Understanding the traumas attached to high-risk pregnancy has been central to the work of Professor Rosalie Grivell (BMBS ’98), who has spent decades researching and working in maternal fetal medicine.
The clinical data Professor Grivell has produced and examined since graduating from a medical degree at Flinders University, has been vital in improving health outcomes for women, and her clinical and scientific expertise has also been highly influential in reforming abortion legislation in South Australia.
Presenting evidence-based clarity to the enflamed abortion debate was a test of mettle for Professor Grivell, but as an expert in her field of medicine, she was willing to stand up for her patients and their right to better care, and advocate for the decriminalisation of abortion.
Without the input of medical evidence and data presented by Professor Grivell and an expert multi-disciplinary team, she doubts that the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2020 would have passed through South Australia’s Parliament.
“It was crucial that everyone examining this issue understood the emotional toll on women and their families through high risk pregnancies and their often-tragic outcomes,” she says. “It is an area I feel very passionately about, and I consider it a great privilege to have been able to present on behalf of all who have been impacted and might be in the future.”
This landmark achievement represents only a fraction of her work. Professor Grivell is Matthew Flinders Fellow in Maternal Fetal Medicine at Flinders University and works as a consultant obstetrician and Maternal Fetal Medicine subspecialist at Flinders Medical Centre, resulting in careful balancing of clinical work, education and research.
From March 2020 to July 2022 she was also Director of the Flinders Medical Program, inspiring innovative teaching to enhance student experiences in medical education. This role has proved especially challenging through the COVID-19 era, with significant changes to learning and teaching necessitated by restrictions and risk especially in the clinical environment. Professor Grivell notes that such swift reaction to the pandemic has created a momentum within the medical course that will ensure continued positive change.
For the sum of her work, Professor Grivell won the Australian Medical Association (SA) 2021 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Medicine, with particular reference to her influential advocacy that led to the overhaul of the State’s abortion laws.
“I am proud to have been able to advocate for such positive changes for women, our students, and the community more broadly.”
Professor Rosalie Grivell received a 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award for her distinguished contribution to medicine both as an educator and researcher in women’s health, and for her influential advocacy of South Australia’s abortion law. Read more on the Flinders University Alumni Awards