Old Camberwell Grammarians' Association

Gallery of Achievement


Sir John Lewtas Frew OBE (1930)

 John Frew graduated in medicine from the University of Melbourne in 1938. In March 1941 he was appointed a Captain in the Australian Army Medical Corps and was posted to Malaya. While a prisoner of war from 1942 to 1945, he treated soldiers and civilian labourers working on the Burma – Thailand Railway.

In the post war period, John Frew held every post available to him at the Royal Melbourne Hospital: honorary physician to out-patients (1946-57) and in-patients (1958-72), Subdean of the clinical school (1947-55) and consultant physician (1972-85).

A gifted teacher, John Frew was a clinical instructor (1948-72) at the University of Melbourne’s faculty of medicine. Through the Colombo Plan and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, he advised on the development of medicine in India and South-East Asia. He served as a member (1954-79), Vice-President (1968-73) and President (1973-79) of the RMH committee of management, as well as Chairman (1967) of the hospital’s medical staff. For the RACP he was Censor (1956-66), Censor-in-chief (1966-70), Vice-President (1970-72) and President (1972-74). He was a member of the Medical Salaries Committee (1959-62), the Victorian Nursing Council (1963-74), the Australian Hospital Association (1977-79), the Victorian Hospitals Association (1974-79) and the National Health and Medical Research Council’s first medical research ethics committee (1982-84); a commissioner (1967-69) of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories; and chairman of the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (1982-85) and the Freemasons Hospital board of management (1983-85).

Appointed an OBE in 1976 and knighted in 1980, he was a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, and an honorary fellow of the Academy of Medicine of Singapore, the Australian Medical Association and the American College of Physicians.

(1912 – 1985)