Medical Alumni Association - , January

Medical Alumni Association
e-Newsletter, January 2013
Dear Colleagues
Welcome to the newsletter for January 2013.
Please note that nominations for Sydney Medical School Alumni Awards close soon. We are
also keen to hear from alumni who would like to become members of the Medical Alumni
Association Council, which will hold its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 28 February.
We would appreciate receiving notes from you about our alumni and their activities. Please
send any suggestions you have for the content of future monthly newsletters.
The sections are:
1. Alumni news - Sydney Medical School Alumni Awards; Medical Alumni Association AGM
on 28 February; internships; death of Professor Gavin Mooney
2. Forthcoming events - book launch on biography of Eddie Hirst; Rare Books exhibition
3. University and Sydney Medical School (SMS) news: Alzheimer's disease - neuroscience
detectives at work! (see 3.5 below); selecting medical students
4. History of medicine - First Tuesday History of Medicine Club; Quarantine Station Lecture
5. Reunions - report on 1951 Reunion Lunch
6. Death notices and obituaries - death of Professor Richard Gye AO, first full-time Dean of
Sydney Medical School
7. Updating your University records.
1. Alumni news
1.1 Sydney Medical School Alumni Awards
Nominations are now open for the 2013 Alumni Awards. Please read the submission
guidelines for the awards and medals so that you can provide the required details and
supporting documentation. Applications that provide all documentation are more likely to be
successful. (Please note online nominations may not be saved and returned to at a later
The University of Sydney Alumni Awards recognise the following categories:
Alumni Award for Community Achievement
Recognises the personal contributions that alumni have made to the enrichment of
Australian Society through their community service.
Alumni Award for International Achievement
Recognises the personal contributions that alumni who reside overseas have made to the
enrichment of international society through their community or professional service.
Alumni Award for Professional Achievement
Recognises outstanding achievements of alumni in their professional field.
Young Alumni Award for Achievement
Recognises outstanding achievements made by alumni aged 30 and younger to the
University, local, Australian or international communities.
Graduates and postgraduates have made the most extraordinary contributions to the
University, to their local communities and on the international stage. The Medical Alumni
Association would like to acknowledge these remarkable achievements by introducing
Sydney Medical School awards in these categories. The medical alumni awards will
complement those awards already established by the University. All medical alumni award
recipients will be entered into the nomination process for the University of Sydney Alumni
Please see all details at the link:
1.2 Medical Alumni Association Council
The Medical Alumni Association Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, 28
February 2013. We are keen to hear from alumni who would like to become members of the
MAA Council.
1.3 Featured alumni of the month
Cate Storey (1972), President of the Medical Alumni Association, has suggested that we
begin to publish interesting stories about our alumni whose lives and achievements are often
not widely known.
Please send your comments and stories to Paul Lancaster (see email address below). The
following story about Ian Johnston was initially submitted for Radius. Another version of Ian's
career and interests was published in Radius in July 2012.
Ian Johnston AM (formerly at RAHC, RPAH and Children's Hospital at Westmead)
Now described as ‘an independent scholar pursuing a lifelong passion for ancient
languages’, Ian Johnston has achieved the ‘status of a world-class translator’ of works in
Classic Greek and Chinese.
Born in Sydney, Ian moved when he was 12 with his family to London where he did his
secondary schooling. Perhaps taking a path more akin to what some local students here
might have done around the time Sydney Medical School began in the 1880s, he then
decided to go to St Andrew’s University in Scotland, where he completed a BSc with firstclass honours in anatomy. He graduated in medicine in 1965, gaining the prize for ‘most
distinguished graduate of the year’.
After residencies back in Australia for a few years, his main clinical training in neurosurgery
was in Glasgow at the Institute of Neurological Sciences, followed by several years in
Toronto and London in Canada.
He returned to Sydney in 1974 when he was appointed as neurosurgeon at the Royal
Alexandra Hospital for Children and RPAH, later moving to the Children’s Hospital at
Westmead. Numerous articles on the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, and his MD from the
University of Dundee in 1992, culminated in the book The pseudotumor cerebri syndrome,
co-authored with fellow-neurosurgeons Brian Owler at Westmead and John Pickard,
Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Cambridge, and published in 2007. Aptly,
several of his journal articles described case reports, diagnosis and management of the vein
of Galen malformation!
Ian also held an academic position in the University of Sydney’s Department of Surgery. In
2000, he was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) ‘for service to medicine in the field of
neurosurgical research, particularly the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, and to postgraduate
and undergraduate training.’
