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Biographical entry Harper, Margaret Hilda (1879 - 1964)

Born
4 April 1879
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died
2 January 1964
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Paediatrician

Summary

Margaret Harper was a paediatrician whose career was a series 'firsts': the first woman to be appointed to the honorary staff of Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children; the Medical Officer of the first baby clinic established in New South Wales (1914); the first Director of the Mothercraft Homes and Nurses' Training Schools; the first person to differentiate between coeliac disease and cystic fibrosis. Her primary interests lay in the diseases of the newborn and their mothers. She gained an international reputation for her contributions to infant feeding and paediatric nutrition. Harper was one of the six women who in 1922 founded the Rachel Forster Hospital for Women and Children in Sydney. Her book The parent's book (1924) reached its 20th edition in 1955. In 1938 she was one of only four women to become foundation Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians

Details

Events

1906
Education - MB ChM, University of Sydney
1907 - 1910
Career position - Resident Medical Officer, Royal Hospital for Women, Paddington, New South Wales
1910 - 1926
Career position - Resident Medical Officer, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Camperdown, New South Wales
1914 -
Career position - Medical Officer at the first baby clinic when established at Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children
1915 - 1924
Career position - In general practice, Woolstonecraft, New South Wales
1919 -
Career position - First Director, Mothercraft Homes and Nurses’ Training Schools, Royal Society for the Welfare of Mothers and Children
1919 -
Career position - Member of Council, Royal Society for the Welfare of Mothers and Babies
1921 - 1949
Career position - Medical Director, Tresillian Mothercraft Home, Petersham, New South Wales
1922 -
Career position - Co-founder, Rachel Forster Hospital for Women and
1926 - 1935
Career position - Honorary Medical Officer, Royal Hospital for Women, Paddington, New South Wales
1935 - 1962
Career position - Honorary Consulting Physician, Royal Hospital for Women, Paddington
1936 - 1944
Career position - Member, Hospitals Commission of New South Wales
1938
Career position - Founding Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
1949 -
Career position - Member, Child Welfare Advisory Council of NSW

Archival resources

Private hands (Harper, I.R.L.)

  • Margaret Hilda Harper - Records, 1879 - 1964; Private hands (Harper, I.R.L.). Details

Royal Society for the Welfare of Mothers and Babies

  • Margaret Hilda Harper - Records; Royal Society for the Welfare of Mothers and Babies. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Books

  • Cohen, Lysbeth, Dr. Margaret Harper: her achievements and place in the history of Australia / Lysbeth Cohen, Wentworth Books, Sydney, 1971, 47 pp. Details
  • McDonald, G. L., Roll of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Sydney, 1988, 332 pp. Details

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Little, Marjorie, 'Margaret Hilda Harper', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 1964, no. 2, 1964, pp. 695-6. Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn