously served as the Committee’s Rapporteur in 2017 and 2018.

“UNSCEAR is a world authority on the effects of ionising radiation on human health and the environment. The committee meets annually to assess and report on the effects of exposure to ionising radiation on human health and the environment as well as reviewing evidence of radiation-induced health effects around the globe.

“The assessments made by UNSCEAR are used as the scientific basis for evaluating radiation risk and establishing protective measures globally and are used for formulating international standards designed to protect both the general public and workers from ionising radiation. Australia has been a member of the Committee since it was founded in 1955.

Hirth was also congratulated on her election by Brendon Hammer, who is Australia’s ambassador to Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Hungary, Kosovo, Slovakia & Slovenia

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