Ian’s passion as a linguist, initially in Chinese and later in Classic Greek and Latin, led to two
separate PhDs, the first from the University of Sydney for Chinese translations and the
second from the University of New England (UNE) for his thesis Galen on the classification
and causation of diseases!
After retiring from clinical practice in 1999, Ian - perhaps with pleasurable recollections of
climate and environment of his university days at St Andrew’s - decided to forego the pace of
Sydney and head for a semi-reclusive life in Tasmania.
To visit Ian and his partner, Susie Collis, formerly a nurse at RAHC and RPAH, I drove south
from Hobart to the seaside township of Kettering, took the car ferry across to Bruny Island,
then headed south to their remote hideaway. From the gate of his 50-acre property, we
proceeded in his four-wheel-drive vehicle along a rough bush track. I was greeted on arrival
in leaps and bounds by their two wonderful dogs, Peggy, a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, and
Badhi, a Pyrenean Mastiff.
‘My interest in Chinese literature (in translation) began during my first year at university.
Going to a Scottish university from an English school I had a very light first year. I started
reading poetry and philosophy in translation, then resolved to learn the language and started
to do so after graduation. All through my time as a neurosurgeon, both when training and
after I returned to Sydney, I carried on my studies of languages, particularly Chinese but also
Greek and Latin’, Ian told me.
To achieve his translating and writing goals, Ian follows a strict schedule of at least 7-8 hours
of work every day of the week. But relishing memories of his boyhood at Collaroy, he gets to
surf alone, or with his partner and dogs, each day on a beach adjoining their idyllic bush
In translating and publishing, he has collaborated with other classicists and linguists at UNE,
and more recently at the University of New South Wales. For their texts: Loeb Classical
Library 516, 517 and 518. Method of Medicine, Volumes I-III, Books 1-14, Galen, now
published by Harvard University Press, Ian’s co-author was Greg Horsley, Professor of
Classics and Ancient History at UNE.
Wider recognition of Ian’s talent as a linguist was heralded by the award of The NSW
Premier’s Translation Prize in 2011. His ‘background in medicine informs his work as a
translator, as he brings the sharpness and precision of a neurosurgeon's scalpel to the
extraordinary translation projects he undertakes in both Classical Chinese and Greek. These
include the only complete translation to date into the English language of The Mozi, the
monumental treatise on the philosophy of Mo Di (c.470BC - c.391BC).’
Ian explained that translating the Chinese characters is complex because a single character
may have a number of meanings, depending on its context. The judges noted: ‘Johnston's
amply annotated resurrection of this classic is a landmark event …..Johnston's translation
involves a mammoth feat of interpolation from the spare Chinese characters, with their
minimal 'information', to produce a text that is not only scholarly but beautiful.’
In a preface included in early editions of the Loeb Classical Library a century or so ago,
James Loeb – not the physician, Robert Loeb, familiar to us in Cecil and Loeb’s textbook –
explained why he felt it was important to focus so much of his philanthropy in art, music, and
classical knowledge:
‘In an age when the Humanities are being neglected more perhaps than at any time since
the Middle Ages, and when men’s minds are turning more than ever before to the practical
and the material, it does not suffice to make pleas, however eloquent and convincing, for the
safeguarding and further enjoyment of our greatest heritage from the past. Means must be
found to place these treasures within the reach of all who care for the finer things of life.’
As for the future, Ian told me: ‘I have finalised an arrangement to do another couple of
volumes of Galen for the Loeb Library which will keep me busy.’ Indeed!
To read more about his work, search websites for Ian’s name and also for the Loeb Classical
Paul Lancaster
1.4 Internships
See - _ Jillian Skinner (NSW Minister for Health)
1.5 Gavin Mooney (formerly Professor of Health Economics, Sydney School of Public
Gavin's friends and colleagues were shocked to learn of the tragic death of Gavin and his
partner, Del Weston, in Tasmania in December. Glenn Salkeld has written a fine tribute to
his close friend and mentor in the Sydney Morning Herald. Links to that and other obituaries
are given in section 6.2 below.
Gavin Mooney -;; and see for Gavin's outstanding international career.
1.6 Darryl Hodgkinson named CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year
Sydney plastic surgeon Darryl Hodgkinson (1972) has been named the Ocean Racer of the
Year by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, at a gala cocktail party hosted at the Club this
evening. The CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year Awards recognises yachting excellence for the
12 month period from July 2011-July 2012.
