David Watters was appointed to the role of Director of Surgery at Safer Care Victoria (SCV) in July 2022 to lead a Perioperative Learning Health Network within the Centres of Clinical Excellence Program. He is committed to improving perioperative care before, during and after surgery and working with all the disciplines involved across the whole patient journey. He has just completed a three-year term as Chair of the inaugural Victorian Perioperative Consultative Council (2019 -2022) but will continue to support the VPCC in his new role. He is a Past President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (2015- 2016), having spent nine years on their Council from 2007.
Since 2000, he has been Professor of Surgery for Barwon Health and the University Hospital Geelong, initially with the University of Melbourne (2000-2010), before then Deakin University opened its own Graduate Medical School in Western Victoria (2011-). He is a general surgeon with interests in general, colorectal and endocrine surgery but also actively engaged in advocating for global surgery, having spent almost 20 years in developing countries including Papua New Guinea (Professor of Surgery, 1992-2000), Hong Kong (1991), Zambia (1985-90) and South Africa (1982-84). He is an Edinburgh University graduate, and in addition to the FRACS, a fellow of the Edinburgh, Hong Kong, and East Central and Southern Africa Colleges of Surgeons, a Life Member of the Medical Society of Papua New Guinea (2017) and Honorary Member of the Asian Surgical Association (2015). His research interests include surgical audit and performance, surgical outcomes, perioperative mortality, surgical history and global health. He has over 200 peer reviewed publications, and he has published 6 books, four on clinical care and two on surgical history: Stitches in Time – Two centuries of Surgery in Papua New Guinea (Xlibris, 2012) and Anzac Surgeons of Gallipoli (RACS 2015). In recognition of his contribution to surgery and surgical training in PNG he was awarded the OBE (2012). Within the Order of Australia, he was awarded the AM for “significant service to Medicine and Medical Education and Leadership Roles with Professional Organisations” (2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours.) Deakin University appointed him the title of Alfred Deakin Professor in August 2016. He is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow (Port Moresby, 2000), on the Editorial Board for the World Journal of Surgery, and a Senior Editor for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery.