In Theatre
Vol. 21 No 3 | Spring 2019
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

This article is 5 years old and may no longer reflect current clinical practice.

Dr Philip Vincent Moon

Dr Philip Vincent Moon

Dr Philip Vincent Moon

Philip Vincent Moon was born in Surrey, UK, in 1959 to a loving family. Phil completed his schooling in England, he had an excellent academic record and was appointed as the Head Boy in his final year.

Phil studied medicine at Sheffield University, in the North of England, where he established lifelong friendships. After graduating from medical school, Phil worked in rural England as a GP, but soon after gaining membership to the Royal College of General Practitioners, realised that he wanted to specialise in obstetrics and gynaecology. Phil’s specialist training spanned two continents, and in 1992 he arrived in Townsville for a 12-month training position. Phil enjoyed the lifestyle in Australia so much that he settled here and became an Australian Citizen. In 1995, while at the Gold Coast Hospital, Phil gained his RANZCOG Fellowship.

Phil met his wife Tasha in 1995, and for 24 years they were inseparable. In 1998, Phil and Tasha backpacked around the world for an entire year. They were to travel extensively during their life together, with their last adventure only eight weeks before his death.

Phil was an exceptional man and a gifted O&G. He was meticulous in everything he did, and always with patience and kindness beyond measure. Phil had a calmness about him and a gentle smile that was valued by his friends, colleagues and patients. His fundamental belief that everyone should have access to excellent healthcare, regardless of their financial situation, meant that Phil spent his career working exclusively in the public system. He loved teaching and training junior doctors and worked hard to instil in them a good work ethic, respect for their colleagues and empathy for their patients.

Phil and Tasha have two sons, Oliver aged 10 and Joshua aged 8. Tasha describes Phil meeting his sons as two of the most profound moments of his life. Phil was an extremely devoted husband and father. In 2015, Phil, Tasha, Ollie and Joshie set off on a six-month family trip of a lifetime, doing a lap of Australia in a caravan, allowing him to share his love of travel and adventure with his boys.

Since his stage 4 cancer diagnosis in late 2017, Phil and Tasha remained positive and made the most of every single day with their family. He fought with everything he had to stay, but on 8 April 2019, surrounded by his loving family, Phil passed away.

Phil was respected, admired and loved by all. He was smart, quietly spoken and always remained humble. He was a good man, a moral and philosophical example of how to live a good life.

He is survived by his wife, Tasha, and children Ollie and Joshua.

Dr Gillian van Iddekinge

Dr Sarwat Fouad Shenouda

Dr Sarwat Fouad Shenouda

Dr Sarwat Fouad Shenouda

Sarwat Shenouda was born in Al Minya in Egypt on 12 October 1957, the third of four brothers to Fouad Shenouda and Marguerite Youssef.

He finished school in Cairo and worked briefly as a waiter in London in 1975 before completing medicine at the University of Ain Shams in December 1981. He completed a Master of Clinical Pathology in 1985 and worked in several specialities in Egypt before migrating to Australia.

He married his wife Gilan in 1986 in Melbourne and had two children, son Rami in 1990 and daughter Mayar in 1992. He worked around Australia as a GP and later began specialist training with RANZCOG. He first worked at the Northern Hospital in Melbourne to complete his Fellowship training in 2000. He remained at Northern Hospital as a consultant; a post he held until his death. He also worked as a consultant at Kilmore District Hospital (until 2019) and at the Royal Women’s Hospital until 2005.

He made an enormous contribution to the obstetrics and gynaecology unit at the Northern hospital and was part of the local and hospital community throughout this time. Sarwat was a great clinician and he loved teaching. He was a passionate supporter, educator and mentor of medical students, midwives, RANZCOG trainees and international doctors. He was the backbone of the obstetrics and gynaecology unit during some challenging times and for many years he volunteered to do many extra days of on call when the unit was short staffed.

Sarwat got along extremely well with the people he worked with and regarded them as family. He was immediately recognisable with his own familiar greeting and his warm personality filled every room. His generosity was immeasurable, and he loved to share food, laughter and love with anyone that crossed his path.

He had been extremely brave, but also realistic, in his fight with his illness for more than five years. He had multiple surgeries, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hospital admissions, yet throughout he remained very positive about life and work. He became extremely close to God in the last few years of his life, which helped bring him further joy and peace in addition to the love and support of his family and friends.

Sarwat Shenouda peacefully passed away on Friday, 10 May 2019 surrounded by his family. He will always be remembered by his loved ones as a great human being.

Dr Rami Shenouda

Dr Andrew Ngu

A/Prof Paul Howat

Dr Ronald Rutherford Elvidge.

Dr Ronald Rutherford Elvidge.

Dr Ronald Rutherford Elvidge

Ron Elvidge, obstetrician, gynaecologist and All Black captain died recently, aged 96.