Hodgkinson, the owner of Victoire, a Beneteau 45, only just last December was named the
Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year (2010/2011), and has since gone from strength to
‘Dr Darryl’ clinched the CYCA’s 2012 Blue Water Pointscore Series from Ragamuffin by five
points, having won the Cabbage Tree Island and Flinders Islet yacht races and finished first
in IRC Division 3 in the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
The yachtsman also claimed the Class B win in the Audi IRC Australian Championship,
inclusive of third place at Audi Victoria Week, second in the Sydney Harbour Regatta, and
won his division in both the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and at Audi Hamilton
Island Race Week.
Thanks to Tom Ruut (1972) for keeping us informed about Darryl's yachting prowess.
1.7 Letters in the Sydney Morning Herald
Is this a record, not only for one of our alumni but for any reader of the Sydney Morning
Herald? Joan Croll (1952) managed to have three letters published this month in the Herald
(see below in 3.10), and a mention in Column 8, and the month is not yet finished!
1.8 Memorials for medical alumni
The Ken Merten Library Library at Liverpool Hospital recognises the surgical career, other
interests and philanthropy of Ken, who graduated in 1952 (see attached photos).
2. Forthcoming events
2.1 Book launch, Nightingale Museum, Sydney Hospital - Saturday, 2 February, at 4pm
A book has just been published about former Sydney Hospital pathologist, Dr Eddie Hirst
(1945): 'Kenso Kid' biography of an Australian immigrant - Dr Eddie Hirst. The book was
written by Eddie's wife Dr Pat Bale (also a pathologist) and, upon her death in 2008, the
manuscript was left to Elinor Wrobel, Curator of the Lucy Osburn / Nightingale museum at
Sydney Hospital to edit, which she painstakingly has done. The book can be purchased for
$50 (plus $10 postage) from Elinor Wrobel OAM, Curator Lucy Osburn / Nightingale
Museum, Sydney Hospital, Macquarie Street, Sydney 2000
All are welcome and if interested, please RSVP to Elinor Wrobel at the Nightingale Museum
on (02) 93827427, or after hours on (02) 93322260.
Thanks to Chris Pokorny (1977), President, Sydney Hospitallers, for informing us about this
2.2 History matters! Fisher Library exhibition
An exhibition presented by the Australian Society of Anaesthetists and Rare Books and
Special Collections at the University will be opened on Wednesday, 23 January, in the
Fisher Library.
This exhibition will be open to visitors from 24 January until 3 May during Fisher Library
opening hours.
2.3 Sydney Ideas
For events in February and March, see
3. University and Sydney Medical School news
3.1 Death of Beth Ann Spence, wife of the Vice-Chancellor
We were deeply saddened by the premature death of The Reverend Beth Ann Spence (22
April 1965 - 22 December 2012), the wife of the University's Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael
Spence, and mother of James, Philippa, Oliver, Lucinda and Felicity. Our sincere
condolences to Michael and his family.
3.2 Whatever happened to 'waste not, want not'?
In an era of massive population growth, where food production needs to increase by 50
percent in the next 20 to 50 years to sustain the world population, up to half the food we
produce never makes it to our plates.
As part of the Sydney Festival's talks program, renowned sustainability expert Professor
John Crawford from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre will join a panel of
experts to address the question "Whatever happened to 'waste not, want not?'"
"The world's ability to produce food is already in decline despite our increasing demands,"
says Professor Crawford who holds the Judith and David Coffey Chair in Sustainability and
Complex Systems at the University of Sydney.
"Under a business-as-usual scenario, nearly half the world's population will not have enough
irrigation water for their crops by 2030. In addition, 40 percent of the world's agricultural soil
is already degraded and, if nothing is done, soil degradation alone will reduce food
production by 40 percent over the next 20 to 50 years."
The University of Sydney with its strong belief in the role of the arts, culture and the life of
the mind is once again a major partner of the Sydney Festival 2013. This is the fourth year
the University of Sydney and the Sydney Festival have joined forces to present the Sydney
Festival program - a thought-provoking and fun selection of the world's biggest and best
performing and visual arts, including dance, theatre, music, talks and free events.
3.3 Australian shooters restock private arsenal to pre-Port Arthur numbers
New research from the University of Sydney shows that Australians destroyed more than a
million guns in response to shooting massacres but imports have restored the stockpile to
the level it was at before the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.
