Professor Basil Hetzel, AC
13 June 1922 – 4 February 2017

Basil and his wife Anne have worshipped at Pilgrim Uniting Church for many years, and enjoyed being part of the 8am community.

In his professional career, Basil was an Australian medical researcher. In the 1960s, Basil worked in remote areas of Papua New Guinea, and his research concluded that the endemic goitre and associated cretinism was attributable to an iodine deficient diet. He identified the link between iodine deficiency and significant brain damage in unborn children, and demonstrated that dietary supplementation would entirely prevent these illnesses.

Professor Hetzel was the first Professor of Medicine at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

In the 1980s Basil, became an international advocate for iodine supplementation, which is now taken for granted with iodinated table salt in more than 70% of households worldwide. Many countries have now legislated that salt for human and animal consumption must be iodised. Much of this success has been attributed to Basil's indefatigable dedication to elimination of iodine deficiency disorders.

In 2001, the Governor of SA, Sir Eric Neal, formally named the research activities at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital as 'The Basil Hetzel Institute for Medical Research (BHI)', in honour of one of Australia's 'masters of medicine'. A $19 million purpose-built research facility, located opposite the main campus of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital was in 2010 renamed the 'Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research' to reflect the close clinical research focus at the BHI.

In 2010, the Basil Hetzel International Award for Communications was established for individuals who contribute to promoting awareness of iodine nutrition.

In 2015, Basil was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Adelaide.

Condolences to Anne, and the extended Hetzel and Fisher families. Basil's funeral was held at Pilgrim, on Thursday 9th February, 2017.