OBITUARY - Emeritus Professor Campbell Harry Graham

12 July 2011

Emeritus Professor Campbell Harry "Cam" Graham BDS, DDS (Northwestern), MDS, FACD, FACDS - A Scholar and a Gentleman

Campbell Harry Graham was born on 15th April 1915.

He completed his secondary education at North Sydney Boys' High School with the Leaving Certificate in 1934. In 1935 he entered the Faculty of Dentistry in the University of Sydney and graduated Bachelor of Dental Surgery (Hons) in 1938.

He was awarded a Montgomery Ward Scholarship to Northwestern University in Chicago in 1939 and obtained a Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1940, later returning to Sydney to commence private practice. In 1943 Cam began part-time teaching in the Faculty, progressing to full-time, initially as a lecturer, then as senior lecturer. In 1954 he was appointed to the Chair in Prosthetic Dentistry in the University of Malaya, where his patient manner and kindness was rewarded by appreciation of staff and students. It was fortunate that Cam returned to the University of Sydney in 1959, appointed associate professor and subsequently in 1961 to the Chair of Prosthetic Dentistry when Faculty expansion allowed new staff appointments. Cam delivered a lifetime of service to dentistry and prosthodontics and retired from the Chair early (at 62 years of age) in 1977. He continued on a part-time basis for some years.

Cam was a wonderful mentor and friend to those staff who had the good fortune to have been appointed to the department during the period from 1959 to 1977; he was a gifted clinician and one who preferred being involved with his patients rather than the inevitable administrative requirements of senior academic appointments. He preferred to leave this to others and his devoted administrative staff. Cam was also an inspiring teacher and influenced generations of students in nurturing patients and delivering quality clinical service - he was ahead of his time in emphasising patient-centred care, which has now become the focus of patient management.

Cam was especially gifted in removable prosthodontics which at that time was a major component of clinical practice, but in addition had extended his clinical experience in Malaya in maxilla-facial prosthetics. This field of rehabilitation of patients after cancer surgery to the face and jaws was especially demanding requiring advanced clinical dental and psycho-social skills and the pioneering work of applying new materials in the fabrication of maxillofacial prostheses. The management of pain and dysfunction caused by temporomandibular disorders was the third component of Cam's clinical responsibilities. This was a broad skill set with demanding patient expectations but was always delivered with patience, understanding and wisdom. It was into this exciting clinical academic environment that those staff who had the good fortune to be appointed to the department during Cam's time had the opportunity to experience. Most of all under Cam's management the atmosphere was collegiate, supportive, welcoming to staff as new graduates and accepting of individuals - it was a very special environment.

Cam was the beloved husband of Maise (deceased) for more than 60 years and is survived by his 2 children and grandchildren.


Franki G. A History of Dentistry in NSW (1945 - 1995). Sydney, Dent Board NSW and ADA (NSW) Branch Ltd, 1997

Connell WF, Sherington GE, Fletcher BH, Turney C, Bygott U. Australia's First - A History of the University of Sydney, Vol 2 ( 1940 - 1990), Sydney, Hale and Ironmonger, 1995