"Since 1988, when the first of several mass shootings took place, 38 state and federal gun
amnesties ran for well over 3000 weeks," said Adjunct Associate Professor Philip Alpers,
from the University's School of Public Health.
"If we include all the gun owners who sent their weapons to the smelter without asking for
money, the real total is a million firearms destroyed, or a third of the national private arsenal.
That's many more than we usually talk about."
"By mid-2012, following a steady 10-year upward trend in gun buying, Australians had
restocked the national stockpile of private guns to pre-Port Arthur levels. They did this by
importing 1,055,082 firearms, an average of 43,961 each year since destruction programs
3.4 Too hot to sleep? Here's why
Bushfires are quite appropriately dominating our nation's concerns during the current
Australian heatwave. But for many, the struggle to sleep through soaring temperatures is a
personal inferno that dominates conversation around offices and homes across the country.
Sleep and body control of temperature (thermoregulation) are intimately connected. Core
body temperature follows a 24-hour cycle linked with the sleep-wake rhythm. Body
temperature decreases during the night-time sleep phase and rises during the wake phase.
Sleep is most likely to occur when core temperature decreases, and much less likely to
occur during the rises.
Our hands and feet play a key role in facilitating sleep as they permit the heated blood from
the central body to lose heat to the environment through the skin surface. The sleep
hormone melatonin plays an important part of the complex loss of heat through the
peripheral parts of the body.
Ron Grunstein is a professor of sleep medicine at the Woolcock Institute of Medical
Research and Sydney Medical School.
3.5 First Alzheimer's case has full diagnosis 106 years later
More than a hundred years after Alois Alzheimer identified Alzheimer's disease in a patient
an analysis of that original patient's brain has revealed the genetic origin of their condition.
The brain specimen tested was discovered in a university basement late last century after a
search by rival teams of academics.
"It is extremely satisfying to place this last piece in the medical puzzle that Auguste Deter,
the first ever Alzheimer patient, presented us with," said Professor Manuel Graeber, from the
University of Sydney.
"It is not only of historical interest, however, as it ends any speculation about whether the
disease is correctly named after Alois Alzheimer. Alzheimer's ability to recognise this
dementia more than a century ago provides compelling support for specialisation in
medicine. Alzheimer was a founding father of neuropathology, an important medical
specialty that is still underrepresented."
Professor Graeber, from the University's Brain and Mind Research Institute, Sydney Medical
School and the Faculty of Health Sciences, collaborated with Professor Ulrich Müller's team
from the Institute of Human Genetics of the University of Giessen in Germany to produce the
molecular diagnosis recently published in Lancet Neurology.
For years scientists have been wondering whether the first case of Alzheimer's disease had
a genetic cause. In 1901 Auguste Deter, a middle-aged female patient at the Frankfurt
Asylum with unusual symptoms, including short-term memory loss, came to the attention of
Dr Alzheimer. When she died, Dr Alzheimer examined her brain and described the
distinctive damage indicating a form of presenile dementia.
For decades the more than 200 slides that Alzheimer prepared from Deter's brain were lost.
Then in 1992, after Professor Graeber uncovered new information pointing to their location,
two teams of medical researchers began a dramatic race to find them.
One team searched in Frankfurt but it was a team headed by Professor Graeber, then
working at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology that finally located the material at the
University of Munich in 1997.
The slides were examined and confirmed beyond doubt that Deter was suffering from
Alzheimer's disease, with large numbers of amyloid plaques and neurofribrillary tangles in
the brain that are hallmarks of the disease. Until now a more sophisticated DNA analysis of
the small amount of fragile material in single slides has not been possible.
Since their rediscovery, a significant number of brain slides have been under the official
custodianship of Professor Graeber who has been at the University of Sydney since 2010.
He is preparing a book on the material.
"We found a mutation whose ultimate effect is the formation of amyloid plaques. These
plaques, which form between nerve cells and seem to suffocate them are the key diagnostic
landmark of the disease."
Alzheimer's disease represents one of the greatest health problems in industrialised
societies today. An estimated 100 million dementia sufferers are predicted worldwide by
2050, the vast majority of whom will have Alzheimer's disease.
95 percent of Alzheimer's patients suffer late onset of the illness after they turn 65. Five
percent fall ill before that age (early onset) and Auguste Deter belongs to this group.
"We have revealed that Auguste Deter is one of those in which early onset of the disease is
caused by mutation in a single gene," said Professor Graeber.
