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2024 | Volume 25 | Issue 2

Author: Professor Christopher Pyke,  Chair, History, Heritage and Archives – on behalf of the History, Heritage and Archives section.


The History, Heritage and Archives section is committed to preserve and promote of RACS rich history in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

The College’s vast historical collection features artefacts, photographs, documents, and artworks with an Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand focus.

These including medical instruments that have advanced surgery and unique collections such as those from the Queen’s Hospital, Sidcup. The Cowlishaw rare book collection is also a significant part of the heritage collection.

The collection houses portraits of past College presidents and surgeons of great merit including College founders like Hugh Devine, and Ivor Hele’s portrait of Sir Henry Newland, the Archibald prize winner in 1954.

The History, Heritage and Archives section gives everyone the opportunity to not only assist in preservation of the College’s history, but it also acknowledges changes in surgery,  and its successes and challenges.

As the RACS centenary is fast approaching, the History, Heritage and Archives section will play a crucial role in developing the theme, events and celebrations.

The History, Heritage and Archives section plans to expand its activities with involvement in the centenary and upcoming projects such as Rare Book Week and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria’s History Month. Increasing our membership base of the section, will help voices from all states and territories and across all surgical specialties to contribute.

We welcome your participation to join  us as a valued member to continue our work.

To join the section, please email [email protected]