List of University of Sydney people

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This is a list of notable staff, graduates and non-graduate former or current students of the University of Sydney.

Alumni or academic[edit]

Government, politics and law[edit]

  • Judge of the United States District Court


Business and industry[edit]

Science and technology[edit]

  • The Executive Director of IEEE
    • E. James Prendergast – former Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for DuPont Electronic & Communication Technologies
  • Veterinary and agricultural scientists
    • Sir Ian Clunies Ross – Chairman Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
    • William Allen CBE – Professor of Equine Reproduction at Cambridge Veterinary School
    • William Beveridge – Professor of Animal Pathology and Director of the Institute of Animal Pathology at Cambridge University from 1947 to 1975
    • Alan Wilton – named the 1994 Australian Science Communicators Unsung Hero of Science; whilst not strictly a veterinary scientist, his research identified rogue genes in Australian cattle dogs; also identified the genes responsible for CL and TNS afflictions in border collies; played a leading role in setting up a DNA sequencing facility that ultimately led to the establishment of the Ramaciotti Centre for Gene Function Analysis at the University of NSW
    • Hugh McLeod Gordon – veterinary parasitologist
    • Dr Ross Perry – Australia’s first registered avian veterinarian; first to study and name Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease, for which he was co-discoverer of viral infection agent[5]
    • Wesley Whitten – veterinary scientist whose research led to breakthroughs in infertility treatment in humans; in 1993 he was awarded the Marshall Medal from the Society for the Study of Fertility and in 1996 the Pioneer Award of the International Society for Embryo Transfer; discovered the synchronisation of the oestrus cycle of female mice exposed to the pheromones in male mouse urine, known as the Whitten effect; developed the Whitten medium, which facilitates culturing mammalian eggs and developing embryos[6]
    • Professor Charles MacKenzie AO, Michigan State University – significant contributor to filarial disease eradication in the peoples of Equatorial Africa[7]
    • Gordon McClymont – agricultural scientist, ecologist, and educationist; foundation chair of the Department of Rural Science at the University of New England; originator of the term "sustainable agriculture"