3.6 Whiff of desperation as tobacco lobby loses its puff over packaging
Australia's historic plain packaging became law on December 1, with the quinella seeing us
graduate to also have the world's largest graphic health warnings. Sixty-four nations have
now made the unforgettable pictures law and six (New Zealand, Britain, France, Norway,
Turkey and India) are already showing strong interest in following our lead on plain packs.
3.7 Stirring Sydney's cultural soul with Sydney Festival 2013
The University of Sydney with its strong belief in the role of the arts, culture and the life of
the mind, will once again help stir Sydney's cultural soul as a major partner of the Sydney
Festival 2013.
This is the fourth year the University of Sydney and the Sydney Festival have joined forces
to present the Sydney Festival program - a thought-provoking and fun selection of the
world's biggest and best performing and visual arts, including dance, theatre, music, talks
and free events.
Our participation in this major Sydney event is a perfect fit for the University which throws
open its doors year round through its extensive program of public events.
"Whether it be opening eyes, igniting debate, revealing the unexpected or making hearts
race just that little bit faster both the University of Sydney and the Sydney Festival strive to
inspire and stimulate ideas, connect with the community and celebrate a passion for arts,
performance and intellectual debate," Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence said.
Our Sydney Festival involvement is symbolic of the University's place in the cultural and
intellectual life of Sydney and our ambition is to ensure as broad a cross section of the
community as possible experiences all that the University and the Festival have to offer."
3.8 Early offer scheme welcomes first cohort of promising students
Bryony Williamson has loved to draw since she first picked up a pen, but it wasn't always
clear that her love of cartooning would carry her to university.
However, thanks to her passion, skills and achievements, Bryony will join the University of
Sydney to study a Bachelor of Visual Arts as part of the University's first Early Offer Year 12
Scheme (E12) cohort.
Announced by the University in 2012 to assist students who have been financially
disadvantaged during their time at school, the scheme enables school principals to nominate
up to 10 students they believe show the potential to succeed at the University of Sydney.
The principals' recommendations are then considered by a select panel from the University,
which may also interview applicants for some courses.
"I'm from Goulburn, I grew up in a small country town as one of the only cartoonists, so to
come to Sydney and see how there are other people interested in what I am, it's quite eyeopening," says Bryony, who finished year 12 last year at Trinity Catholic College Goulburn.
"Our careers counsellor at school let me know about E12 so I thought why not? Moving
away from home is very nerve-wracking but also really exciting."
Carrie-anne Hourigan, who studied at Moorebank High School, will be the first in her
immediate family to attend university.
Enrolling in a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy), Carrie-anne is
passionate about one day working in paediatrics, inspired by the caring nature of her
grandmother, who has had to care for a sick husband and a family member with Down
"I'm so proud I could burst," says Carrie-anne's grandmother, Irene Hourigan. "At times we
were all stressed but it paid off."
3.9 Excessive alcohol when you're young could have lasting impacts on your brain
Alcohol misuse in young people causes significant changes in their brain function and
structure. This and other findings were recently reviewed by Dr Daniel Hermens from the
University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Research Institute in the journal Cortex.
"Young people are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol misuse," said Dr
Most people have their first alcoholic drink during adolescence and while they drink less
frequently than adults, they tend to drink more on each occasion - binge drinking.
The early functional signs of brain damage from alcohol misuse are visual, learning, memory
and executive function impairments. These functions are controlled by the hippocampus and
frontal structures of the brain, which are not fully mature until around 25 years of age.
3.10 Sydney alumni and the media
Joan Croll (1952): freeways -
Andrew McDonald (1978): coal seam gas and health
Bruce Dowton (1980): Vice-Chancellor, Macquarie University
Christine Jenkins (MD, 1986): food allergies -
Kim Oates (1967), Kerry Goulston (1959): selecting medical students
Philip Alpers (School of Public Health): gun control -
Colin Sullivan (1970): sleep disorders in pregnancy
Cres Eastman (1965): iodine deficiency and reading and
Cres Eastman (1965): iodine deficiency
Philip Alpers (School of Public Health): gun control
Joan Croll (1952): digital or print newspapers -
Paul Lancaster (1966): pedestrian safety -
Joan Croll (1952): greed personified -
Bob Brown (1968): environmental activism -
Robyn Dalziell (MScMed, 2004): DNA kits -
John Hassall (1952): letters to SMH -
Simon Chapman (PhD, 1986): cigarette pack warnings
Edwina Light (VELiM, Sydney Medical School) -
Bruce Dowton (1980): Vice-Chancellor, Macquarie University
John Wentworth Shand (1955): family history
Stephen Steigrad (1964), Coll Fisher (1962), John Windeyer (1899): prenatal care at Royal
Hospital for Women -
John Carmody (Sydney Medical School): Queen's message
4. History of medicine
4.1 First Tuesday History of Medicine Club
Tuesday, 5 February: 5.30 to 7pm: Michael Gracey (1962) will speak on - 'Cinderella'
specialty – a history of international paediatrics
Tuesday, 5 March: there will be more discussion about University of Sydney alumni who
served in the First World War. We hope to have some invited guests who will inform us
about progress on the University project on WW1. More information will be given to those
who receive notices about the First Tuesday Club from Cate Storey, and in the February
MAA e-Newsletter.
