University Officers

Arthur Edward Mills

An early graduate of the University of Sydney (MB ChM 1889), Arthur Mills was a Fellow of Senate of the University from 1920 to 1925 and from 1929 to 1939, and was elected Deputy Chancellor by Senate from 1936 to 1939.


(1865 - 1940)
MB ChM Sydney
Fellow of Senate 1920 - 1925 and 1929-1939, including election by Senate as
– Deputy Chancellor 1936 - 1939

His early years

Arthur Edward Mills was born on 13 February 1865 at Mudgee, New South Wales.

He was educated at Mudgee, Dubbo and Gulgong.

His student days at the University of Sydney

Mills became a pupil-teacher but, having difficulty in controlling older boys, he boarded in Sydney and matriculated at the University of Sydney, enrolling in Medicine.

His undergraduate career was extremely good and he achieved honours in ten subjects: classics, mathematics, chemistry, botany, anatomy, physiology, pathology, medicine, surgery and midwifery.

He completed the common first year in 1884, enrolled in Medicine II in 1885 and graduated MB ChM with 2nd class honours in 1889 in minimum time.


Arthur Edward Mills in 1887 (back row, right of the pillar) with RPAH staff and Medicine students, photo G3_224_2655, University of Sydney Archives.


Arthur Edward Mills (left) in the graduating class of 1889, photo from 'The Centenery Book of the Faculty of Medicine'.


Arthur Edward Mills in the 1880s, photo G3_224_1775, University of Sydney Archives.

His career

Mills became a physician and a professor of medicine at the University of Sydney.

He was a resident at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in 1889, demonstrated in anatomy at the University in 1890, entered general practice in 1892 at Picton, was appointed assistant physician at Prince Alfred in 1898, physician in 1910 and consultant in 1930 and set up as a consultant physician in Macquarie Street in 1910.

From 1901 Mills had lectured at the University in the diseases of children. He visited the Infants' Home, Ashfield, as honorary medical officer for thirty-five years and introduced a modified Truby King feeding schedule which greatly reduced infant mortality from gastro-enteritis. In 1906 he visited medical schools in Berlin and was impressed with the importance given to teaching the physiological and biochemical principles underlying clinical medicine, and was one of the earliest to teach in this modern way in Sydney.

He became Lecturer in the principles and practice of medicine in 1910.

In 1915 he joined the Australian Imperial Force as major, served overseas at No 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, and at administrative headquarters, London, and was recalled to the University in 1916.

From 1920 to 1930 he was Professor of the principles and practice of medicine, and Dean in 1920-25.

In 1926 Mills had accepted the offer of the post of chief medical officer for the Mutual Life & Citizens Assurance Co. Ltd, and was a foundation fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (1938).

He died suddenly in Martin Place of coronary occlusion on 10 April 1940.

From the Dictionary of Australian Biography


Arthur Edward Mills in 1922, photo from the Sydney Medical School Senior Yearbook 1922, Faculty of Medicine Online Museum.

Arthur Edward Mills

Arthur Edward Mills, photo, University of Sydney Archives.

His membership of Senate

He was a Fellow of Senate 1920 - 1925 and 1929-1939:

  • 1920 - 1925: Fellow representative of the teaching staff, elected by a Faculty as may from time to time be prescribed by by-laws made by the Senate
  • 1929 - 1934: Fellow representative of the teaching staff, elected by a Faculty as may from time to time be prescribed by by-laws made by the Senate
  • 1934 - 1939: Fellow elected by the graduates
Professor Arthur Edward Mills - Deputy Chancellor

Professor Arthur Edward Mills - Deputy Chancellor 1936-1939, photo from 'The Centenery Book of the Faculty of Medicine'.

Senate's tribute

On 10 April 1940, Senate resolved:

"The Senate of the University of Sydney records its deep sense of the loss sustained by the death of Arthur Edward Mills, MB ChM.

Dr Mills graduated as Bachelor of Medicine in the year 1889 and was one of seven students who obtained the MB degree in that year. After spending twelve months as a Resident Medical Officer in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, he was appointed Demonstrator in Anatomy in 1890 and was thus the first Sydney graduate to hold a University appointment in the Faculty of Medicine. He was appointed as Examiner in Anatomy in the year 1894 and Lecturer in the Principles and Practice of Medicine in 1910. During the year 1915, he proceeded overseas and served with the AIF as a Major in the Australian Army Medical Corps. He was appointed Professor of Medicine in the year 1920, in which year he became Dean of the Faculty. As Dean, he served as a Fellow of the Senate from 1920 to 1925; he was elected a Fellow by the graduates in 1929 and re-elected in 1934. He held the office of Deputy Chancellor during the years 1937, 1938 and 1939.

Throughout his long career as a medical practitioner and as a member of the University, Dr Mills displayed qualities which brought him affectionate regard from all with whom he came in contact. He has served the University loyally and faithfully and maintained a keen interest in its advancement from the time of his early association with it. His joint benefaction with his widow was the remodelling of the present Senate room, so that his name is preserved, not only as a loyal and faithful servant of the institution, but as an honoured benefactor as well. His many students, who are now practising the profession of Medicine in every sphere of the world, will ever regard his memory with affection and reverence.

The Senate desires to record its deepest sympathy with his widow and other relatives."