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Bryan Furnass - physician and environmentalist

Open Access

The Australian National University, Emeritus Faculty Inc.

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CollectionsANU Emeritus Faculty Oral History Project
Title: Bryan Furnass - physician and environmentalist
Author(s): Furnass, Bryan
Editor(s): Stewart, Peter
Keywords: Bryan Furnass;ANU;Emeritus Faculty;oral history
Publisher: The Australian National University, Emeritus Faculty Inc.
Stanley Bryan Furnass was born in Manchester, England in 1927, and educated at Manchester Grammar School and Oxford University Medical School, graduating in 1949. After postgraduate studies at Middlesex Hospital Medical School in London (and meeting his future wife Anne who was nursing there), Bryan spent two years national service in Sierra Leone, working in tropical medicine. After returning to London, the couple and their twin daughters emigrated to Australia where Bryan became a consulting physician in Goulburn, NSW, in 1960. A year later Bryan moved to a similar position in Canberra. Bryan was appointed Foundation Director of the ANU Medical Service in 1966, a position he held until his retirement from ANU in 1991. Bryan is known for his imaginative approaches to community medicine, emphasising individual responsibility for health care in young adults, and encouraging in them the idea of future ‘health rather than ilth’ through attention to the balance of work and play, and a concern for the environment. Bryan has written widely about these aspects of community and individual health, and has been an activist in a wide range of forums and prolific contributor to scholarly and popular publications. Since retirement, Bryan has not let up, particularly in regard to his concerns for environmental sustainability, ranging over modes of human burial to the causes and consequences of global climate change. He is an active member of the Nature and Science Forum in Canberra, Doctors for the Environment, the Medical Association for Prevention of War, and is a member of the Strategic Council of The Climate Institute of Australia. In 1994, Bryan was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to health education and promotion.


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