Tuesday, 2 April: 'A book that changed me' - participants are encouraged to bring a history
of medicine book which they felt had changed them and they would like to share the
experience. We will also be encouraging people to bring their own books – which we have
no doubt 'changed them'.
Venue: Edward Ford Building, University of Sydney
To receive notes of previous meetings or to book, contact Cate Storey - email:
[email protected]
4.2 Quarantine Station Lecture Series - Sunday, 17 February, 2-4pm
The scourge of iodine deficiency - Professor Cres Eastman
The second speaker has yet to be confirmed.
See the Q Station website in February for a summary of each talk and notes about the
Venue: Q Station Visitors Centre, North Head Scenic Drive, Manly
For bookings, or to be put on the email list for the monthly lectures, contact Kelly [email protected], or call her on 02 9466 1551. Please note that you can also visit the
Quarantine Station on Monday to Thursday (10am to 2pm), Friday and Saturday (10am to
8pm), or Sundays (10am to 4pm).
4.3 International Society for the History of Neurosciences - University of Sydney, 1822 June 2013
The registration fee for the full conference will be in the order of A$330. Reduced fees will be
available for students. A prize will be awarded for the best student platform or poster
presentation. There will be excellent arrangements for accompanying persons, who will be
invited to attend the excursion to the Quarantine Station. All questions regarding registration
and local arrangement should be addressed to Cate Storey ([email protected]).
See for more information. The closing date for abstracts is 1 March
5. Reunions
5.1 Reunions for graduating year of:
1958 - Saturday, 9 February 2013 – contact: Brian Parker: [email protected]
1978 - (January Graduation), Saturday, 23 February 2013 - contact: Andrew Byrne:
[email protected]
1993 - Saturday, 9 March 2013 – contact: Chris Jones: [email protected]
1950 - Tuesday, 12 March 2013 – contact : Brian Pollard
1953 – Friday, 15 March 2013 – contact John Cashman: [email protected]
1963 - Saturday, 16 March 2013 - contact: Sydney Nade: [email protected]
1973 - Saturday, 6 April 2013 - contact: Phil Cocks: [email protected]
1983 - Saturday, 6 April 2013 - contact: Diana Lovegrove (see email below)
1955 - Saturday, 13 April 2013 - contact: John Wright: [email protected]
1978 - (October Graduation), Saturday, 9 November 2013 – contact: Chris Ingall:
[email protected]
5.2 1951 Sydney Medical School Alumni
Report on the Reunion Lunch held at Concord Golf Club on Tuesday, 13 November 2012.
We gathered from 11.30, and enjoyed drinks and renewing contacts in a very congenial
environment, seated at pre-arranged table groups by 12.30. We were welcomed by our
effervescent MC Harry Learoyd who expressed our thanks to Marie Knispel, as, by virtue of
her membership and attendance, saved us $250.
Ian Fitzpatrick noted that of our 230 fellow graduates, it seems only about 70 remain; 33
managed to attend the reunion. He thanked all who came, including Glen Duncan from USA,
Dick Geeves from Tasmania, 22 partners, and also widows Cathy Kalokerinos, Shirley
Michell, Margaret Scrivener and Helen Vickery.
The committee worked energetically to contact some for whom the University did not have
details. The great help by the Alumni Office for all recent reunions, especially Diana
Lovegrove, was recognised. We were not charged for the two mailouts, nor for handling
income and expenses on our behalf, so I am sure Sydney Medical School would appreciate
any donations to the Research Scholarship fund.
