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Biographical entry McLeod, George Roderick Cooper (1933 - 2014)

AO 1988; MB BS Queensland 1957; FRCS Edin 1963; FRCS 1964; FRACS 1966.

10 April 1933
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
24 April 2014
General surgeon


Roderick McLeod was a general surgeon at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, and professor of surgery at the University of Queensland. He was born in Brisbane, Queensland, on 10 April 1933, the second child and first son of George Cooper McLeod, a wholesale and retail merchant, and Josephine Gertrude McLeod née Jurd, a nurse and the daughter of a farmer. He was educated at Windsor State School, Maryborough Boys' High and Intermediate School and Brisbane Boys' College. From 1951 to 1957 he studied medicine at the University of Queensland, where he was mentored by Konrad Hirschfeld, the senior surgeon at Brisbane General Hospital.

From 1958 to 1962 McLeod was a resident medical officer, then a surgical registrar and subsequently a teaching registrar in surgery at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and the University of Queensland.

In 1963 he went to the UK, where he was a surgical registrar at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, and then a senior registrar in general surgery at Hillingdon Hospital, Middlesex. He gained his fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1963 and of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1964.

He returned to Australia in 1965, as acting medical superintendent of Townsville General Hospital. He was a general surgeon at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, from 1969 to 2001, and chairman of the department of surgery there from 1987 to 1990 and then again from 1993 to 2001. He was professor of surgery at the University of Queensland from 1996 to 2002.

He wrote more than 60 papers and 15 book chapters, nearly all in the field of malignant melanoma, and was also coordinator of the Queensland Melanoma Project from 1982 to 2001.

From 1958 he served in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, which included a tour of duty to South Vietnam in 1968. He retired from the Army as a colonel in 1988. In the same year he was awarded the Order of Australia.

Outside medicine, he enjoyed rowing and sailing, and had a particular enthusiasm for steam engines. He had a major interest in history, especially maritime history. He was founding president of the Queensland Maritime Museum and honorary research officer there, and president of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland. In 1997 he gained a graduate diploma in museum studies from James Cook University, Queensland.

In 1960 he married Beatrice Joan Crabtree, a registered nurse. They had a son, Roderick Hardy Cooper, and a daughter, Alexandra Margaret. Roderick McLeod died on 24 April 2014. He was 81.

Sarah Gillam

The Royal College of Surgeons of England