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Biographical entry Hayes, Keith Leslie (1921 - 2009)

MB BS Melbourne 1950; FRACS 1959; FRCS 1960.

4 August 1921
Melbourne, Australia
28 December 2009
General practitioner and Orthopaedic surgeon


Keith Hayes was an orthopaedic surgeon at Stawell District Hospital, Victoria, Australia. He was born in Melbourne on 4 August 1921, the third child and only son of Francis Leslie Hayes, a chartered accountant, and his wife, Isobel Oliver Hayes née Young. He obtained a scholarship to Malvern Church of England Grammar School and finished his secondary education at Melbourne Boys' Highs School. He studied mining engineering at Melbourne University, from 1939 to 1941, and then joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as a flight lieutenant, flying Curtiss Kittyhawk fighters in northern Australia.

On his return to civilian life, he entered Melbourne University medical school, completing his clinical years at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where he was a resident medical officer between 1950 and 1952. He was influenced there particularly by the surgeons Sir Albert Coates and Sir Alan Newton, and the physician Sir Clive Fitts.

In 1952 he became a general practitioner in Stawell, in the western part of Victoria, and a visiting medical officer at the local district hospital. There he developed an interest in surgery and, having decided to obtain surgical qualifications, in 1958 he returned to Melbourne as a senior surgical registrar at St Vincent's Hospital, taking a particular interest in orthopaedic surgery. In 1959 he obtained his fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and in 1960 he travelled to England to gain his fellowship of the English College.

Returning to Stawell, he was in practice there as a surgeon and a visiting medical officer at the district hospital, from 1961 until 1986, during which time he had a busy surgical practice. He maintained a special interest in orthopaedic surgery and trauma, the latter being common as a result of motor and farming accidents in the country area.

In 1986 he left Stawell and conducted a medico-legal practice in Melbourne, until 2003. He was a member of the Medico-Legal Society of Victoria, and served on the Australian Health Insurance Commission from 1967 until 1993.

Outside medicine, his interests included painting and the breeding and training of horses. He was a member of the Victoria Racing Club and a life member of the Stawell Racing Club, the Stawell Trotting Club and the Melbourne Harness Racing Club.

He was married three times. His first wife was Ada Lillian Martin. Their marriage was dissolved and he married Margaret Mary Noble in 1965. Tragically, she was killed in a motor accident in 1967. His third wife was Susan Mary Hayes, who survived him, along with four of his five children: Rowan Keith Martin, Annabelle Margaret, Paul Timothy Francis and Peter Edward. A daughter, Danielle Susan, predeceased him in 1999.

Keith Leslie Hayes died on 28 December 2009, at the age of 88.

T T King

The Royal College of Surgeons of England