Global Health
Vol. 22 No 4 | Summer 2020
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

This article is 4 years old and may no longer reflect current clinical practice.

Dr Paul Sutherland

Paul was warm and inclusive in his professional and personal life. He had a strong concept of obstetric practice being about working with midwives, respecting women’s autonomy and empowering women through their birth experience.

Paul grew up in New Zealand. After medical school in Otago and resident years in Christchurch, Paul worked in Hong Kong in general practice before spending six months with the NZ Army Surgical Team in Vietnam. Paul commenced his obstetrics and gynaecology training in Southampton in 1974, obtaining membership of the British College in 1978.

Paul subsequently moved to Australia and, in the early 1980s, with British specialist qualifications, built up a busy practice in Sydney as a GP obstetrician and gynaecologist. Paul supported home-birthing in the late 70s and early 80s. He had admitting rights to King George V (KGV) Hospital as a GP obstetrician such that women could be transferred there under his care. With an appreciation of Paul’s approach to obstetrics, he was encouraged to obtain Australian O&G qualifications. In 1985–86 Paul undertook extra registrar training at KGV in order to obtain Fellowship of the Australian College (FRANZCOG) in 1986. At this time, the birth centre model of care was being conceptualised. Increasingly women sought a more homely environment in the hospital, with continuity of care by a small team of midwives and obstetric backup. The KGV Birth Centre opened in 1990, with Paul as its first medical consultant.

Paul’s gynaecology practice thrived in the early 80s, in the home-birthing days, and continued to do so in private specialist practice after he obtained FRANZCOG. He undertook further fertility training and enjoyed fertility practice as well as general O&G practice for years to come.

Enthusiasm and curiosity characterised Paul. He loved exploring new dimensions, in work and in life generally. After retirement from private practice, Paul enjoyed many regional locums. Paul’s enthusiasm for his children, art, travel, yoga and meditation, and even keeping snakes and fish, was that of a man who loved life.

Paul is remembered as a colleague and friend whose striking, and at times flamboyant, demeanor and interests sat uniquely alongside his sensitive and compassionate professional practice. As a loving father of Susan, Nicky, Hannah, David and Sam, grandfather of Sophie, Joshua, Annah, Luca and Sofia, brother of Lorraine, partner of Helen and friend of many, he is deeply missed.

Dr Sue Jacobs


Dr Francis Clement Chapman

In May this year we lost one of the true gentleman obstetricians of Sydney, Dr Francis Clement Chapman. Frank grew up in the country at Taree and undertook secondary education at Shore Grammar on the North Shore. He obtained a Commonwealth Scholarship to do Medicine at the University of Sydney from where he graduated in 1956. After graduation he completed his O&G training at St George Hospital, apart from the standard stint in the UK in Reading at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and the Battle Hospital to hone surgical and obstetric skills ‘practicing on the Poms’. He was a generous man and subsequently he would visit his Australian registrars in London on his trips back and take them out for scrumptious meals at the Dorchester Hotel where he would order his favourite red wine, a Chateauneuf du Pape.

It was St George Hospital where he established his long-term practice. It was also there that he found his life partner, Anne, who became a vital part of his success.

He delivered thousands of babies in the St George/Sutherland area over his 50 years of practice. He had a series of families where he had delivered both mother and daughter and even grandchildren. He was a very skilled obstetrician and a very able teacher. He taught all his registrars the art of manual rotation of the head. He seldom used forceps except a pair of Wrigley’s to lift out the baby’s head. Frank was loved by the junior staff. They always knew he was available for support. He was a consultant who, even in the middle of the night, would come immediately when contacted. Medical students and nursing students would look to Frank for tuition which he freely gave. He was always generous with his time despite having a busy private and public practice. He played a significant role in the evolution of St George Hospital maternity service from a cottage hospital to a major teaching centre over his career.

Frank had many interests outside of medicine. The most significant was his passion for music. He was a highly competent violin player, and in later years became a violin maker, with his goal of making the perfect copy of a Stradivarius. He would frequent the Chinese market in Campsie in search of the best horse glue for his violins. He painstakingly produced 10 violins and two cellos and was working on his third cello at the time of his passing. There are stories at St George of Frank entertaining the midwives and labouring women by playing his violin on Labour Ward while waiting for a delivery.

He will be remembered as a kind gentle man, highly proficient in his specialty and generous to all within the profession and in the community. We will miss him, this giant teddy bear with an infectious grin.

He leaves behind Ann, his two sons, grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Prof Michael Chapman


Dr Robert Francis Ogle

Robert was born in Turkey of English parents. His father, a successful businessman, travelled a great deal and Robert’s early years were spent travelling through Europe.

He was a student at St Aloysius College where he excelled in his studies and also tennis. He then went to Sydney University graduating in medicine in 1982. He achieved FRACOG (later changed to FRANZCOG) in 1996.

In 1997, he travelled to London where he was Senior Clinical Research Fellow and subsequently, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics at the Royal Free Hospital and University College where he was involved in early studies of genetics, fetal medicine and pioneer studies in Nuchal Translucency.

Returning to Australia in 1999, he became a staff specialist and conjoint senior lecturer in Maternal Fetal Medicine and Clinical Genetics at Liverpool Hospital. In 2001, he was appointed as senior staff specialist in Maternal Fetal Medicine and Molecular and Clinical Genetics at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH).

From 2009, he was Director of RPA Women and Babies and from 2012 he was Director of Women’s Health, Neonatology and Paediatrics SLHD.

Robert was an author of almost 50 research papers, in 12 of which he was the lead.

He loved RPAH with a passion, his life was the hospital. Six days a week (Sunday was his day of rest) he could be found either in the fetomaternal unit or at his desk.

Robert was devoted to the public hospital system, to his staff, the trainees and most of all his patients, who loved him dearly.

His passing has left a great void in the hospital. He was the soul of the RPAH O&G Department. A cancer that was thought to be cured returned with a vengeance to claim his life with a sudden ferocity. Gone too soon!

Dr Louis Izzo, Dr Mona Marabani and Dr Jason Ting

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