Brown, Kester AM

  • Kester brown

    Date and place of birth

    9th of December 1935, Tumutumu, Kenya


    14th November 2018

    University attended

    St Andrews University, Scotland (founded 1413)

    Academic qualifications

    MB.ChB. (1960), FFARACS (1967), MD. Melbourne (1980) FANZCA (1992), Hon FRCA (1992), Hon. FCA SA (2002), Licentiate, Royal Photographic Society (2013)

    Positions held at The Royal Children's Hospital 

    • 1967 Medical Officer to ICU (first ICU appointment)
    • 1968 - 1969 Uncle Bobs Fellow in ICU
    • 1970 - 1974 Specialist Anaesthetist – Perfusionist
    • 1974 - 2000 Director of Anaesthesia
    • 1974 - 1980 Chairman of Library Committee
    • 1975 - 1988 Chairman of Animal Laboratory Committee
    • 1980 - 1986  Board of Research  (period when Murdoch Institute was founded)
    • 1974 - 1994 Director of Theatre Services
    • 1978 - 1995 Chairman, then Director of Division of Specialist Services
    • 1989 - 1995 Divisional Director representative on Committee of Management
    • 2001 - 2006 Part time senior anaestherist
    • Retired 1 March 2006

    Other positions held


    • 1960 - 1961 Intern – Victoria Hospital, London Ontario, Canada
    • 1961 - 1962  General Practitioner Yellowknife, NWT
    • 1963 - 1965  Post graduate training Vancouver
    • 1965 JUL - DEC. Toronto Hospital for Sick Children (first person at the RCH to have worked there)


    • 1970 - 1975 State Education Officer, Faculty of Anaesthetists, RACS
    • 1975 - 1977  Chairman, Victorian Regional Committee, Faculty of Anaesthetists
    • 1976 - 1988   Examiner - Pharmacology Faculty of Anaesthetists
    • 1968 - 1997 Teacher on Faculty and College of Anesthetist's courses
    • 1971 - 1995 Member, from 1973 Chair of Australian Society of Anesthetists (ASA) Scientific Program Committee
    • 1996 Chair of World Congress of Anaesthesiology Scientific program committee, Sydney
    • 1976-1980 Chair joint Faculty/ASA Peer Review committee
    • 1978-82 Member and chair of joint ASA/Facuty Continuing Education Committee
    • 1987 - 95 Chair of ASA Overseas Aid Committee. Chaired the first DA exams in the South Pacific (the first post graduate medical qualification in the South Pacific - Fiji)
    • 1977 - 1980 Chair Joint ASA/Faculty of Anaesthetists Peer Review and Continuing Education committees
    • 1972 - 1995 Editorial Board - Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
    • 1972 - 1980 Research Associate, Department of Electrical Engineering, Monash University

    World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists

    • 1984 - 1992 Education Committee
    • 1992 - 1996 Deputy chairman of WFSA Executive Committee

    Honours and awards

    • AM
    • ASA:  Gilbert Brown Award, Gilbert Troup Medal, Life Membership
    • Ben Barry Medal (Anaesthesia and Intensive Care)
    • ANZCA: Orton Medal, Gilbert Brown Medal
    • Honorary member: German Society of Anesthesiologists
    • Honorary member: Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists
    • Honorary member: Ecuador Society of Anesthesiology
    • Honorary member: Lithuanian Society of Anasthesia and Intensive Care
    • Honoured member: Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland
    • Honorary  member:  Society of Paediatric Anaesthetists of NZ and Australia
    • City of Paris Medal

    Research and publications and teaching

    Tricyclic antidepressant overdosage, including safety packaging. (MD), Deep hypothermia for infant cardiac surgery, Burns particularly in relation to muscle relaxants. Something in most areas of pediatric anaesthesia. Collaborative research with Monash Electrical engineers, Pharmacy College, RMIT Applied chemistry, Melbourne University Anatomy Dept. (Dissections for anaesthetists for nerve blocks).

    Publications: 160 papers (Including co-authored papers with 30 members of other departments).


    Text books

    • Anaesthesia for Children 1979,1992 
    • Anaesthesia and Patient Care (for students and nurses) 1985  


    • Chapters in 5 books
    • Four films(16mm)
    • 12 videos for teaching - Mostly paediatric anaesthesia and anatomy for nerve blocks.


    • Anaesthetist Trainees 1968- 2015
    • Student Nurses Anatomy and Physiology 1968 - 1972
    • Helped to start continuing education in Pharmacy and Physio Departments
    • Involved with therapeutics discussions in Casualty with John Hurst
    • Initiated Day Surgery (in 1977) and Pain Management service by anaesthetists

    Kester was particularly interested in teaching and training. About a Hundred overseas anaesthetists were trained while he was director. They came from 40 countries and all but two returned home where many of them became teachers and leaders in the specialty. Using long service leave in increments enabled Kester to lecture and teach overseas in 70 countries.

    Kester's administration style aimed to get the best staff by enabling them to contribute to the department and develop their interests and talents. As Divisional director Kester visited the department heads in his division regularly, usually in their office.

    Kester believes he was lucky to work in an era when he could do good clinical work (at least 5 sessions per week), to teach, do research, and administration effectively. This is almost impossible to do now because of all the red tape.

    Other activities


    Licentiate of Royal Photographic Society, Victorian Chapter. Kester has twice had photographs selected for exhibitions in UK.

    Licentiate 2013.


    Member of Victorian Artists Society. Kester has been twice highly commended for his work.


    • Catalyst - Medical memoirs (2004)
    • Free Spirit - other Memoirs (2005) including over 250 colour photos
    • Travels to the ends of the Earth (2008) 100 Paintings, 25 poems, 150 photographs and 6 brief historical tales
    • The contribution of photography to teaching and training anaesthetist and to recording anaesthetic history (ANZCA Library website) 2014
    • The World from my palette
    • Photographing wildlife
    • An overseas student at St Andrews Universityin the 1950s discovers MY SCOTLAND
    • Doggy Friends ( Childrens book)


    Tennis - Kester was runner up in Kenya Boys doubles, and singles junior champion in Parklands, Kenya (1953).

    Hockey - Kester played until he was 54 years old. He captained at St Andrews University and Scottish Universities.


    Family was very important to Kester. He had 5 children.


    Kester enjoyed gardening until shortly before his death.