Ron attended John McGlashan College in Dunedin. There he was Head Prefect in years 1939 and 1940. He was swimming, boxing and fives champion, runner up in cross country, broke numerous athletics records and was a member of the first XV and first XI at the age of 14.

In the following years he pursued and tried to balance both rugby and medical studies, sometimes with difficulty. During the war he was a member of the Otago Medical Corps. He gained a NZ University Rugby Blue.

From 1942–1950 he played 30 games for Otago, for a time captaining the team that held the Ranfurly Shield for 18 games. Thus earning his god-like status as reported in the Otago Daily Times. ‘When Elvidge walks down the street he turns more heads than Bing Crosby would’. He also played 19 games, including nine tests for the All Blacks, as captain on seven occasions.

His most memorable game, an event that would appear to come straight from the ‘Boys Own’ magazine, was the third test against the British Lions in 1950, an era when replacements were not allowed. The All Blacks were trailing 3–0, and were down to 14 players when Ron left the field with a serious shoulder injury and a deep cut to his head. ‘With his arm hanging loose and experiencing great pain’ he returned to the field playing in a roving role. He received the ball, dived through a fierce tackle and scored a try that won the match and the series for New Zealand. That was his last game of rugby.

He graduated MB ChB in 1948, did his house surgeon years in Dunedin, including time in Sir Bernard Dawson’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, thus sparking his interest for specialisation. He enjoyed participating in the hospital culture even to the extent that in the role of Father Christmas he drove his sleigh, a baby Austin car, around the ground floor wards, but had to walk the upper floors with his bag of goodies.

In 1950 he went to England to begin specialist training in O&G, with residencies in Shrewsbury, Edgeware General Hospitals and Oxford. There he was greatly influenced by the renowned New Zealanders, John Stallworthy and Bill Hawksworth. He passed his MRCOG in 1956.

Ron married Prue Browne and in 1956 they returned to New Zealand where Tim, James and Jo were born. He joined the oldest Auckland O&G specialist practice with Tom Plunkett, Alastair Macfarlane and Bruce Grieve. Obstetrics was Ron’s forte. Within a very short time he had the busiest practice in Auckland; every expectant father wanted his child delivered in the large, safe hands of the ex-All Black captain.

He also obtained a visiting position at St Helen’s Hospital and a short time later at National Women’s Hospital he joined the ‘B’ team with visiting specialists, Bruce Grieve, Bernie Kyle and Ian Ronayne. He enjoyed and was proud of his team at NWH and contributed to postgraduate teaching. Ron performed his private gynaecological surgery at Rawhiti Hospital in Mt Eden where he learned laparoscopy skills in the late 1970s.

In the mid-1970s Ron gave the writer half of his obstetric practice and so started another long, happy association. Many families much appreciated the care and attention the partners gave to arranging adoptions of babies born in their practice.

Ron became a Fellow of the RCOG in 1972, served on the College Council 1976–79, and apart from that involvement he strenuously avoided hospital politics and committees.

He had other quirks too, such as writing abbreviations in the margins of his clinical record – most not appropriate for publication. A favourite one was UTC – ‘Uncle Tom Cobley and all’ – referring to the growing demand for the father to be present at the delivery of his baby.

Forty years of a new happy life started in 1978 when he and Dawn Ulrich married. Three years later they moved to a lifestyle block and set up a kiwifruit orchard, but Ron continued in practice in the city until retirement in 1988. Then more time was given to social golf and bridge, community activities, U3A groups studying cosmology, geology and world religions, meeting old colleagues, enjoying a Saturday rugby match and holidaying at his beach in the Bay of Islands.

His was a life to be celebrated, a life of achievement and courage, generosity and humility.

Prof Ron Jones

Dawn Elvidge

This obituary was first published in The New Zealand Medical Journal, 2019, Volume 132 Number 1496.


Dr Murray William Elliot

Murray Elliott died on 4 May 2019 at the age of 97. After a private cremation, a Memorial Service was held in St Augustine’s Anglican Church, Hamilton
on 30 May 2019.

Murray was born and educated in Adelaide, graduating in Medicine (University of Adelaide) in 1943.

In 1944 he enlisted in the army, initially posted to Cowra, the site of a Japanese POW internment camp, and then to Rabaul, at the time of Japanese surrender in 1945. He later volunteered for service within the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in post-war Japan, where he spent two years, during which time he developed a keen interest in Japanese culture and creative arts. The favourable impressions remained with him and later expanded to other Asian countries, notably New Guinea and Indonesia. His expertise was subsequently duly recognised by his appointment to the council of the National Gallery of Australia in the early 1980s.

