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Professor Colin Wendell-Smith RIP

Professor Colin Wendell-Smith AO (Life membership awarded 2010, deceased 2015)



Professor Wendell-Smith, originally from the UK, served with the British Army as a medical doctor during the Malayan Emergency. He practiced as an OBGYN between 1951-1955 in the UK, Malaya and Singapore before moving to Australia. He was an Associate Professor of Anatomy at the UNSW until 1968 when he accepted the position as Chair of Anatomy in the fledgling medical school at the University of Tasmania (UTAS).

Professor Wendell-Smith was elected President of the Staff Association in 1971 at UTAS and eventually served as Deputy Vice Chancellor. Even after his retirement, he continued to serve the anatomy community as a member of the Federated International Committee on Anatomical Terminology (FICAT) as a delegate of the Anatomical Society of Australia and New Zealand, where he served as secretary.

Major areas of research and scholarship

His legacy includes the establishment of the Family Planning Association (FPA) of Tasmania. He served on the national council of the FPA of Australia from 1972-1989 and in 1989 was the Australian representative on the International Planned Parenthood Federation. He was also an active member of Dying With Dignity until his passing in 2015. In 1991, Professor Wendell-Smith was awarded an Order of Australia for “services to public health”. Even after his passing, Professor Wendell-Smith continues to provide service to health and anatomy education as he has donated his body for anatomical dissection.