History

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Find a surgeon

The Find a Surgeon directory is a listing of active Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who meet the requirements of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program and have opted to be on the list. This list excludes retired or inactive Fellows.

 

Founders of the College

The Founders of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (PDF), by Sir Patrick Kenny FRACS (ed.), Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Melbourne, 1984. 

History of the College

When was the College founded?

The College evolved during the years 1925 to 1927. The first official meeting of the College Council was held in February 1927.

Is there a published history of the College?

The official history of the College, The Mantle of Surgery, was written in 2002 by Arthur Wyn Beasley, a Fellow of the College. Wyn Beasley is an active past councillor of the College and a member of the New Zealand Committee (New Zealand National Board) of the College. The Mantle of Surgery is available for sale or from the College library (members only, login required).

Who was the first president of the College?

The first President of the College was Sir George Syme (1859-1929), an eminent Melbourne surgeon. He died in office, the only President to do so.

Who was the first female Fellow of the College?

The first female Fellow of the College was Lillian Violet Cooper, from Queensland, who was admitted to Fellowship on 17 June 1927. The first female surgeon to become a Fellow of the College by passing the RACS Fellowship Examination was Lorna Sisely (1916-2004), from Victoria, who was admitted to Fellowship in June 1947. 

The Mantle of Surgery

The Mantle of Surgery: the first seventy-five years of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons by A.W. Beasley, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Melbourne, 2002.

The Mantle of Surgery: seventy five years of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons can also be purchased (go to the College merchandise section). Fellows of the College who have not yet received their free copy should send an email (college.merchandise@surgeons.org) or phone +61 3 9276 7429. 

History of surgery in Australia and New Zealand

How surgery came to Australasia (PDF 5.5 MB), by Sir D'Arcy Power, Paper read at the opening of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Melbourne, 1935.

Australian surgeons and society (PDF 6.34 MB), by Rowan Nicks, ANZ Journal of Surgery, Vol 50 (6), 1980.