List of Deans 1876 - present
George Britton Halford
George Halford was appointed head of the medical school at the University of Melbourne in 1862 and its first appointee to the Chair of Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology. The medical school was the first in the southern dominions of the British Empire to provide medical training and conduct examinations.
Harry Brookes Allen
In 1880 while in his mid-twenties, University of Melbourne medical graduate and lecturer in anatomy and pathology, Harry Allen, was appointed Acting Dean of medicine while the Dean, George Halford, was in England. On Halford's return, the pair worked on a plan to divide the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology into two departments (Physiology, and Descriptive and Surgical Anatomy and Pathology). In 1882 Allen was given the title, Professor of Descriptive and Surgical Anatomy and Pathology leaving Halford with his first love, physiology.
Richard James Arthur Berry
Live-wire, 'Dicky' Berry, was appointed Professor of Anatomy at the University of Melbourne in 1906, remaining in the position until 1929. Dean from 1925 to 1927 and in 1929, Berry oversaw several major building projects and strongly supported the move of the Melbourne Hospital from central Melbourne to its current location in Parkville. He was active in medical circles and public affairs, a proponent of "the biological basis of mind" and advocated eugenic measures to improve humanity.
William Alexander Osborne
Dean William Alexander Osborne was a man of many parts, much admired for his breadth of knowledge and wide-ranging abilities, but also disliked for his cutting tongue, derogatory attitude to certain races, and eugenicist ideas. As an administrator and organiser he was well regarded and gave leadership in numerous revisions to the medical curriculum, in building renovations and in negotiatiations that eventually saw the medical buildings moved from the east to the south-west of the campus.
Scottish-born and largely Scottish-trained Peter MacCallum was appointed Professor of Pathology at the University of Melbourne in 1925, succeeding Sir Harry Allan. He remained in the post until retiring in 1950 and was duly elected Professor Emeritus. He was Director of Clinical Studies for several years and Chairman of the College of Dentistry for over two decades. He was also influential in establishing professorial chairs in surgery and medicine at the University of Melbourne. After retiring in 1950 he continued his involvement with the University, serving as Convocation's representative on Council, a position he held until 1961.
Robert Marshall Allan
Robert Marshall Allan was held in high regard both as a teacher and an administrator and was appointed Dean of Medicine for 1944 and 1945. He was described as "a man of fresh ideas, good opinions, and most important of all, he was a splendid and impressive teacher, who at all times would discuss a subject fully and quietly but firmly with the students, nurse or graduate in an endeavour to bring out the best in his auditors and to give them a confidence in their own ability to do good and useful works."
Roy Douglas Wright
Roy Douglas Wright was Professor of Physiology at the University of Melbourne from 1939 to 1971. At different times in his career he was Dean of the Faculties of Medicine (1946, 1950-1952) and of Veterinary Science (1945-1962). He played an important part in the establishment of the Howard Florey Institute of Experimental Physiology and Medicine at the University of Melbourne, as well as in the development of many other institutions including the Australian National University, the Cancer Institute/Peter MacCallum Clinic and the Australian Kidney Foundation.
During his time as Dean, Sydney Sunderland was an important influence on the development of the complex of medical buildings at the corner of Grattan St. and Royal Parade, Parkville in the 1960s. He also oversaw the establishment of clinical sciences buildings at the major teaching hospitals, the establishment of a Clinical School at the Austin Hospital, and an increased provision for professorial positions within the Faculty of Medicine.
Sydney Lance Townsend
Lance Townsend was appointed University of Melbourne Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1951, retaining the position until 1977. From 1971 to 1977 he was also Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. In 1978 he was appointed Assistant Vice-Chancellor of the University.
David Geoffrey Penington
After starting his medical studies at the University of Melbourne in 1948, David Penington won an Oxford Dominions Clinical Scholarship which enabled him to study at Oxford University. On returning to Melbourne in 1968, he was appointed First Assistant in the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine at St Vincent's Hospital. Further promotion followed in 1970 when he was appointed the University's Professor of Medicine at St Vincent's. He continued in the post until 1987, combining it with the role of Dean of the Faculty of Medicine from 1978 to 1985. From 1988 to 1995 he served as the University's Vice-Chancellor.
Graeme Bruce Ryan
Graeme Ryan had a long and close relationship with medicine at the University of Melbourne from the 1950s, when he started his medical training, to the 1990s when he completed a lengthy period of service as Dean. He was subsequently accorded the title Professor Emeritus.
Gordon James Aitken Clunie
Gordon Clunie was appointed University of Melbourne Professor of Surgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Chairman of the Department of Surgery in 1978. He resigned in 1995 to take up an appointment as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He retired in 1997 and the following year was elected Emeritus Professor of Surgery.
Richard Graeme Larkins
Richard Larkins' connection with medicine at the University of Melbourne spanned four decades, including medical training, Stewart Professor of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (1984-97) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (1998-2003). During that time, he excelled in patient care, research and medical education.
James Alexander Angus
James Angus joined the University of Melbourne in 1993 when he was appointed to the Chair of Pharmacology and Head of the University of Melbourne Department of Pharmacology, positions he held for a decade before further promotion. In 2002 and 2003 he was appointed Acting Head of the University's Department of Pathology and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. In 2003 he was appointed Dean of the Faculty.
Stephen Kevin Smith
Before taking up the deanship of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, Professor Stephen Smith was Vice-President (Research) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, and founding Dean of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, a joint initiative of NTU and Imperial College, London. Prior to this, as Principal of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London he led the establishment of the first Academic Health Science Centre in the UK. The Centre’s innovative approach to integrating research, education and clinical services led the way for the establishment of other centres across the UK. He holds an MBBS, MD and DSc from the University of London and an MA from the University of Cambridge. A gynaecologist by training, he also served the University of Cambridge as Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, as the Clinical Director, Women’s Services, at Addenbrooke's Hospital National Health Service Trust, and as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing at the University of Glasgow.