Name: Margaret ‘Gretta’ McClelland, OBE
MBBS – University of Melbourne (1931)
DA – London (1942)
Date of Birth: March 1905
Date of Death: 30 November 1990
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In 1935, McClelland moved to Sydney and worked at the Coast Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children.[vi] After a year, McClelland relocated to the United Kingdom. She held only temporary positions from 1936 to 1940 in hospitals such as the Shadwell Children’s Hospital, St Giles’ and Bellam. In 1941 she was awarded with a full time position as an anaesthetic at Central Middlesex Hospital.[vii] As opposed to returning to Australia with the outbreak of World War II, McClelland stayed in the United Kingdom. Her work with civilian life during the War was a significant contribution that was later awarded. Whilst in London, McClelland studied for a Diploma of Anaesthetic which was awarded to her in 1942.[viii]
After the war, in 1946, McClelland returned to Melbourne to work in private practice. Her postgraduate qualifications from the United Kingdom considerably boosted McClelland’s career.
In 1948, McClelland was hired as the honorary anaesthetic to the Children’s Hospital in Melbourne becoming the chief anaesthetist and director in the following years.[x] Her passion for advancing the work of children and anaesthesia led to some groundbreaking developments. For example, working on the Adams-McClelland T-piece in the 1905s and 1960s.[xi]
McClelland’s contributions to the specialty have been acknowledged. In 1952, she became a Foundation Fellow of FARACS.[xii] She also received a Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in England. Just prior to her retirement, McClelland received the Orton Medal for outstanding work in anaesthetics, 1968.[xiii] This was followed by a honorary Fellowship from FARACS. Outside of anaesthetic awards, McClelland was granted an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1979 for her work in the UK during the War.[xiv] McClelland’s dedication to advancing patient care and her significant contributions to the field of anaesthetics are her legacy.
[i] T. C. K. Brown, ‘Margaret (Gretta) McClelland 1905-1990’, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, 19, no. 2 (May 1991): 311, ANZCA Archives, Series 11.[ii] Ibid.[iii] Margaret McClelland, ‘Exordium’, Application Form, 1952, Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History: VKGM 6903.4.[iv] Brown, ‘Margaret (Gretta) McClelland 1905-1990’, p. 311.[v] Ibid.[vi] Ibid.[vii] Ibid.[viii] Margaret McClelland, ‘Exordium’.[ix] Australian Society of Anaesthetists, ‘ASA Presidents’, 2015, Online: https://www.asa.org.au/ASA/About_us/History_of_the_Society/Past_Presidents/Past_Presidents.aspx.[x] Noel Cass, ‘Sir Henry Bolte, Civil Honour for Margaret McClelland’, Letter, 9th December 1969, ANZCA Archives, Series 11.[xi] Brown, ‘Margaret (Gretta) McClelland 1905-1990’, p. 312.[xii] Margaret McClelland, ‘Exordium’.[xiii] Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, ‘Robert Orton Medal’, 2015, Online: http://www.anzca.edu.au/about-anzca/our-awards/robert-orton-medal.html.[xiv] Australian Government, ‘It’s an Honour’, 2015, Online: https://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=1108486&search_type=quick&showInd=true.
- ‘Gretta McClelland’, ANZCA Archives, Series 108, Item Number 10.
- ‘Robert Orton Award’, Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History: VKGM 1806.
- Margaret McClelland, ‘Exordium’, Application Form, 1952, Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History: VKGM 6903.4.
- ‘Ayre’s T piece connectors with adjustable valve’, Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History: VKGM 2755.