Ferguson-Glass Oration

History of the Oration

AFOEM's keynote lecture was named the Ferguson Glass Oration soon after our incorporation into the RACP, as part of our efforts to showcase our history and pay homage to our founders. This was in line with other Faculties of the time, the Faculty of Public Health and the Faculty of Rehabilitation, who also had named ​orations.

The Ferguson-Glass Oration is named after Professor David Alexander Ferguson AM and Professor William Ivan Glass. In the early years, both Professor Ferguson AM and​ Professor Glass attended their jointly named lectures, and were duly acknowledged as the two Founding Fathers of academic ​occupational ​medicine in Australia and New Zealand.

Both ​Professor Ferguson AM and Professor Glass were pioneers of the discipline of ​occupational ​medicine in Australia and New Zealand, first through Australia and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine (ANZSOM), then the Australasian College of Occupational Medicine and finally via the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Ferguson-Glass orators

See a list of Ferguson-Glass ​Orators from 1996 to today.

Professor David Alexander Ferguson AM and Professor William Ivan Glass

Professor David Alexander Ferguson AM

Professor David Alexander Ferguson AM grew up in an intellectual Sydney family. His father was a Sydney medical microbiologist, pathologist and medical entomologist who was also president of the Linnean Society of NSW. After graduation from The University of Sydney in 1942 with honours, and following his war service in ​South-​East Asia as a Regimental Medical Officer, David Ferguson spent some time as a general practitioner at Narromine in NSW. He was a revolutionary physician, a man with unfashionable concerns for his time, and who wrote his MD ​thesis on ​'Stress and Health in Telegraphy​'. He was the first Professor of ​occupational and ​environmental ​health in Australia, the man who cajoled and badgered in order to set up a Diploma in Occupational Medicine at the University of Sydney which later became the second term of a Master's Degree in Public Health. In the early days of the old College of Occupational Medicine, this course was the de facto examination for admission to the College as an Associate. He was one of the three founders of the Australian College of Occupational Medicine in 1982 and was the College's second president from 1985 to 1987. He passed away unexpectedly following a dinner with friends at his home in Lindfield, Sydney on 12 March 2002 at the age of 81.

Professor William Ivan Glass

Professor William Ivan Glass graduated from the University of Otago in 1956 and two years later, set sail for London. He arrived with his wife, his bags, no job and nowhere to live. His mentor at the time, Dr Chris Wood, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine advised that he enroll there. Bill became a Member of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine in the UK in 1978 and the rest is history.

Professor David Alexander Ferguson AM
Professor David Alexander Ferguson
Professor William Ivan Glass
Professor William Ivan Glass
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