Dr Frank Monsour RFD

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December 28, 2009
B.D.Sc. (Univ. of Qld.) Honours First Class (Univ. of Qld.) M.D.Sc Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (Univ. of Qld.) Ph.D. (Univ. of Qld.), F.R.A.C.D.S., F.A.D.I. Professor Francis Neville Thomas MONSOUR (RFD) was born of immigrant Lebanese parents - Joseph and Wooda MONSOUR - at BIGGENDENT (Queensland) on 25th May 1938. He was the third child of six and remains the eldest of three surviving siblings (with three not surviving beyond young adulthood because of serious medical disorders and tragedy). He grew up at a railway end cane and dairy stop called BOOYAL (Near Childers, Queensland) until at the age of eight his father died, having suffered many years of debilitating consequences as a survivor of the great train crash with collapse of the Hawksbury River Bridge (NSW). His father had worked as a Hawker and General Storekeeper in the Booyal/Gin Gin district. What followed was several years of moving and dependence of a poor single parent family (mother and five children) on relatives scattered around the Burnett District, until his mother remarried and Francis (Frank) was sent off to Secondary Boarding School (Nudgee College, Brisbane) where, as an ethnic student at the relatively young age of twelve (graduated from Secondary School at sixteen years of age) he discovered the difficulties as well as character building experiences of that era in Australian Social and Cultural Dev elopement, while he excelled scholastically in the Maths and the Sciences to graduate with a Commonwealth Scholarship. It was this Scholarship and the offer of a State Fellowship that permitted and supported his ability to accept a University of Queensland place in Dentistry in 1955, from which he graduated with the only FIRST CLASS HONOURS at the end of 1958/January 1959, at the record age of twenty years (as remembered by the Maryborough (Qld) Chronicle records). He was also awarded 'Top Australian Graduate' and as a consequence Honorary Fellowship of the 'American College of Oral Medicine', as well as several University prizes and the 'Archbishop Duhig (Catholic) Prize' (medal) as the Top Catholic Queensland Graduate in 1959. During his early years at University he completed Compulsory National Service commitments, having volunteered to commence at the age of seventeen years. He remained at the University of Queensland as a 'Lecturer' until 1960 when he was both offered the 'Australian Rotary Foundation Fellowship' for twelve months to advance post-graduate study and be an Australian Rotary Diplomat to the USA, as well as successful advanced entry into Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and he chose the latter with intent to achieve combined degrees for advancement into Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery with the Royal College of Surgeons (London & Edinburgh). Surgery had become his great love and career path. Due to family tragedy and circumstances he was forced to return to Australia in 1963, and was unable to return to England. He then married his other great love, Elizabeth (Mitta) Daly, whom he met while in London, where she was an Australian working with Australia House and part-time mannequin. He was immediately re-appointed to the University of Queensland, where he remained for over thirty years, while completing Maters Degree (MDSc), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and awarded an Honorary College Fellowship (FRACDS). He spent some 2.5 years on two sabbaticals to the USA, where he had initially been offered an unconditional Research Fellowship at 'Harvard University', however, decided to achieve Advanced Surgical Experience in the new and advancing field of ORTHOGNATHIC (FACIAL) RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY for Developmental and Acquired Facial Deformities and was instigational in pioneering that field of surgery in the Queensland Health System in the early 1970's. While in the USA he was honoured by the University of Nebraska on two separate occasions with the 'Outstanding Lecturer Award' (1971 & 1976) and was conferred the privileged honour of 'Admiral of the Great Navy of the Plains' by the Governor of the State of Nebraska (USA) in 1976. He was also offered USA Citizenship together with the highly recognized 'Chairman/Professor - Maxillofacial Surgery' University of Nebraska & Medical Centre (Omaha, Nebraska), which was one of the highest accredited programmes in the USA. He elected for family and strongly Australian reasons to forgo that appointment and return to Australia. Professor Monsour - Clinical Professor - Department of Surgery, University of Queensland, Director/Coordinator Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Brisbane Metropolitan Hospitals (Royal Brisbane/Women's Hospitals, Royal Childrens Hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Mater Adults & Childrens Hospitals, as well as Chairman Queensland Oral & Maxillofacial Training Programme - has developed the Queensland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Training Unit and supervised and trained a generation of new Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons and remains (at 65 years) the leader in his field of Surgery in Queensland Health and Community Services, as well as highly acclaimed throughout Australia. The Queensland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Training Programme is now recognized as a 'Benchmark' for Australia. He subsequently left University based employment to take up a Hospital Based Director/Professor Position at the Royal Brisbane Hospitals. He has led his Specialty in Australia and New Zealand in Committees, Accreditation, Recognition as a Principal Medical Surgical Specialty, as well as President of the Australian & New Zealand Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons over a 25 years period. He remains a Senior Statesman within his Specialty as well as Chairman of Specialist Advisory Committee of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Commission (HIC) as well as to the Federal Department of Health & Aged Care. In recognition of his leadership in Public Health and Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, his name and achievements were selected for inclusion in the buried Time Capsule at the new Royal Brisbane/Womens' Hospital site in Brisbane. He has also extended his influence in the International development of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and assisted with programmes of regional development as well as humanitarian Military based involvements. Professor Monsour has throughout his career remained Military oriented and, following return from the USA in the early 1970's was commissioned as a Specialist Consultant with the Australian Army Reserve. During the subsequent nearly 30 years, he was promoted to COLONEL and Senior Army Office Consultant, and his Military Career culminated in his being appointed as Tri-service Consultant (Staff Colonel) to the Office of the Surgeon General - Australian Defence Force, which he held until the age of 60 years (1999), having had his retirement extended by two periods by order of the Governor-General. During that involvement, he contributed to the updating of Field and General Management of Military Maxillofacial Trauma, and developed a Template for Training within the Civilian Tertiary Hospitals, as well as Rehabilitation Developments, which have been instituted. He has been honoured with the Reserve Force Decoration (RFD). His parallel civilian developments have been directed to Statewide Emergency and Tertiary Hospital Management of Facial Trauma, extending to Rehabilitation, while he was successful in acquiring very substantial Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) Grants from the State Government for research work into 'Road Accident Trauma'. While his career direction and professional developments have been in SURGERY, his greatest achievement has been his FAMILY. He and Elizabeth have been married for over 40 years and parented six wonderful children (Lisa, Christopher, Nicholas, Sebastian, Heidi, Emmanuel) and three are now married and the family now extends to two daughters-in-law and one son-in-law, as well as four grand-daughters and a further grandchild on the way. This very proud AUSTRALIAN FAMILY (while permanently Australian) remembers its LEBANESE Cultural Roots as well as Irish/German on Elizabeth's side, and the now very complex inter-related cultural origins and values.

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