Dr Rodney Syme AM

Campaigner for voluntary assisted dying

VICNomineeSenior Australian of the Year2021

For more than 40 years, Dr Rodney Syme AM has challenged the laws on voluntary assisted dying.

Rodney has used media, parliamentary enquiries and seminars to help raise awareness about voluntary assisted dying – a cause rapidly gaining acceptance globally. With compassion and care, Rodney helped frame the successful legislation of voluntary assisted dying in Victoria in 2017 and Western Australia in 2020.

Rodney has counselled more than 2,000 patients, risking prosecution and his reputation by assisting terminally ill Australians who wish to die with dignity. His book ‘A Good Death’ recounts some of their stories. He also authored ‘Time to Die’, which argues for giving the right to assisted dying to those in unbearable pain.

Rodney was chair of the Victorian Section of the Urological Society of Australasia from 1990-92, and the Urology Study Group of the Cancer Council of Victoria from 1992-94. In 2017, he received the Australian Humanist of the Year Award.