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E.S. Meyers Memorial Lecture

The Errol Solomon Meyers Memorial Lecture is the premier academic event on the University of Queensland Medical Society’s calendar, bringing a world-class orator to address the UQMS community.


The E.S. Meyers Memorial Lecture, now in its 63rd year, is the premier academic event on the University of Queensland Medical Society calendar, attracting students, staff and alumni, as well as the greater Brisbane community. As a reflection of Professor E.S. Meyers’ life, the lecture creates a forum for a noteworthy individual to weave together aspects of health, community, and social justice through reflection on their own life and achievement. Each year, the Medical Society invites a luminary in the field of medicine, science, sports, arts, literature or diplomacy to give the keynote address. Past speakers have included: biologist Lord Robert Winston; cricketer and politician lmran Khan; Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty; author Lord Jeffrey Archer; and mountaineer and diplomat Sir Edmund Hillary.


Errol Solomon Meyers

The Faculty of Medicine was established in 1936 after five decades of advocacy for a medical school in what was to become the state of Queensland. Many laboured to achieve the opportunity for careers in medicine for young Queensland men and women.


One of the acknowledged founding fathers was Dr Errol Solomon Meyers. A pioneer in professional health education in Queensland, he was a leader in postgraduate medical education and undergraduate and postgraduate dental education prior to the establishment of the Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry at The University of Queensland in 1936. From 1925 he was a leader in postgraduate medical education courses conducted at the British Medical Association (Queensland Branch), and was the doyen of surgical anatomy. A general surgeon and teacher of singular ability, E. S. Meyers taught anatomy and surgical dissection to dental students in Brisbane from 1922, establishing an Anatomy School within the dental hospital in George Street in 1927. From that time Dr Meyers brought the strength of his considerable personality to bear on the need to establish a School of Medicine in Queensland, a triumph achieved finally on 13 March 1936.


In July 1957, the year after the death of this founding father, the UQMS established the Errol Solomon Meyers Memorial Lecture to honour his contributions to medicine in general, and to his role as one of the most significant founders of the Medical School in Queensland in particular. As a reflection of the ethos of “Joe” Meyers’ life this Memorial Lecture, which this year celebrates its 61st anniversary, comprises a forum for a person of distinction to present a perspective of endeavour and achievement.

Past Speakers

2023: Joe Brumm

Creator, Writer and Director of the animated series ‘Bluey’ – “Creating the Biggest Little Show on Earth”

2022: Steven Bradbury

The Southern Hemisphere’s 1st Winter Olympic Gold Medalist – “Last Man Standing”

2021: Mr. Li Cunxin AO

Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet and award-winning author of ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’ – “The Pursuit of Excellence”

2021: Dr. Vijay Roach

President of The Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

2019: Professor Allan Duffy

Research Fellow at Swinburne University and Lead Scientist of the Royal Institution of Australia – “Sick Astro”

2018: Ms Leigh Sales

Journalist and Author – “Blindsides, resilience and what happens after the worst day of your life”

2017: Associate Professor Munjed Al Muderis

Orthopaedic Surgeon – ” From Iraq to Osseointegration”

2016: Dr Ranjana Srivastava

Oncologist, Writer & Educator – “Ars Longa Vita Brevis (Life is Short, the Art Long): Reflections on the Makings of a Good Doctor”

2015: Professor Megan Davis

Chair and Expert Member, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues -“An International and Domestic Law Perspective on the Health and Wellbeing of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People”

2014: Dr Mark Loane AM

National Chair, Indigenous and Remote Eye Health Service – “Reflections on 20 Years of Remote Eye Health”

2013: Dr Nicholas Coatsworth

Past President, Mèdecins sans Frontières Australia – “Unexpected Journeys: From Darfur to Darwin”

2012: Dr James Moreton

Founder, World’s Greatest Shave – “Sliding Doors”

2011: The Honourable Michael Kirby Retired Judge,

High Court of Australia – “HIV/AIDS and Law Reform: Desperate Need to Move Mountains”

2010: Dr Paul Luckin

Commander, Royal Naval Reserve – “Disasters, Rescue and Retrieval”

2009: Dr Rowan Gilles

Past President of International Mèdecins sans Frontières – “Challenges in Humanitarian Assistance”

2008: Professor Graeme Clark

Inventer, Bionic Ear – “The Multi-channel Cochlear Implant; the First Clinically

Successful Sensory Interface Between the World of Sound and Human Consciousness”

2007: Dr Charles Teo

Paediatric Neurosurgeon – “That Which Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”

2006: Clinical Professor Fiona Wood

2005 Australian of the Year – “Striving for Excellence in Health Care”

2005: Professor William P. Schecter

Professor of Clinical Surgery, UCSF – “Terrorist Mass Casualty Events in Israel: Historical Context and Clinical Management”

2004: Robert C. Gallo

Director, Institute of Virology, University of Maryland – “HIV in the third decade. Lessons from the Past Experiences and Future Prospects”

2003: Professor Jonathan Sprent

Professor of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute, California – “T Cells and the Thymus”

2002: Professor Alan Trounson

“Discussing Embryos and Embryonic Stem Cells: Creating New Medical Directions”

2001: Professor Earl Owen

Microsurgery Pioneer – “Microsurgical Reflections, First Hand”

2000: Lord Robert Winston

Professor of Fertility Studies, London – “Will We Still Be Human at the End of the 21st Century?”

