Dame Annie Jean Macnamara (1899-1968), Professor George Paton (1902-1985), Vice Chancellor and Dame Kate Campbell DBE (1899-1986)

17 Dec 1966
Dame Annie Jean Macnamara (1899-1968), Professor George Paton (1902-1985), Vice Chancellor and Dame Kate Campbell DBE (1899-1986) at conferring of Degrees Ceremony, 17 December 1966 on Campbell's and Macnamara's admission to Doctors of Laws.

Dame Kate Campbell, DBE (1899-1986) was a physician and paediatrician and an eminent alumna of the University of Melbourne. After residencies at the Melbourne Hospital, Children's Hospital and (Royal) Women's Hospital, Campbell established a general practice and in 1929 began teaching neonatal paediatrics at the University of Melbourne - the first such appointment in Australia. A pioneer of neonatal intensive care, Campbell's most outstanding contribution in research was in 1951 when she established that excess therapeutic oxygen lay behind acquired retrolental fibroplasia, a condition that could lead to blindness among premature babies. Appointed OBE in 1954, she was elevated to DBE in 1971 for services to the welfare of Australian children.

Annie Jean Macnamara (1899–1968) was a dynamic, determined and outspoken clinician,who successfully combined research, a busy clinical practice and a strong commitment to her patients. This was widely recognised, and she was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1935 for her outstanding contribution to the care of polio sufferers. Graduating in 1922 with an MBBS and
the Beaney scholarship in surgery, she began her internship at Melbourne Hospital.
It was after gaining a residency at the Children’s Hospital, one of the first women to
do so, that she first encountered the devastating consequences of polio. She dedicated the majority of her career to the treatment and rehabilitation of those suffering children.

One of her greatest achievements was the discovery, with Macfarlane Burnet,that there was more than one strain of the polio virus. This was crucial for the eventual development of an effective vaccine for polio. A fellowship in orthopaedics in the United States honed her skills in physical treatment, and she adapted splints and devices to immobilise, protect and subsequently allow rehabilitation of paralysed limbs. She is also credited with ordering Australia’s first artificial respirator during her time overseas. She is remembered on the Australian 45-cent stamp with Frank Macfarlane Burnet.
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Object detail

12.2 x 16.8 cm
Accession Number
Medical History Museum Category


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