Issue 18 / 13 May 2019

JOHN Barrie Morley was born in Maroubra, NSW, on 15 December 1934. He was the eldest of four children. He was educated at Carey Grammar School in Melbourne and graduated from the University of Melbourne with his MBBS in 1958, in both instances dux of his year.

Barrie spent his formative years at the Prince Henry Hospital in Melbourne before undertaking advanced training at the United Oxford Hospitals Neurology Unit, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Guys Hospital in the United Kingdom (1962–1964). After entering private neurological practice in Melbourne in 1965, he served as a decorated neurologist for the Royal Australian Air Force (1969–1989, Reserve Force Decoration with Clasp). After moving to Toowoomba in 1992, Barrie provided clinics in numerous rural towns across south east Queensland. His academic interests included unusual peripheral neuropathy syndromes, epilepsy, cerebral gliomas and the neurology of music.

Known for his meticulous and compassionate advocacy for patients and war veterans, Barrie participated in various review committees, including the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal, co-authoring six submissions to various Commonwealth and state government enquiries.

Barrie was dedicated to the education and mentorship of countless medical students and physician trainees in Victoria and Queensland for over 60 years. He was instrumental in founding the Monash Medical School where he served as Dean of Clinical School (1978–1979), the Head of Neurology and the Chairman at the Monash Medical Centre (1966–1989). He was made a life governor of Monash Medical Centre in 1978 and a life member of the Australian Brain Foundation in 1991.

Cherished by his students for his eloquence in teaching and his humility, Barrie was also an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland (from 2002 onwards), teaching at the Rural Clinical Schools in Toowoomba and Hervey Bay. A family man of letters, culture and sport, Barrie was a musician, poet, historian and sportsman (and an avid supporter of the Brisbane Lions Australian Football Club). He died peacefully in Toowoomba at the age of 84 years with family at his side.

Barrie was predeceased by his first and second wife and is survived by his four children and five grandchildren.

Dr Bruce Tsz-Chun Chau is an anatomical pathology registrar.

Dr Lindsay Haase is a GP.

4 thoughts on “John Barrie Morley (1934-2019) MBBS FRACP FRCP

  1. Dr. Keith Cansdale General surgeon. says:

    We shared 25 yrs. of exceptional AFL spectatorship, medical stories and life. 2019 is a very lonely AFL season. Where is Barrie now? Up there Cazaly!

  2. John Lamb says:

    Barry was literally a “scholar and a gentleman”. He was loved by both patients and colleagues alike. It was a privilege to share the care of patients with him.

  3. Dr Kate Duncan says:

    Dr Barrie Morley and Dr Isla Williams were two of the most memorable and outstanding teachers at Monash in the 70’s. Watching either of them analyze a complicated neurological case was a great pleasure. They carried diagnosis to an art form and inspired a generation of students.

  4. Stephen Hall says:

    Barrie Morley’s ability to teach simply cannot be overestimated. He was simply outstanding. He and James Lance were the 2 great neurology teachers of my undergraduate years and to this day I remember his eloquent sessions where students across all the Monash hospitals would come together to see so many things revealed. I sincerely hope that the medical students of today have teachers of this calibre

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