Media Release

Fri, 10 Nov 2017
Celebrating surgeons

Cairns surgeon Dr Alan de Costa will deliver the annual Ivan Lester Memorial Lecture at the Cairns Hospital on Thursday 23 November, hosted by the Cairns Surgical Society and James Cook University.

The lecture honours Dr Lester, the first Medical Superintendent at Cairns Base Hospital where he worked from 1952 until 1975. In his 20 years as general surgeon and hospital administrator his legendary work ethic saw him undertaking an impressive range of surgical procedures as well as dealing with hospital business and political matters.

Dr de Costa will speak on the topic of Art, Science and Surgery. “Art is the foundational principle of human societies. It is at the heart of language, philosophy and science, which are the building blocks of modern medicine,” he said. “The craft of surgery, the handwork (chirurgery), is understood and learned as an art – Performance Art.”

Alan de Costa is a Cairns surgeon and Associate Professor of surgery at James Cook University. He received the Order of Australia Medal earlier this year for his service to medicine and the communities of far north Queensland.

At the same event the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons will honour three local surgeons for their outstanding service to the community.

“We’re very proud to be part of the ceremony in which surgeons John Knott, Larry Perrett and Paul Muscio will be recognized,” Dr de Costa said. “Between them these three have devoted more than a century of outstanding service to surgery in Cairns and the far north.”

The three award recipients are: John Knott, whose mix of public and private practice since 1978 makes him the city’s longest-serving surgeon; Larry Perrett, who was Surgical Superintendent at Cairns Base Hospital for the final quarter of the 20th century and then continued as a surgical assistant and a teacher in postgraduate surgical courses held here; Paul Muscio, who will be acknowledged for his work in orthopaedics, including his involvement in developing and supporting outreach services to Thursday Island, Weipa and Cooktown.

The lecture and awards ceremony will be held from 6.30pm to 8.00pm on Thursday 23 November at the Cairns Base Hospital Auditorium on level two of Block A.

Admission is free and all are welcome. To register (for catering purposes) please contact surgucasl.training@jcu.edu.au