1999: Dr Mike Toole

International Health Physician, Mèdecins sans Frontières – “Public Health Responses to Humanitarian Crises”

1998: Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Julius Sumner Miller Fellow, University of Sydney – “Great Moments in Science”

1997: Dr Peter Doherty

1996 Nobel Prize Recipient for Medicine – “How We Deal With Viral Infections”

1996: Professor Grant Sutherland

International President of the Human Genome Project – “The Human Genome Project and Medical Practice in the 21st Century”

1995: The Right Hon Lord Jeffrey Archer

Internationally acclaimed British author and former Member of Parliament – “It Takes Nineteen Hours a Day to be a Best-seller”

1994: Mr Imran Khan

International Cricketer and Humanitarian – “From Centuries to Service”

1993: Mrs Gabi Hollows

Fred Hollows Foundation – “Vision and Outreach”

1992: Sir Edmund Hillary

Mountaineer and Diplomat – “After Everest: Health, Religion and Education in the Himalayas”

1991: Dr Struan Sutherland

Commonwealth Serum Laboratories – “Reflections on Venomous Pursuits”

1990: Professor Dame Sheila Sherlock Emeritus

Professor, University of London – “Alcohol and the Liver”

1989: The Right Hon Neal Blewett Federal

Minister for Health and Community Services – “Care, Concern and Conscience”

1988: Dr Victor Chang

Cardiac Surgeon – “The Australian Heart Transplant Programme – Past Progress and Future Dreams”

1987: Professor Sir Gustav

Nossal Director, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne – “Vision of a New Therapeutic Future”

1986: Dr Max Lake

Surgeon, Wine Producer – “The Excitement of Wine”

1985: Professor D Penington

Vice-Chancellor, University of Melbourne – “The Future of Medical Practice in Australia”

1984: Professor H Baddeley

Radiologist – “The Shandong Medical School in China”

1983: Professor A Guyton

Physiologist – ”Hypertension: A Current Analysis”

1982: Professor D Saunders Gynaecologist – “In Vitro Fertilization”

1981: Professor N Lickiss

Specialist Community Health – “The Quality of Life and Death: The Possibilities and Limits of Medical Practice”

1980: Professor L Opit

Specialist Social and Preventive Medicine – “Medical Practice in Australia”

1979: Professor E Parry

Physician – “Health and Urban Change in Africa”

1978: Dr N Groots

“Autism in Indians: An Unspoken Problem”

1977: Professor Charles Kerr

Specialist Community Health – “Uranium and Health”

1976: Professor D Llewelly-Jones

Gynaecologist – “Talking Doctors”

1975: Professor T Szasz

Psychiatrist 1974: Dr W Gillies Ophthalmologist – “China: A Medical Visitor’s Viewpoint”

1973: Dr P Erbech

1972: Dr Bevan

1971: Professor H Seeliger

Specialist in Tropical Medicine – “The Development of Social and Preventive Medicine in Western Africa”

1970: Sir Percy Spender

Former President, International Court

1969: Dr (later Sir) Evan Thomson

Surgeon – “Training in Surgery”

1968: Professor (later Sir) Martin Roth

Psychiatrist – “The Changing Concept of Medical Education”

1967: Dr M Carseldine

General Practitioner – “A GP Reminisces”

1966: Dr D Jackson

Paediatrician – “Changing Attitudes to Paediatrics over the Last 30 Years”

1965: Dr T O’Leary

Flying Doctor – “Aerial Medical Evacuation With Special Emphasis on the Precautions Necessary in Particular Circumstances”

1964: Dr K Hirschfeld

Surgeon – “Some Aspects of Medical Education”

1963: Professor D Gordon

Dean, Faculty of Medicine – “Memories of Joe”

1962: Dr WJ Saxton

Radiologist – “The Person” 1961: Dr AE Lee Surgeon – “Voluntary Health Insurance in Australia”

1960: Dr GAC Douglas

Orthopaedic Surgeon

1959: Dr FWR Lukin

Urologist – “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”

1958: Dr LJJ Nye


1957: Professor N G Sutton

Dean, Faculty of Medicine – “Comprehensive Medicine”

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