Ian gave a message from Professor Fred Stephens, unable to come because of a recent
pelvic fracture, and quoted an amusing story from his latest (2011) book, an autobiography
“From Kurmond Kid to Cancer Crusader”.
Between courses, Joy Bearup (Boughton) read a poem composed for our previous reunion,
and Professor Geoff Kellerman proposed a Toast to Absent Colleagues, noting that Archie
Kalokerinos was the very first Alumni Awardee, ( for Community Achievement). He also gave
preliminary notice re the Memorial Service for Emeritus Professor Paul Korner.
We had messages of goodwill and apologies from abroad - Sonia Goldman (Hadar) – in
Haifa, Israel, Audrey Halloran (Van Wijk)-in Stellenbosch, and Bob Packard (UK). Locally,
apologies were from Paul Bannon, Trevor Brown, Marjorie Christie, Tony Jones, Roly
Middleton, Brian O’Sullivan, Ron Rivett, Brian Sharkey, Ros Shearer, Barry Smithurst (who
has ataxia from encephalitis contracted in Vietnam), John Voss, and Arthur Pennington.
After dessert, tea, coffee and chocolates, we had extended time for further mingling. It was
generally agreed that the Club, staff, chef and environment were excellent and a survey
favoured a repeat at Concord Golf Club in two years. We appear to have virtually broken
even for costs, so it is proposed to donate a major portion of our accumulated reserve (circa
$1,500) to the Medical Benevolent Association and to post a copy of the group photo without
charge to all who came or sent greetings.
I record my sincere thanks for the ready help, guidance and encouragement of our
committee: Eleanor Dawson, Dorothy Morrison, Doug Caspersonn, Anthony Hodgkinson,
Geoffrey Kellerman, Harry Learoyd and John Roche.
Ian W Fitzpatrick. Email:[email protected] Ph. 02 9969 7876 (9 Coronation Avenue,
Mosman 2088)
The excellent photo of those who participated in the 1951 reunion will go on the alumni
Please contact Diana Lovegrove ([email protected]) if your graduating year
is due for a reunion and this has yet to be organised.
Reunion reports (for 1992, 1967, 1952 and 1950) - see:
6. Death notices and obituaries (year of graduation in brackets)
6.1 Richard Spencer Butler Gye AO, MB, BS (1955), PhD (Oxford, 1965), Hon MD (1993),
FRACS, FRCS (18 February 1926 - 25 December 2012)
Eulogy given by Emeritus Professor Jim McLeod at Professor Gye's funeral
Richard was a great friend for over 50 years. After leaving school he enlisted in the Navy
and became a Sub-Lieutenant on HMAS Lachlan surveying the northern coastline of
Australia including regions that had been overlooked by Matthew Flinders.
On discharge, he enrolled in Medicine at the University of Sydney. I first met him when he
and David Glenn were doing research with Professor Peter Bishop in the Bachelor of
Medical Science programme. They were his first research students.
After graduating, Richard was appointed to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where he trained as
a neurosurgeon.
I was fortunate to work with him in a very junior capacity when he was a surgical registrar.
He was a great person to work with as he had a very good sense of humour, was kind and
thoughtful, and an excellent teacher. The welfare of his patients was always his primary
concern and and he went out of his way to make sure they received the best possible
nursing and medical care.
After gaining his FRACS he went to Oxford in 1960 to work at the Radcliffe Infirmary and
was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy for his research on head injuries.
Richard returned to Sydney in 1964 as a Senior Lecturer in Surgery. He established a
research laboratory and had clinical responsibilities at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord
Hospital, Ingleburn Military Hospital and the Psychiatric Research Unit at Rozelle.
His activities were not confined to Sydney. He appreciated the need for neurosurgical
services in more remote places, including the Northern Territory. I was fortunate enough to
work with him, John Hargrave (Director of the East Arm Leprosy Hospital in Darwin) and
John Pollard on transplanting nerves to restore function in the limbs of patients affected by
leprosy. We made several trips together to Darwin, Melville, Bathurst and Groote Islands.
He was asked by the Government of Fiji to provide a neurosurgical service. He asked me
and the neuroradiologist, Stan Lamond, to accompany him and we went twice a year for
several years. Many major operations on brain tumours and other conditions were
successfully performed.
It was a delight to travel with him on these projects. Every detail was planned, he was very
diplomatic, his work was greatly appreciated and he was a great travelling companion.
In 1971 he was appointed Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Oxford, one of the
largest neurosurgical services in England. It was at this time that his son Nicholas was
diagnosed with epilepsy. I saw at first hand what a wonderful couple Richard and Margaret
were in coping with this great sorrow. The time had come to return home to Australia.
