The Board of Directors of AIMSS from left to right are as follows: Dr Matthew Mac Partlin, Sam Michael, Garry Connelly (Chairman), Dr Michael Henderson, Andrew Papadopoulos, Mark Larkham, Dr Michelle Gatton.
The Australian Institute for Motor Sport Safety (AIMSS) is pleased to welcome Dr Matthew Mac Partlin as its newest Director, following the retirement of inaugural Chairman Dr Michael Henderson at the most recent board meeting in Sydney.
Dr Henderson, a CAMS Life Member and multiple CAMS award winner, was instrumental in the establishment of AIMSS in 2006, and thus helped to bring about important changes to motor sport safety here in Australia and around the world.
While Dr Henderson takes a well-deserved break from the AIMSS board, he certainly won’t be lost to motor sport, continuing his work with the Global Institute of Motor Sport Safety and still enjoying active club level competition.
Current AIMSS Chairman Garry Connelly thanked Dr Henderson for his service and dedication, as well as the important safety contributions he made to the industry – contributions that have no doubt saved countless lives.
“Dr Michael Henderson has been an outstanding contributor to motor sport safety for half a century,” Mr Connelly said.
“The significance of his work has been enormous. Michael has served not only Australian motor sport both as a doctor and as the first Chairman of AIMSS, he has also played a major role globally through his work at the FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety, where he was a Fellow, and then at the newly established Global Institute for Motor Sport Safety.
“Few people realise that he was the person who, following his experience with fighter planes, introduced the six point harness to racing cars, to prevent drivers from ‘submarining’ during a crash.
This followed the research he documented in his seminal 1968 book Motor Racing in Safety and was brought into further prominence through his work - including a prototype head restraint - with Ferrari and Pininfarina in designing the 1969 Sigma GP safety concept F1 car.
“Michael has always been a strong advocate for the correct fitting and use of harnesses and all other safety equipment, along with his extensive research work on injury statistics and biomechanics, hydration and other physiological parameters.”
Dr Henderson said he was proud of his achievements and was looking forward to the next chapter in AIMSS’ history.
“I leave AIMSS with regret, but time moves on and the organisation is in good safe hands,” Dr Henderson said.
“Motor sport gets better and more exciting all the time and AIMSS will continue its efforts to moderate the inevitable risk.
“Its research-based recommendations will help not only CAMS but also the whole FIA family to make the sport as safe as possible.”
Dr Mac Partlin joins AIMSS with a strong background in motor sport safety advocacy. He is currently a member of the National Medical Advisory Council for the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS), as well as deputy chief medical officer for Rally Australia and assistant chief medical officer for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix among other important roles in the industry, including working with the FIA.
Dr Mac Partlin regularly attends a number of events, with his experience highly sought after at Medical Centres both in Australia and around the world. He said he was excited about the opportunity that lay ahead.
"It is an honour to have been nominated and accepted as a member of the Board of Directors for an entity such as AIMSS,” Dr Mac Partlin said.
“And to have been nominated by someone with the pedigree of Dr Michael Henderson is particularly humbling. I hope that I can bring an equal passion and enthusiasm for the evolution of safety in motorsport and help to contribute to Australia's efforts in this regard.”
Mr Connelly added that everyone involved with AIMSS was looking forward to working with Dr Mac Partlin to continue the organisations important work.
“Our new director Dr Matthew Mac Partlin also has a medical background and brings to our board a commitment not only to medicine particularly in the trauma area, but also to motor sport through his many roles.”
Dr Mac Partlin joins fellow directors Dr Michelle Gatton, Mark Larkham, Sam Michael, Michael Myers, Andrew Papadopoulos and Chairman, Garry Connelly on the AIMSS Board.
AIMSS will shortly be announcing new research initiatives, updates on current projects and will be inviting CAMS members and motor sport stakeholders to submit suggestions and proposals for motor sport safety research projects to be initiated in 2018.