  • Professor John Mattick AO FAA – Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, whose research led to the discovery of the function of non-coding DNA
  • Professor Alan O. Trounson – President of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
  • Professor David Hunter – Dean for Academic Affairs, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Professor Dame Valerie Beral AC (graduated with first-class honours in both medicine and surgery, 1969) – epidemiologist; Fellow of the Royal Society; Head of Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford and Cancer Research UK since 1989; leader of a survey that established hormone replacement therapy as a major cause of increased breast cancer rates in western nations[10]
  • Professor Virginia L. Hood – President of American College of Physicians
  • Sir Michael Marmot – President of British Medical Association, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, has conducted ground-breaking studies into stroke
  • Sir Archibald Collins – President of British Medical Association in Australia[11]
  • Sir John Eccles – 1963 Nobel Laureate in Medicine or Physiology "for discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane"
  • Sir Bernard Katz – 1970 Nobel Laureate in Medicine or Physiology "for discoveries concerning the humoral transmittors in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation"
  • Stephen W. Kuffler – "father of modern neuroscience"
  • Professor Maxwell Bennett- proved that nerve terminals on muscles release transmitter molecules, rather than just the noradrenaline and acetylcholine that were previously known
  • Sir Henry Harris FRS – Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford; first demonstrated the existence of tumour-suppressing genes
  • Sir Norman Gregg – identified rubella in early pregnancy as a human teratogen
  • Professor Jacques Miller FRS – discoverer of the function of the thymus (the last major organ of the human body whose function remained unknown)
  • Sir Brian Windeyer – Vice-Chancellor of London University 1969–72; Professor of Radiology at London University 1942–69[12]
  • Sir Gustav Nossal FRS – immunologist, discoverer of the "one cell-one antibody" rule, which states that each B lymphocyte, developed in bone marrow, secretes a specific antibody in response to an encounter with a specific foreign antigen
  • Dr Gerald Lawrie – American heart surgeon and pioneer in the surgical treatment of valvular heart disease; performed the first mitral valve repair using the daVinci robotic surgical system; Methodist Hospital Michael E. Debakey Professor of Cardiac Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine
  • Raymond Dart – anatomist and anthropologist, known for his discovery in 1924 of a fossil (first ever found) of Australopithecus africanus (extinct hominid closely related to humans)
  • Dr. Mark C Lidwell – co-inventor of artificial pacemaker
  • Dr. Edgar H Booth – co-inventor of artificial pacemaker
  • Professor Graeme Clark FRS – inventor of cochlear ear implant
  • Professor Colin Sullivan – inventor of the Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP) mask
  • Dr. George Kossoff – co-inventor of the first ultrasound scanner
  • Professor Robert Clancy – developer of first oral vaccine for acute bronchitis
  • Professor John Prineas – discoverer of how brain and spinal cord myelin is destroyed in multiple sclerosis
  • Professor Donald Metcalf FRS – his research revealed the control of blood cell formation
  • Dr Anna Donald (1966–2009) – pioneer and advocate of evidence-based medicine
  • Professor Marshall Edwards – discoverer of maternal hyperthermia as a human teratogen
  • Dr William McBride – obstetrician, who in 1961 first warned the medical world against thalidomide as a human teratogen
  • Professor Samy Azer – Professor of Medical Education; international medical educator
  • Dr John Hunter – Challis Professor of Anatomy at age 24 years whose brilliant career, achieving international recognition, was cut short by fever just two years later
  • Dr Victor Chang AC (1936–1991) – a pioneer of modern heart transplantation
  • Dr Max Lake OAM (1924–2009) – Australia's first specialist hand surgeon
  • Dr Nikos Athanasou – Professor of Musculoskeletal Pathology at Oxford University and Greek-Australian novelist
  • Dr John Diamond – developer of Behavioral Kinesiology (now called Life-Energy Analysis), a system based upon applied kinesiology, incorporating the emotions
  • Professor Patrick McGorry – Australian of the Year 2010
  • Professor Earl Owen – microsurgery pioneer whose institute has trained hundreds of Asian doctors
  • Wirginia Maixner – director of neurosurgery at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. Graduated from the University of Sydney in 1986
  • Robert Kavanaugh – dentist and George Cross recipient
  • Mitchell Notaras – graduate who funded the $1.1 million Mitchel J Notaras Scholarship for Colorectal Medicine at the University of Sydney
  • Professor Geoff White – vascular surgeon; perfected new surgical methods and devices that vastly improved the survival rates of patients and replaced intrusive open surgery, sometimes with day procedures[13]
  • Professor Sir Brian Windeyer – Professor of Therapeutic Radiology at Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London; Vice-Chancellor of the University of London
  • Professor Roland Stocker – scientist in the field of redox biology
  • June Lascelles – microbiologist, pioneer in microbial photosynthesis
  • Dr Marnie Blewitt – molecular biologist, scientist in the field of epigenetics
  • Grace Boelke – general practitioner; one of the first two female graduates in medicine from the University of Sydney
  • Katie Louisa Ardill, OBE – first woman to be appointed as a divisional surgeon in New South Wales; among the first female doctors when she joined the British Expeditionary Forces in Egypt in 1915
  • Grace Cuthbert-Browne, MBE – doctor and Director of Maternal and Baby Welfare in the New South Wales Department of Public Health, 1937–1964
  • Mavis Sweeney (1909–1986) – hospital pharmacist
  • Dr Claudia Bradley, MBE (1909–1967) – pharmacist, paediatrician, orthopaedist
  • Janet Carr (1933–2014) – physiotherapist

Armed services[edit]

  • Lieutenant General Sir Iven Mackay – leader of the 6th Australian Division in the Libya Campaign
  • Lieutenant General Sir Mervyn Brogan – Chief of the General Staff
  • Lieutenant General James Legge – Chief of the General Staff
  • Major-General Sir Victor Windeyer
  • Lieutenant General Sir Carl Jess
  • Lieutenant General Sir Frank Berryman
  • Major-General David Engel – Chief of Materiel
  • Brigadier Sir Frederick Chilton – led the Sydney Anzac Day March in his 100th year
  • Major-General Greg Melick[14]
  • Air Vice Marshal Bruce Short[15]
  • Major-General Sir Ivan Dougherty
  • Major-General John Broadbent CBE[16]
  • Major-General Paul Brereton AM RFD – Head Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division
  • Major-General W B "Digger" James AC AO(Mil) MBE MC – Director-General of Army Medical Services
  • Major-General William Watson – Director-General of Army Medical Services
  • Major-General Frederick Maguire – Director-General of Army Medical Services
  • Captain Gordon King – commando leader awarded the Distinguished Service Order for action at the Battle of Kaiapit[17]
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Drew – Director-General of Army Medical Services (United Kingdom)
  • Rear-Admiral Alec Doyle – Chief of Construction RAN
  • Rear-Admiral Darryl Lynam – Director General of Fleet Maintenance RAN
  • Air Vice Marshal Ian Esplin DFC, Royal Air Force
  • Air Vice Marshal Colin Hingston AM[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal David Morgan AO OBE[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal Rodney Noble AO[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal Glen Reed[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal Neil Smith AM MBE[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal Ian Sutherland AO[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal Ernest Hey CB CBE[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal Michael Helsham AO DFC[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal Brian Graf AO[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal Desmond Douglas OBE DFC[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal Joseph Dietz[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal William Collins AO[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal Lyndon Compton AO OBE[18]
  • Air Vice Marshal Christopher Deeble AM CSC[18]

