Stories Organisations Projects About Login

Academic Bonnet

From the Collection of Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History ANZCA House 630 St Kilda Road Melbourne Victoria

Navy blue velvet cloth bonnet with stiffened brim covered in same fabric as bonnet. Around the hat is tied a gold cord with tassels.
7 x 32.5 x 34.8
Object Registration
burnell, mary, academic bonnet, australian society of anaesthetists, faculty of anaesthetists, royal australasian college of surgeons, royal college of surgeons, fellowship
Historical information
This academic bonnet belonged to Dr Mary Burnell. Mary Taylor Burnell was born on 21 February 1907, in Norwood, South Australia. She graduated with her MBBS in 1931. In 1932, Burnell served as a resident medical officer at Adelaide Children’s Hospital. By 1934 she was their Honorary Anaesthetist. It was also during this period that Burnell became the first female member of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists. One year later, in 1935, she worked as Secretary for the South Australian Section of the Society.
Although resigning from her position at the Children’s Hospital in 1937, Burnell returned in 1942. The outbreak of World War II meant hospital staff and resources were drained. During her work, Burnell lobbied for a Department of Anaesthetics in the Children’s Hospital. Through working at both hospitals, she became aware of the great differences between administering anaesthesia to children and administering it to adults.
In 1953 she was elected President of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists. She was the first female to be elected to this position. Two years later in 1955, Burnell was elected as a member of the Board of Faculty of Anaesthetists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. In 1966 she was elected Dean of the Faculty of Anaesthetists. Again, she was the first female to be elected to this position.
Burnell worked tirelessly to promote the importance of anaesthetics in Australia. Burnell’s contributions to anaesthetics were recognised with Honorary Fellowships to both the Australian Faculty of Anaesthetists and Royal College of Surgeons.
Last updated
3 Mar 2017 at 10:12AM