I am deeply saddened at the recent passing of an eminent Tasmanian, Dr John Morris AO MBE who died on Saturday, aged 90.

Dr John Morris was an eminent yet remarkably modest Tasmanian, gentle in character and greatly admired by all who had the honour of knowing or working with him.

He gave generously of his talents and time to a vast number of medical, community, Christian, scientific, educational and historical organisations during his life – which continued until the day of his passing.

Dr Morris founded, co-founded and supported many organisations which are central to the lives of thousands of people today.

Few others could equal the significant positive impact Dr Morris had on Tasmanian life across a vast array of organisations, passions, disciplines and worthy causes.

Dr Morris is perhaps best known as a dedicated family physician in Launceston; for his commitment to diabetes care acknowledged by the LGH John Morris Diabetes Centre; a recognised author of local history; and the original visionary for the Clifford Craig Foundation (formerly Clifford Craig Medical Research Trust) in 1993.

As Health Minister and as a former CEO of the Clifford Craig Medical Research Trust, I am extremely thankful for his remarkable life, example and legacy.

The Tasmanian Government conveys its sincere condolences to Dr John’s wife Judy and their family.

Service to Medicine

President, Medical Council of Tasmania, 1996 to 1999 (Member, 1982 to 1999).
Physician, Launceston General Hospital, 1957 to 1997.
Chairman, Department of Medicine, LGH, 1987 to 1990.
Member, Board of Management, LGH, 1980 to 1981.
Current Chairman, LGH Historical Committee.
Visiting Consultant Physician, Queen Victoria Hospital, Launceston, 1964 to 1994.
Director, Howick Street Diabetes Centre, 1989 to 1991.
Visiting Physician, St Luke’s Hospital, Launceston, 1957 to 1997.
Visiting Physician, St Vincent’s Hospital, Launceston, 1957 to 1997.
Chairman, Tasmanian Committee, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 1972 to 1974 and again 1991 to 1992.
Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 1971 (Member, 1957).
Chairman, National Medicare Benefits Advisory Committee, 1989 to 1992 (Member, 1982 to 1992).
Member, Specialist Recognition Advisory Committee, 1986 to 1991.
Honorary Clinical Lecturer in Medicine for over 30 years.
Honorary Lecturer to Nurses for over 30 years.
President, Tasmanian Branch, Australian Medical Association, 1977 (Federal Councillor, 1978 to 1980).
Fellow, AMA, 1982.
Foundation Chairman, Clifford Craig Medical Research Foundation and Trust in 1992 and remains Deputy Chairman.
Current Board Member, Northern Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation.

Service to Education

Chairman, Council of Oakburn College, Launceston, 1973 to 1978 (Member, 1966 to 1978).
Foundation Chairman, Council of Scotch Oakburn College, 1978 to 1992 (Member, 1978 to 1995).
Former President, Association of Independent Schools of Tasmania.
Former Executive Member, National Council of Independent Schools of Australia.
Service to the Community
Joint Founder, Launceston Life Link (now Life Link Samaritans).
Vice-Chairman, Northern Branch, Marriage Guidance Council of Tasmania, 1960 to 1969.
Voluntary Lecturer in Marriage Guidance and Human Relationships for over 40 years.
Honorary Lecturer, Human Relationships, Tasmanian College of Advanced Education.
Former Member, Anglican Synod, Diocese of Tasmania, and of several Diocesan Committees.
Honorary Physician to many diabetes camps for children.
Member, Tasmanian Historical Research Association, since 1953.
Member, Tasmanian Working Party, Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2008 to 2016.
Former Member, Review Committee into location of Royal Flying Doctor Service in Tasmania (appointed by Tasmanian Government).

Service to Science

Demonstrator in Zoology, University of Tasmania, 1947.
Described pseudoscorpion endemic to Cataract Gorge, Launceston, in 1948 (and named as Neopseudodogarpus scutellatus Morris).
Royal Society of Tasmania: Chairman, Northern Branch, 1969 to 1970 and again 2005 to 2006. Former Trustee, Royal Society of Tasmania Foundation. Member, since 1953 (Student Member, from 1944). Honorary Life Member, 2013.


The taxonomic position of Idiogarypus hansenii (1948) – Royal Society of Tasmania.
History in Our Streets (1991) (with D. J. Morris) – Tasmanian local history book.
Clifford Craig – A Man for All Seasons (2002)
Numerous articles in The Medical Journal of Australia, the publications of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and contributions to medical and local history books and journals.


Appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) in 1985 for service to education and the community.
Appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (A.O.) in 2001 for service to medicine, particularly as a consultant physician, and to the community through educational, medical research and social welfare organisations.

Subscribe to my newsletter

Get the latest news direct from Michael.

Thanks for subscribing