The History of ANZAPS

The History of ANZAPS

The Australian & New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons was formed in May 1979 to represent Paediatric Surgeons training and practising in Australia and New Zealand and in overseas postings.
Summary of the Early History of the ANZAPS

Much of this information was provided by Colin Smith, former Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Archivist.

The Section of Paediatric Surgery within the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) was established in 1963 (Council Minutes, 17 October 1965) and upgraded to a Division of Paediatric Surgery (now known as Specialty of Paediatric Surgery) in 1983 (Section 7, Council Minutes, 27-28 October 1983).  The Section of Paediatric Surgery and the AAPS were linked within the RACS scheme of embracing specialties in 1981 (Section 7, Council Minutes, 26 June 1981, p. 39).

File 505 in Series C12, held in the Archives (a file of the College Secretary, dated 1979) contains correspondence notifying the RACS of the formation of the Australian Association of Paediatric Surgeons in May, 1979, and the disbanding in its favour of the surgical section of the Australian College of Paediatrics.

The AAPS also expressed a wish to cooperate with the Section of Paediatric Surgery within RACS (which was making a big effort at the time, led by Mr Durham Smith, to rationalise its relationships to specialist societies and link them all to its own internal specialists' organisations).

It is of interest that the AAPS was considered to render redundant a section of surgery within the Australian College of Paediatrics, but not to supercede a Section of Paediatrics within the RACS.

There is a reference (file C12/176) to the 13th Annual Meeting of the Australian Paediatric Association in 1968, which would indicate that the APA was formed in 1955.  There is a related reference (Section 7, Council Minutes, 27-28 September 1972) to the formation of a Surgical Section of the Australian Paediatric Association.

The first reference to the introduction of paediatrics to the list of specialties of the finals FRACS Examination was in May 1957 in an examination held in Wellington and Melbourne, commencing May 3, 1957.  Paediatrics examiners were Russell Howard and E G McKay, and two candidates presented in paediatrics, both of whom were approved.  Altogether, three candidates because paediatric surgeons: Peter Jones, Robert Fowler and Geoffrey Wyllie.  The son of another successful candidate at that examination became a paediatric surgeon.

Compiled by Spencer Beasley, President, AAPS (when he stood as Secretary in 1991)