He was asked to become the first full-time Dean of Medicine at the University of Sydney
(1974-1989). Some of his major tasks were to implement the new five-year curriculum,
develop the medical school at Westmead Hospital and help establish the Menzies Research
Institute and the Centenary Institute. He was on committees and hospital boards, too
numerous to mention. After 15 years of outstanding service, he retired in 1989 and was
awarded an Honorary MD.
Art and music were great interests. His wonderful drawings are remembered by many. One
that remains particularly in mind is his coloured sketch of young doctors in the Front Hall of
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
Richard had an outstanding career with extraordinary achievements. He will be remembered
and admired for these, but perhaps more importantly for his warm and generous nature, his
consideration and thoughtfulness for others, his sensitivity and his devotion and loyalty to his
family and friends. Over the last months I have seen and admired the loving care given
constantly to him by Margaret and Louise, with the great help of Kim Baker.
He will be greatly missed.
James G McLeod (1959)
Postscript: As well as his artistic talent (see his painting of the entrance to the Anderson
Stuart Building, and also his attached portrait), Richard Gye greatly encouraged the
University to celebrate The Great Hall with a series of Son et Lumiere musical events held
there in the 1980s. This theme was repeated in 2009 in celebrating the 150th anniversary of
the opening of The Great Hall.
6.2 Recent obituaries published in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Medical Journal of
Australia and elsewhere included:
Richard Lloyd Cahill (1939) -
Gavin Mooney (School of Public Health) written by Glenn Salkeld (PhD, 2001),, written by Alan Shiell (PhD, 2001), and
Adolf Saweri MBE, MD(Hon), DipMed, DTM&H (trained at RPAH)
Bruce Leckie (1950) -
Hanka Gliksman (1923-2012) -, written by Michael Gliksman (PhD,
Paul Korner -
For other obituaries of our alumni, see:
6.3 Death notices of alumni
Vale to other medical friends and colleagues. Death notices of medical alumni in the Sydney
Morning Herald or elsewhere included (most recent first): William (Bill) Foster (1962); Joseph
Gerard (Gerry) Sertori (1957); Peter Schiller (1962); Russell Linton Millard (1965); Ian
Rowland Carter DFC (1953); Frank Tsu Chang Hu (1953); Richard Spencer Butler Gye AO
(1955); John Joseph Glancy (DDR, 1967); James Broadfoot (1943); Hugh Francis Molloy
(DDM, 1970); Brian Tremayne Treloar AO (1954); Peter William Stafford Broughton (1954);
Natalie Coolican/Toakley (1950); Peter Torrington Blatchford (1974); Suzanne Louise Korbel
(1968); Kevin Joseph Fleming (1971); (Kenneth) David Richardson (1962); Richard John
Lewis (1951); James (Jim) Maurice Purchas OAM (1956); Peter Adolph Bolliger (1961);
Kevin Edward Geoffrey Byrne (1947); Lloyd Cahill MBE (1939); David George Fox (1964);
D'arcy Anthony (Tony) Cutcliffe (1962); John Warwick Newman (1956); Peter John Heery
(1947); Philip Leonard Lye (1985); Brian Goodwin Lucas (1953); William (Bill) Andrew Distin
Morgan (1952); Denise Margaret McGuigan/Lonergan (MMedEd, 2009); John Egan Moulton
(1954); Gordon Charles Pettitt (1948); James Henry Field (1957); Paul Ivan Korner (1951);
Harry Mossman Pringle (1951); Richard Willcocks (1952); Barry Clive Pearson (1952); Jane
Ainslie Hallpike (nee Page) (1968); Keith Douglas Okey (1963); Martin John (Tim) Talty
(1972); Joan Anderson (1953); Robert Bohdan Mikolaj Ravich (Otago, 1962; RNSH);
Michael James Donlan (1977); and Stuart Henry Bartle (1965).
The link to previous MAA e-Newsletters is:
7. Updating your University records
A link has been set up where alumni can make changes to emails and addresses:
Please let me know about alumni news and activities that would be of wider interest. We
would much appreciate your efforts in encouraging other alumni who do not receive the
newsletters to register their email addresses (see above in section 7).
Paul Lancaster
Medical Alumni Association Council and Alumni Council, University of Sydney
Email: [email protected]
Tel. 02 9660 0576
22 January 2013