Tribute to a great friend and colleague - Associate Professor Geoffrey McKellar

20 June 2013

Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, Professor Chris Peck, on behalf of all members of the faculty and University expresses great sadness on learning of the passing of Associate Professor Geoffrey McKellar and wishes to share with you a few tributes written by colleagues and friends that reflect our deep respect and affection for the great man Professor Geoff McKellar was and the esteem we all held him in.

Dr Bruce Austin:

"The passing of Assoc. Professor Geoffrey McKellar on April 4, 2013 was a sad day for the University of Sydney.

He was a "University Man" in the truest sense with an enviable legacy in research and education.

His University association commenced as an Undergraduate at the University of Queensland, followed by his Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Training and Master's Degree from the University of Melbourne 1980. Involvement with the University of Sydney commenced when he was appointed as a Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at Westmead in 1982 and subsequently Director in 1984.

From there on Geoff was involved in Undergraduate Dental Education and Specialist Training culminating in the supervision of 36 FRACDS (OMS) Fellows. He supervised 5 Master's degrees, theses, and contributed to over 42 short courses nationally and internationally. He was appointed Associate Professor OMS at the University of Sydney in 1998.

The Westmead FRACDS (OMS) course ran for 25 years and provided a valuable update and preparation course for Registrars sitting the RACDS (OMS) examinations. He contributed 4 textbook chapters, 15 papers and 18 abstracts to the literature of the Speciality.

Geoff had visiting Professorships to the Universities of Queensland, Otago, Minnesota, New York, Tokyo and Poland. He was a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Dental Surgeons, General Stream 1984 and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 1985 by examination. He was awarded a Fellowship Ad Eundem in Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons (FDSRCS) of England in 2006.Geoff was a sought after examiner for RACDS, Australian Universities and as a Proctor for the American Board Examinations in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

His research interests lay in the fields of bone biology and tissue engineering. TM joint prostheses, stereolithographic modelling, polylactic acid membranes, and the use of botulinum toxin in the management of facial/craniomandibular pain and otomandibular dystonia. Much of this research was of a collaborative nature at the forefront of technology. Geoffrey's contribution to the University of Sydney and his influence on Graduate and Post-Graduate education and research will be sadly missed."

Dr John E deB Norman:

I last spoke with Geoffrey and Ann after Verity's funeral service at St Anne's Church in Strathfield. His handshake was firm, and both he and Ann offered words of encouragement.

I had come to know Geoff in 1992 and to appreciate his worth, and on a visit to one of the peace loving countries in the world, daily in the news, I came to know him better. We broke bread together on several occasions during that visit.

He was a fine diagnostician, and this became obvious and clear. He had what the older brethren called a good pair of hands and on the occasions that we operated together at the Mater and St George he demonstrated this.

I sought his opinion on a 23 year old patient with chronic recurrent anterior dislocation of the jaw. He gave the opinion, concluding with the words Cannabis indica is the probable cause of her mandibular dystonia. It was. Geoff's particular skill was in orthognathic surgery - jaw orthopaedics - and his judgement was excellent.

The guiding light however was Ann and it was Ann who took the load and gave navigational guidance to her partner. His worth was recognised by the late Professor John Lowry CBE, FRCS, and the Ad Eundem Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (2006) was timely and appropriate, and was applauded by his colleagues.

A/Professor Robert Mitchell has praised Geoffrey McKellar's contribution to the emergent discipline of maxillofacial and oral surgery. He will be sorely missed, and condolences are offered to Ann and his family in Queensland.

I love a sunburnt country

A land of sweeping plains

Of ragged mountain ranges

Of drought and flooding rains.

Vale Geoffrey McKellar - Rest in Peace."

Associate Prof Geoff McKellar
Associate Prof Geoff McKellar

Contact: Denise Fischer

Phone: 02 9351 8300

Email: 75341b263d36053311112e0e0f1973350f51192c0b79101d19400636