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Biographical entry Abbie, Andrew Arthur (1905 - 1976)

Born
8 February 1905
Gillingham, Kent, England
Died
22 July 1976
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Occupation
Anatomist and Anthropologist

Summary

Andrew Abbie migrated to New South Wales (NSW) with his family in the early 1920s. He enrolled at Sydney University in 1924 and completed his BS in 1929. This lead him to a successful and decorated career in medicine, anthropology and education. Dr Andrew Abbie worked at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (NSW), University Collage London, The University of Sydney, in the Australian Imperial Force and at the University of Adelaide where he was appointed the Elder chair of anatomy and histology in 1945 and emeritus professor in medicine,1971. Abbie was a foundation and life member of the Anatomical Society of Australia and New Zealand, a life member of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and served as Chairman of the South Australian Board of Aboriginal Affairs for 10 years.

Details

In December 1941 Andrew Arthur Abbie served as Captain in the Australian Military Force. He was later transferred to the Australian Imperial Force (1942) and underwent training at the Chemical Warfare Physiology School at the University of Melbourne. In 1943 Abbie was appointed to train medical personal in treating casualties of chemical warfare and then in 1944 was sent to Townsville and Papua with the school to study the physiological effects of chemical warfare agents in tropical conditions. In December of the same year he left the military service and moved to South Australia. As Elder chair of anatomy and histology at the University of Adelaide, Abbie was involved in planning the new medical school building, he was the principal lecturer, and continued his research in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. In the 1950s his interest moved to the anthropology of Aborigines and he conducted many expeditions to aboriginal communities in South Australia and the Northern Territory. He progressed through the ranks at the University and retired in 1970, after having published over 120 papers and several resource and academic text books. His service to the University of Adelaide are commemorated annually through the Abbie Memorial Lecture in neuro-anatomy and related fields.

Apart from research and academia, Abbie was also heavily involved in many professional societies and committees. He was a foundation and later life member and president of the Anatomical Society of Australia and New Zealand, a life member of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, President, Anthropological Society of South Australia, Chairman, South Australian Board of Studies in Physiotherapy, Chairman, South Australian Board of Aboriginal Affairs, and University of Adelaide representative on the South Australian Aboriginal & Historical Relics Advisory Board.

Events

c. 1920
Education - Bachelor of Medicine (MB) completed at the University of Sydney
c. 1920
Education - Bachelor of Science (BSc) completed at the University of Sydney
1929
Education - Bachelor of Surgery (BS) completed at the University of Sydney
1930 - 1931
Career position - Resident Medical Officer at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney
1932 - 1934
Career position - Travelling Fellowship received from Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research to work as a Medical Research Fellow at University College, London
1934
Education - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) completed in London
7 November 1934
Life event - Married Frieda Ruth Heighway at the Moore Theological College Chapel in Newtown, NSW
1935 - 1941
Career position - Senior Lecturer in Anatomy at the University of Sydney
1936
Education - Doctor of Medicine (MD) received from the University of Sydney
1940
Career position - The Principles of Anatomy - an undergraduate text book, published in Sydney
1941
Career position - Human Physiology - an undergraduate textbook, published in Sydney
1941
Education - Doctor of Science (DSc) received from the University of Sydney
1941 - 1942
Career position - Captain in the Australian Military Forces
1942 - 1944
Career position - Major with the Australian Imperial Force
1945 - 1970
Career position - Elder Chair of Anatomy and Histology at the University of Adelaide
1948
Career position - President of the Anthropological Society of South Australia
1949
Career position - Associate Dean at the University of Adelaide
1950 - 1952
Career position - Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Adelaide
1950 - 1966
Career position - Chairman of the South Australian Board of Studies in Physiotherapy
1951
Career position - President of the Anthropological Section of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science
1951 - 1966
Career position - Council Chair of the Presbyterian Girl's College in Adelaide
1955 - 1959
Career position - Associate Dean at the University of Adelaide
1959
Career position - President of the Anthropological Society of South Australia
1963 - 1972
Career position - Chairman of the South Australian Board of Aboriginal Affairs
30 December 1963
Life event - Death of first wife
1964
Career position - Acting President of the Anatomical Society of Australia and New Zealand
1965 - 1967
Career position - President of the Anatomical Society of Australia and New Zealand
14 February 1967
Life event - Married Audrey Katherine Allen Simpson at the Unitarian Christian Church in Adelaide
1969
Career position - The Original Australians published
1971 -
Career position - Emeritus Professor at the University of Adelaide
1971
Career position - Life member of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

Archival resources

Barr Smith Library, Special Collections, The University of Adelaide

  • The Papers of Professor Andrew Arthur Abbie, 1905-76, 1933 - 1974, SR 572.994/A124m; Abbie, Andrew Arthur (1905 - 1976); Barr Smith Library, Special Collections, The University of Adelaide. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Elmsie, Ronald; Nance, Susan, 'Abbie, Andrew Arthur (1905-1976), Anatomist and Anthropologist, and Frieda Ruth Heighway (1907-1963), Gynaecologist', in John Ritchie (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 13, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1993, pp. 1-2. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130001b.htm. Details

Journal Articles

  • Abbie, A. A., 'Sir Grafton Elliot Smith', Bulletin of the Post-Graduate Committee in Medicine, University of Sydney, 1949, pp. 101-151. Details
  • Abbie, A. A., 'The History of Biology in Australia', Australian Journal of Science, vol. 17, 1954, pp. 1-9. Details
  • Crowther, W.E.L.H., 'Introduction to Professor Abbie's Survey of the Aboriginal Collection in the Tasmanian Museum', Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, vol. 98, 1964, pp. 63-71. Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J.