Professor Jane Gunn

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Jane Gunn as Dean.

Professor Jane Gunn

MDHS welcomes the appointment of Professor Jane Gunn as Dean

Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell cheerfully took the opportunity at the MDHS staff Roadshow on 19 October to announce the formal appointment of Professor Jane Gunn (MBBS 1987, PhD 1998) as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS). The news rapidly made its way through both formal and informal channels, lifting spirits and confirming a bright outlook for faculty staff and students.

A Melbourne Medical School graduate and long-standing member of the University community, Professor Gunn has served as Dean since her interim appointment in February. This formal appointment now follows an extensive global search and selection process. Prior to taking on the role, she was the faculty’s Deputy Dean and held positions as Head of the Department of General Practice and Deputy Head of the Melbourne Medical School, since joining the faculty in 1997 as a Senior Lecturer.

Born in the regional town of Sale, Victoria, Professor Gunn's parents instilled the ‘importance of inquiry’ in her from a young age – a mantra she uses to this day. Her interest and admiration for a local GP inspired her to make the 214km trip from her family home to study in Melbourne at a time when women made up less than 45 per cent of Melbourne medical students.

In five years, MDHS celebrates the 150th anniversary of the appointment of the first Dean of Medicine, George Britton Halford, in 1867. The faculty now encompasses a vastly expanded range of disciplines and sits at the heart of extensive clinical and research networks and partnerships. As Dean, Professor Gunn will guide the faculty’s strategic path at a pivotal time for both health and higher education.

Used to dismantling barriers, Professor Gunn was the first person to be awarded a PhD in general practice at the University and has made prominent leadership contributions to the establishment and evolution of patient-centred care and general practice research. A distinguished academic, Professor Gunn was inaugural Chair of Primary Care Research at the University and has twice been included in the NHMRC ‘10 of the Best’ collection, most recently in 2020.

Her commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, her emotionally intelligent leadership, and her holistic approach to problem solving promise to serve us well in uncertain and challenging circumstances. We celebrate her confirmation as the first woman Dean as an historic event as well as celebrating her outstanding scholarship and leadership. She will continue to work across the University and our partner network to build knowledge and skills, foster excellent research, and provide transformative educational experiences to our students.

Congratulations to Professor Jane Gunn.

First published on the MDHS website, 18 October 2021.