2016 Senior Australian Of The Year Speaks Out On Booze And Violence

26/01/2016 10:53 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: 2016 Senior Australian of the Year Professor Gordian Fulde during the Australian of The Year Awards 2016 at Parliament House on January 25, 2016 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Martin Ollman/Getty Images)

Senior Australian of the Year Professor Gordian Fulde has hit out at the scourge of alcohol-fueled violence, saying big change needs to be made on the issue across the nation.

Fulde is the head of Sydney's St Vincent Hospital's emergency department where he has worked for more than three decades, making him the longest serving ED head in the country.

St Vincent's emergency department sees patients from Sydney's nightlife precincts, including Kings Cross, and treats a large number of of bashing victims as well as drug affected and homeless people.

Fulde has been a big supporter of the NSW Government's tough alcohol lockout laws, which he says have dented the number of patients presenting at the hospital with alcohol-related injuries.

Speaking on Tuesday, Fulde said he would use 2016 to encourage action on booze-fueled violence.

"Australia has led the way on these things and I think it's about time ... that society, individuals say this is not a good look," he told ABC television.

"We don't need to be drunk, injured, are fighting, whatever, spoiling it for everybody else around us because we are just obnoxious because we have had a few drinks.

"My mission along with everybody else and things, but basically is to put it out there so people can decide we need some change."

Fulde is one of around 800 Aussies to be awarded Australia Day Honours this year.

Former Army chief David Morrison is the 2016 Australian of the Year, with the list also including sportspeople, scientists, artists and community leaders.

Fulde described himself as overwhelmed at being named the 2016 Australian Senior of the Year.

In the position, Fulde is in an ideal position to speak out about the impact of alcohol on emergency wards.

He recently told The Huffington Post Australia that new research showed late-night injuries decreased when Sydney's controversial pub and club lockout laws were put in place.

"In my concept of it, it made fewer people who were totally out of control drunk be on the footpath and that means there were less cranky, hot-and-bothered, people all tightly jammed up," he said at the time.

"The package (has) worked in Kings Cross and the city."

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