Keipert, James Ashton

  • Dr James KeipertDate and place of birth

    31 December 1922, Stawell, Victoria


    8th October 2021

    University attended

    The University of Melbourne, 1940 - 1945


    MB, BS Melbourne 1945

    DCH London 1961

    MRCP Ed. 1962 FRCP Ed. 1978 

    Positions held at The Royal Children's Hospital

    • 1947 - 1948 RMO
    • 1963 - 1968 Assistant Physician
    • 1968 - 1970 Senior Assistant Physician
    • 1970 - 1987 Physician
    • 1971 Acting Neonatal Paediatrician
    • 1964 - 1984 Physician Dermatology Clinic

    Positions held elsewhere

    • 1945 - 1946 RMO Royal Melbourne Hospital
    • 1946 - 1947 Senior RMO Horsham Base Hospital
    • 1947- 1948 RMO The Royal Women's Hospital
    • 1950 - 1960 Partner, The Clinic Footscray
    • 1956 - 1958 Honorary Assistant Paediatrician, Footscray and District Hospital
    • 1958 - 1960 Acting Honorary Paediatrician, Footscray & District Hospital
    • 1960 - 1961 Honorary Paediatrician, Footscray & District Hospital
    • 1962 Consultant Paediatrician (Locum) Farnborough Hospital, Kent U.K.
    • 1962 Consultant Paediatrician (Locum) Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup U.K.
    • 1962 - 1964 Clinical Assistant, Diabetic & Metabolic Unit, Alfred Hospital
    • 1963 - 1969 Assistant Paediatrician, Alfred Hospital
    • 1962 - 1966 Honorary Paediatrician, Box Hill & District Hospital
    • 1964 - 1970 Honorary Paediatrician, Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital
    • 1970 - 1987 Paediatrician, Communication Disorders Clinic, Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Hospital
    • 1974 - 1987 Senior Associate, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne
    • 1978 - 1987 Consultant Paediatrician, Early Childhood Development Programme, The Department of Health, Melbourne

    Clinical interests

    Jim's primary interest was the practice of general paediatrics with the joy of caring for infants and children and the pleasure of dealing with their parents. This interest was greatly increased by having a special interest in paediatric dermatology, which presented the observant clinician with a number of disorders not previously reported in the literature.

    His other special interest was being paediatrician to a Communications Disorders Clinic, which was a multidisciplinary clinic dealing with a fascinating variety of disorders of communication and learning.


    Jim's research was clinical, often provoked by curiosity concerning unexplained or apparently new disorders or findings. These studies led to the publication of 57 papers on a wide variety of subjects. Six papers were written with a colleague with Jim as the lead author in all but one.

    Fourteen of these papers reported conditions on matters not previously reported in the world literature, and another different fourteen papers reported conditions on matters not previously reported in the Australian literature.

    Jim was lucky to have "A new syndrome of broad terminal phalanges and facial abnormalities" named the Keipert Syndrome.

    Career highlights

    The pleasure these publications gave him was one of his main career highlights. Another was the presentation of papers at eleven consecutive annual meetings of the Australian Paediatric Association, and at a number of meetings of the International Paediatric Association, chairing a session at one of the latter meetings. But his biggest career highlight was in 1990 when Harwood Academic Publishers published his book Essential Paediatric Dermatology as the first in a series of ten books on clinical paediatrics. It was then, and remains so, the first book in the world on paediatric dermatology written by a paediatrician.

    Outside the hospital

    Jim and Lois were married in 1960. They then spent two years in London with Jim doing postgraduate degrees and acting as locum paediatrician in several centres. They travelled extensively in the United Kingdom and on the Continent.

    Lois was a social worker at various hospitals and institutions in Melbourne, and then had a career in relationships counselling at Marriage Guidance Council Victoria (later Relationships Australia) and in private practice.

    Daughter Anna and her husband are veterinarians, previously at Terang and now at Ballarat. They have three lovely children.

    Son Tom has worked in transport all his life and is now CEO of a transport company. He and his wife live in Sydney and have two delightful children.

    Lois and Jim had a small farm on the Mornington Peninsula for thirty years. They fattened steers or cows with calves – really they fattened themselves. 

    They have been keen golf and tennis players and skiers for a large part of their lives.

    They have travelled extensively both in Australia and overseas.

    For most of their married life they have attended performances of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Theatre Company and more recently the Australian Opera.

    In latter years Jim has written 240 essays on a wide variety of often controversial subjects. These have been used as a focus for discussion with groups of friends, or for lectures which Jim is still giving mainly to U3A's and historical societies. He has special interests in wine and ecclesiastical architecture, and worked for over fifty years without a day off due to illness.

    Jim Keipert's presentation to an Alumni meeting 25 July 2017 

    With thanks to Janice Peeler for transcribing this talk

    “Changes in attitudes and ethical behaviour”