Humans of the Royal

Humans of the Royal“, based on the popular online blog, Humans of New York, aims to give a glimpse into the workings of the Royal and the important role the hospital plays on a global, local and personal level.  “Humans of the Royal” is an initiative of the Royal Alumni and each month, a special person, be it a staff member, patient or volunteer with a connection to the Royal is profiled. So far, the Royal Alumni has shared the following stories:

Professor Robin Cooke is an internationally recognised pathologist and despite retiring in 2009, has continued to write and publish Infectious Diseases reference books.

Dr David Cooper was the Royal Women’s Hospital Medical Superintendent from 1967 to 1974 and is fondly known as the ‘father of ultrasound’.

Adjunct Associate Professor Amanda Dines was the Executive Director of the RBWH from 2015 to 2019, served in the Royal Australian Air Force as a Medical Officer for 24 years and, among many other roles, was an Honorary Aide de Camp to the Governor General from 2014.

Patricia Henrietta Diggelman was a dedicated staff member of RBWH for fourteen years as well as being a long term volunteer of her community.

Dr Gordon Stuart is the former Director of the Department of Neurosurgery who has been committed to the Royal Brisbane Hospital since 1960.

Martha Wini Popata is the very dedicated and friendly internal cleaner for the RBWH car park and surrounds. Martha has traveled and worked across Australia extensively and finds her current position very interesting – always meeting and helping people.

Emeritus Professor Graham Cooksley was the first Director and Professor of the RBWH Clinical Research Centre. He has made substantial contributions to medical knowledge particularly in the area of liver research.

Emeritus Professor Dr Mary Mahoney AO has been part of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital since 1964, and was a Visiting Medical Officer from 1976 to 2013. She has an outstanding reputation for her work within family medicine and medical education.

Dr Darryl Wall AM is a Queensland surgeon and former Director of Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Trauma Service.  As the RBWH is Australia’s only “red blanket” Hospital, Daryl, as Director, was responsible for this amazing system.

Dr David Cartwright has been responsible for some huge advances in caring for extremely premature babies and medical breakthroughs that have meant couples now take-home children who would have previously died.

Dr Patrick Mahoney was the hospital’s staff doctor for many years and is fondly remembered by a lot of staff as the person who looked after them while they looked after others.

Merv Mills is one of our wonderful RBWH Foundation hospital volunteers who is affectionately known as the “king of the raffle sales”.

Dr Lizbeth (Liz) Kenny AO undertook her residency at the Royal Brisbane Hospital in 1980 and is now a senior member of the RBWH Head and Neck Clinic and Breast Clinic. Liz is a past Chairman of the Medical Staff Association and a committed member of the Royal Alumni Committee.

Professor Ian Gough AM was the inaugural Chair of the Royal Alumni Committee.  He was also instrumental in transforming the Surgical Education and Training Program for endocrine and breast surgery.

Dr Brian Hill, in association with Dr Robert Yule, the first Director of Gynaecological Cytology, were responsible for establishing the first free Pap Smear Clinic in Queensland in 1964 within the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital. In 1968, Dr Hill introduced colposcopy which allowed the accuracy in determining the site of abnormalities within the lower female genital tract.

Dr Eva Popper was the first woman doctor to undergo formal training in obstetrics and gynaecology in Queensland. She was responsible for delivering over 5,000 “Proper Popper Products” – the nickname given to the babies born at the Royal under her care.

Cluny Seager commitment to nursing and preserving nursing history has been very important to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. From the 1960’s to today, Cluny’s dedication to health care has never wavered.

Emeritus Professor Stuart Pegg is a pioneer in Burns Trauma Care within Queensland. The Professor Stuart Pegg Adult Burns Centre is the major referral centre for Queensland, Northern New South Wales, Northern Territory and the Pacific Islands.

Dr Ifor Thomas was the Royal Women’s Hospital Director of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1977 and Medical Superintendent in 1990.

Barbara Smithson is one of the dedicated gardeners of the RBWH. She has worked for Queensland Health for over 38 years and is responsible for the hospital’s main entrance gardens and surrounds.

Emeritus Professor John Pearn AO RFD is a renowned Brisbane paediatrician, Former Honorary Consultant at the Royal Women’s Hospital, former staff member at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and Senior Clinician at the Royal Children’s Hospital for 46 years.

Ross Mangano was a Biomedical Engineer who served Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital with distinction for 61 years from the age of 18 years until the time of his death in 2012.

Wendy Lewis is currently an Indigenous Hospital Liaison Officer providing cultural support and advocacy to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and their families at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Dr Aubrey Pye was the longest serving medical superintendent in the history of the Royal Brisbane Hospital.

Eleanor Elizabeth Bourne was the first Queensland woman to study medicine, and Brisbane Hospital’s first female resident medical officer.

Dr Ernest Sandford Jackson was a pioneer in Brisbane’s surgical world for four decades, and served the Brisbane Hospital for 51 years. He played a leading role in the dispute between salaried and honorary medical staff in the 1890s.

Effie Jane Bourne was Matron of Brisbane Hospital from 1914 to 1928, managing significant staff shortages during WWI, and huge demand for hospital care during the Spanish Influenza pandemic.

Cecila Brazil a nurse, midwife, researcher, historian and writer who’s association with the hospital spans nearly 60 years.

Imani Gunasekara, a mental health survivor and now Consumer Consultant in RBWH’s Mental Health Unit.

Dr John Dique, the creator of the first Dialysis machine.

Christense Sorense, a nurse throughout World War I who then became Matron of the Brisbane General Hospital.

Dr Edward Derrick, pathologist at the Brisbane Hospital in the early 1950s who was responsible for first identifying the organism that causes Q Fever.

Professor Aldo Vacca, obstetrician at the Royal whose contributions to the field of women’s health have helped an immeasurable number of doctors, women and babies.

Adjunct Associate Professor Alanna Geary, current Metro North Hospital and Health Service Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery.

Professor Tess Cramond, advocate for new technologies, programs, and multidisciplinary approaches to pain management.

Professor Lawrie Powell AC, esteemed clinician, teacher, researcher with a 60-year association with Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Elaine Unkles OAM, Director of Physiotherapy at RBWH from 1984 until 2011.

Professor Joan Webster, recognised leader in hospital-based nursing and midwifery research and RBWH’s Nursing Director of Research since 2011.

Dr Grantley Stable O.B.E. was an eminent paediatrician well known and regarded for his significant contribution to the care of newborn and premature babies. The Neonatal Unit at RBWH is named in his honour.

Joyce Tweddell was a nurse who trained in radiography before joining the Australian Army Nursing Service. She became a Prisoner of War after surviving the bombing of the ship bound for Australia during WWII. After three and a half years as a POW, Joyce went on to become second in charge of the Radiography Unit at Brisbane Hospital and Queensland’s Chief Radiographer.

Charlotte Adderley was just 22-years-old when a tragic event left her with third degree burns to 32 per cent of her body. Thanks to RBWH staff and treatment advancements developed through the Burns, Trauma and Critical Care Research Centre, Charlotte’s life is now back on track.

Dr James Mayne was a Resident Medical Officer at the Brisbane Hospital from 1891 until 1898 when he was appointed Medical Superintendent. He donated a significant portion of his earnings and family estate to benefit the hospital, as well as medical education in Queensland.

Ned Hanlon was born in Paddington, Brisbane in 1887. He was a railway worker, soldier and grocer who went on to become Premier of Queensland. He played a key role in the introduction of Queensland’s free State public health system and the network of maternal and child welfare clinics.