Beasley, Spencer ONZM

  • Hugo GoldEarly years

    Professor Spencer Beasley, ONZM, graduated from the University of Otago in 1976.

    Current positions

    Spencer is now a paediatric surgeon and paediatric urologist. His current positions are:

    • Clinical Director of the Department of Paediatric Surgery, Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand; Clinical Lead, Wellington Regional Hospital, Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand; 
    • Professor of Paediatric Surgery, Christchurch School of Medicine at the University of Otago. 
    • He is a Surgical Advisor to RACS, He also advises Te Whatu Ora on the development of a national co-ordinated paediatric surgical service.

    Summary of work at the RCH

    Spencer originally gained FRACS endorsed in General Surgery, but then “saw the light” and in 1985 passed his fellowship in Paediatric Surgery after 2 years as a registrar at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. He was appointed as a consultant there, starting in 1986 where he worked until late 1996. In 1996 he gained a MS (Melbourne), working with John Hutson on testicular descent.

    Work after the RCH

    Spencer is a former Vice-President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and as Chair of its Governance and Advocacy Committee was responsible for the implementation of the Expert Advisory Group recommendations around Discrimination, Bullying and Sexual Harassment (DBSH). 

    He has been on the faculty of the RACS Foundation Surgical Skills course and was previously the Chair of Professional Development. He is a former Chair of the Board in Paediatric Surgery and senior examiner in paediatric surgery, and subsequently became Chair of the Court of Examiners. He was instrumental in the development of the new RACS “Leadership for surgeons in everyday practice” course. 

    He has been a member of the Australian Male Champions of Change STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) group which is focussed on improving gender equity and facilitating increased diversity. He helped set up the MCC healthcare sector group. 

    He is President of the Aotearoa New Zealand Society of Paediatric Surgeons, former President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons, and former Chair of the RACS Board of Surgical Education and Training. He is President-Elect of the Pacific Association of Pediatric Surgeons. He has contributed to the RACS-administered Pacific Island Project, mostly to Vanuatu, for over a decade. 

    He has written 10 textbooks on paediatric surgery and well over 300 peer reviewed papers. He is still in active clinical practice, involved in providing regular outreach clinics and surgery throughout the South Island and as far north as Hawkes Bay. He has several non-medical commitments including Chair of the local school board of trustees, and NZ Advisor for the US-Australian Solar Space Technology.

    Family and current interests

    He is married with five of his nine children still living at home. His interests include music, running (increasingly being supplanted by walking), genealogy, photography and writing.