MDHS Welcomes Appointment of Professor Jane Gunn as Dean

Professor Jane Gunn

Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell cheerfully took the opportunity at the MDHS Roadshow yesterday to announce the formal appointment of Professor Jane Gunn as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS). We celebrate her confirmation as our first woman Dean as an historic event as well as celebrating her outstanding scholarship and leadership. The news rapidly made its way through both formal and informal channels, lifting spirits and confirming a bright outlook for faculty staff and students.

A Melbourne Medical School graduate and long-standing member of the University community, Jane Gunn has served as Dean since her interim appointment in February. This formal appointment now follows an extensive global search and selection process. Prior to taking on the role, she was the faculty’s Deputy Dean and held positions as Head of the Department of General Practice and Deputy Head of the Melbourne Medical School, since joining the faculty in 1997 as a Senior Lecturer.

In five years, MDHS celebrates the 150th anniversary of the appointment of the first Dean of Medicine, George Britton Halford, in 1867. The faculty now encompasses a vastly expanded range of disciplines and sits at the heart of extensive clinical and research networks and partnerships. As Dean, Professor Gunn will guide the faculty’s strategic path at a pivotal time for both health and higher education.

Used to dismantling barriers, Professor Gunn was the first person to be awarded a PhD in general practice at the University and has made prominent leadership contributions to the establishment and evolution of patient-centred care and general practice research. A distinguished academic Professor Gunn was inaugural Chair of Primary Care Research at the University and has twice been included in the NHMRC ’10 of the Best’ collection, most recently in 2020.

Her commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, her emotionally intelligent leadership, and her holistic approach to problem solving promise to serve us well in uncertain and challenging circumstances. She will continue to work across the University and our partner network to build knowledge and skills, foster excellent research, and provide transformative educational experiences to our students.

Seven First Women Medical Students

Image: Women medical students, University of Melbourne, 1887 Group photograph of the seven who were the first women to enter the medical course in 1887. Seated (left to right) Clara Stone, Margaret Whyte (or White), Grace Vale, Elizabeth (or Annie) O'Hara, Standing (left to right) Helen Sexton, Lilian Alexander, Annie (or Elizabeth) O'Hara.