Last year marked a busy round of reunions for the Melbourne Medical School. MBBS graduates from the classes of 1948, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992 and 1997 each celebrated milestones.
Class of 1992 (25 year reunion)
Reunion functions varied from buffet lunches to cocktail parties and drew a broad group of alumni, from those who have memories of studying at the Mildura campus in the 1940s, to recent graduates who studied in our newest buildings in Parkville.
We would particularly like to acknowledge class organisers, whose commitment and enthusiasm for the reunion program continues the tradition of camaraderie within the Melbourne Medical School community.
As part of the 2017 reunion celebrations, MBBS classes of 1952, 1954, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987 and 1992 each contributed towards a gift to support student scholarships. As a result, 210 donors contributed more than $90,000 to support current medical students.
All these reunion class gifts are matched by the Faculty and School up to $10,000 per class, and matching will continue in 2018, magnifying the impact for students.
With the Doctor of Medicine now placing a significant financial burden on students, with costs upwards of $295,000 for some students, these gifts will help support the next generation of doctors training at the Melbourne Medical School.
But scholarships go well beyond financial support and can have a profound impact on a student’s life. The support that students receive from their medical community can instil a great sense of belonging and drive to succeed in their studies, as well as a desire to give back to society upon graduating.
The class of 1972 were the first reunion group to set up a class gift and have together contributed more than $50,000 to establish a named perpetual scholarship.
Reunion committee member Professor Geoffrey Donnan AO (MBBS 1972, MD 1980) spoke at the group’s reunion last year, telling colleagues: “It is fitting, as we come together to catch up and celebrate our university days, that we consider giving back to support the next generation of talented students, for whom the cost of study is substantially more than it was in our day.
“It is my hope that, as a class, we will set up a scholarship that is enduring, and in doing so, provide inspiration for other year groups to follow.”
We look forward to announcing this year’s scholarship recipients shortly and sharing their stories with you. Our reunion class-giving initiative will continue in 2018, supporting and inspiring future generations of medical students.
“I remember struggling financially during my undergraduate days, even though our cohort in the 70s had the benefit of Commonwealth Scholarships and, eventually, the abolition of university fees. So, having gained lifelong, secure employment and immense satisfaction from that education, and now being able to retire comfortably, I wanted to help our younger colleagues who are travelling the same path without the government assistance we enjoyed.”
A graduate of the MBBS class of 1977 and participant in reunion giving in 2017.
MBBS Class of 1955
“The MBBS class of 1955 held their annual reunion lunch at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club on 4 October, 2017. The 26 who attended included four partners and two carers. The excellent smorgasbord lunch was enjoyed by all and the entertainment was provided by our member Paul Dolphin, a leading Melbourne poet and deep water sailor. Paul read some of his poems which contained a medical theme. The gathering agreed to meet again next year.”
Dr Graham A Syme (MBBS 1955)
MBBS Class of 1960
“The class of 1960 Reunion on Wednesday 18 October saw 53 people attend a very successful event, with 12 of our colleagues apologising for their absence. Michael Long and Bryce Phillips were asked to tell us about what they had been up to in their careers and these stories proved to be fascinating. They have made substantial contributions across many areas in addition to medical practice and we were delighted to hear from them.”
Dr Warren Johnson AM (MBBS 1960)
MBBS Class of 1962
“The 1962 medical graduates of the University of Melbourne held our 55-year reunion at the RACV Club on Wednesday 15 October. At the same time, in an adjacent room, the 1960 group held their 57-year reunion and many old friendships were renewed. We had 45 graduates in attendance and an enjoyable time was had by all. A number of apologies and best wishes were received from graduates who were still travelling overseas despite the fact that we are now aged in our 70s. Many thanks go to all who attended, with special thanks to alumni travelling from overseas and interstate, including Sam Slutski from Israel, Alan Ebringer from the UK, Alex Auldist and Adam Fligelman from NSW, Norm Edwards from Queensland and John Sheedy from South Australia.”
Dr Ian Rechtman (MBBS 1962)