Returning to Adelaide in 1947, Murray commenced O&G training and in 1949 sailed to England to sit the MRCOG. On board the ship he met his wife, Jill (Gillian) Earnshaw. On return to Australia, he established his successful private practice in Brisbane. He gained visiting specialist appointments to the then Brisbane General & Women’s Hospitals, resigning in 1965 in favour of a more senior appointment in gynaecology at Princess Alexandra Hospital.

In 1979, Murray obtained Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RACOG) aiding the College in a co-operative scheme with the aim of assisting the advancement of O&G services in Indonesia. Pursuing his Asian interest, in 1977 and 1984, Murray led medical teams to Sumatra and Sulawesi. In civilian life, Murray maintained his service in the RAAMC, eventually becoming national Army Consultant in O&G with the rank of Colonel. He was awarded the Efficiency Decoration (ED). His sense of duty extended to the activities of the St John Ambulance Brigade, both state and national, the Order honouring him with a Knighthood. He served on College Regional Council, as well as Queensland State Committee.

His varied achievements were recognised in 1993 by the award of AO.

Murray is survived by his wife Jill, their four children, (Jonathon, Rachael, Mark and Simon) 13 grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.

Reflecting on a long life, his achievements were indeed praiseworthy, involving multiple forms of service. He had the admiration of all – his family, a wide circle of friends, medical colleagues and those in various other disciplines and, not least, his many patients.

Dr Brian Hill


Geoffrey James Bishop

Geoff Bishop, one of Melbourne’s leading O&Gs, died on 1 June 2019, aged 86 years.

Following his graduation from Melbourne University, Geoff chose O&G as his future career and trained at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne and at Mill Road Hospital, Liverpool. He worked in Liverpool for three years where he experienced the poverty, the Flying Squad rescues of complicated deliveries and honed his obstetrical skills to perfection. He was offered a permanent position at Liverpool by Sir Norman Jeffcoate but chose to return to Australia in 1965.

He was appointed an honorary gynaecologist at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, Melbourne, and rapidly developed a busy private practice in O&G. The practice covered a large area as he attended hospitals from the CBD to Hampton, some 18 km and at times, a 40-minute drive away. His children remembered long drives on a Saturday morning as he visited his patients, usually listening to ‘The Goon Show’ and ‘My Word’ on the car radio. His later practice extended to the Monash Medical Centre and Box Hill Hospital.

Geoff was an excellent teacher; he believed strongly in the value of clinical experience and exposure to the real problems faced by patients. He, along with other consultants, always helped prepare the registrars for their specialist examinations. He was a superb clinician and excellent surgeon. He was greatly respected and trusted by his medical friends and colleagues and was known at the Queen Vic as ‘the doctor’s obstetrician’.

Geoff had an exceptional commitment to Women’s Health. He was passionate about our duty to teach our profession, to contribute to all College activities as well as the wider world community of international women’s health. He set the standard for those who followed by combining his practice with many voluntary activities. These included:

  • Member and Chairman, Victorian State Committee RCOG/RACOG
  • Member of Council RACOG, including several terms in Executive Positions
  • Member of Council of AOFOG, including terms on the Executive and as President
  • Chairman, Organising Committee AOFOG conference Melbourne
  • Member of the Medical Board of Victoria
  • Member of the Australian-Asian Association of Victoria, including terms as President
  • Consultant O&G work for the WHO
  • Teaching and Training roles throughout Asia in places such as Bangalore, Mandalay, Karachi, Jamshedpur, Sendai, Ulaan Bataar, plus many more. He was the first International Fellow of the Mongolian Association of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

After his retirement from private practice he, with much pleasure, took on the role of honorary curator of the RANZCOG Museum and Library. He also gifted the College with a barbeque, which still stands in the carpark of College House bearing his name on the plaque.

Geoff was a man of life; he welcomed it, supported it, devoted himself to it and thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of it. He received everything in the busy world with enthusiasm, engagement and good humour. He loved fellowship and went to great lengths to celebrate it. Those who worked with him will recall countless occasions of capacious socialising, full of fun, laughter and that particular glint in his eye. He had very many friends in the world of O&G, spanning the hospitals and countries he worked in over the years. He respected and enjoyed all Asian cultures and this endeared him to his Asian colleagues, all of whom reciprocated with their respect and friendship. On one occasion, when Geoff was hospitalised with a severe illness, the then President and Secretary General of AOFOG flew from Singapore to Melbourne just to see and support him.

Geoff loved his family, his garden, swimming, tennis, golf and fishing. His was a full and fulfilled life. He is survived by his wife Ruth, their children and grandchildren.

Geoff was very appropriately recognised for his enormous contributions to O&G by receiving an AM in the Australian honours system, and the highest possible recognition from RANZCOG, the President’s Medal.

His friends and colleagues have been privileged to have known Geoff, to have worked with him and to have shared his love of our profession, his love of friendship and his devotion to promoting excellence in the provision of women’s health in the world.

Vale Geoff.

Dr John Campbell OAM

Tom Bishop

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