Arts, literature and media[edit]


  • Roman Catholic Bishops
    • Anthony Fisher – Archbishop of Sydney
    • John Satterthwaite – Bishop of Lismore
    • William Wright – Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle
  • Roman Catholic Priests
  • Church of England Bishops (Australia)
    • Sir Marcus Loane – Archbishop of Sydney
    • Peter Jensen – Archbishop of Sydney
    • Donald Robinson – Archbishop of Sydney
    • Peter Watson – Archbishop of Melbourne
    • Geoffrey Cranswick – Bishop of Tasmania
    • Ian Shevill – Bishop of Newcastle
    • Arthur Green – Bishop of Ballarat
    • Henry Burgmann – Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn
    • Clive Kerle – Bishop of Armidale
    • Glenn Davies – Bishop of North Sydney
    • Edwin Davidson – Bishop of Gippsland
    • Neville Chynoweth – Bishop of Gippsland
    • Robert Forsyth – Bishop of South Sydney
    • Anthony Howard Nichols – Bishop of North West Australia
    • Leo Ash – Bishop of Rockhampton
    • George Cranswick – Bishop of Gippsland
    • David Garnsey – Bishop of Gippsland
  • Church of England Bishops (International)
    • Dudley Foord – Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa
    • Eric Gowing – Bishop of Auckland
    • William Hilliard – Bishop of Nelson
    • Neville Langford-Smith – Bishop of Nakuru (Kenya)
    • Henry Newton – Bishop of New Guinea
    • Chen Fah Yong – Assistant Bishop of Sabah[21][22]
    • Edward Wilton – Bishop of Northern Melanesia (New Guinea)
    • George Chambers – First Bishop of Central Tanganyika
  • Coptic Orthodox Bishops
    • Dr. Anba Suriel – Bishop of Melbourne (Coptic Orthodox)


  • Australian Rugby Union Captains (This is not limited to members of the Sydney University Football Club but reflects the scope of the title of the article – University of Sydney people.)
  • World record holders
    • Jack Metcalfe – competing on Sydney University Oval on 14 December 1935, set a new world record in the triple jump, leaping 15.78 metres
    • Nigel Barker – holder of Australia's first athletics world record, in the 400 yards
  • Notable
    • John Treloar – first Australian to reach final of Olympic Games 100 metres sprint
    • Brendon Cook – international race car driver
    • Caitlin De Wit – wheelchair basketball player




The chancellor is elected by the fellows and presides at Senate meetings. In 1924, the executive position of vice-chancellor was created, and the chancellor ceased to have managerial responsibilities. Until 1860, the chancellor was known as the provost.


The vice-chancellor serves as the chief executive officer of the university, and oversees most of the university's day-to-day operations, with the chancellor serving in a largely ceremonial role. Before 1924, the vice-chancellors were fellows of the university, elected annually by the fellows. Until 1860, the vice-chancellor was known as the vice-provost. Since 1955, the full title has been Vice-Chancellor and Principal.


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  2. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Obituary in SMH 7 June 2010
  7. ^
  8. ^ Who's Who in Australia 2011 page 996
  9. ^ "WATCH: 5G WiFi Will Help Integrate Wireless Networking Into Everyday Lives". The Huffington Post. 
  10. ^ Sydney Morning Herald of 14 June 2010
  11. ^ "Obituaries". Canadian Medical Association Journal 73 (5): 418. 1955. PMC 1826314. 
  12. ^ "Who Was Who 1991–95" page 604
  13. ^ Obituary Sydney Morning Herald 6 February 2012
  14. ^ "Who’s Who in Australia 2010" page 1476
  15. ^ "Who’s Who in Australia 2010" page 1947
  16. ^ Obituary in Sydney Morning Herald 16 November 2006
  17. ^ Obituary in Sydney Morning Herald of 15 July 2010
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Air Vice-Marshals, RAAF Air Power Development Centre.
  19. ^ Slonimsky, Nicolas and Kuhn, Laura (2001). "Hannan, Michael (Francis)". Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. Schirmer Books. ISBN 9780028655253. Online version retrieved 16 November 2015 (subscription required).
  20. ^ "News | The University of Sydney". Retrieved 2015-09-13. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Ken played exclusively for the Randwick Club but graduated Master of Science from Sydney University
  24. ^ Stirling played exclusively for the Gordon Club but graduated Bachelor of Science from Sydney University
  25. ^ Graduate in Science and Engineering; played for Sydney University Club but member of Northern Suburbs Club at time of Australian captaincy
  26. ^ Played for Sydney University Club but member of Randwick Club at time of Australian captaincy
  27. ^ Captained Australia in non-test matches in 2009
  28. ^
  29. ^ Graduated in Arts, played rugby for Northern Suburbs Club
  30. ^
  31. ^ Graduated in Law but did not play for any Sydney University Club