Kemp, Andrew AM

  • Date of Birth:   3rd June, 1942     Died 3rd April, 2020Andrew Kemp


    MB BS Melbourne, 1966
    Ph.D. (Immunology) - Australian National University, Canberra1972
    MRACP 1975 
    FRACP 1978     


    Born at St Andrew’s Hospital in East Melbourne, Andrew, together with his brother and sister, grew up in Balwyn and North Balwyn. 

    His primary and secondary education were completed at Scotch College. 


    He studied medicine at the University of Melbourne, where he lived in Ormond College for three years. After graduating, Andrew spent a year at the Royal Melbourne Hospital as a resident medical officer, going on to the Royal Children’s Hospital as a senior resident in paediatrics. 

    Andrew’s next position was as a research scholar in the Department of Immunology, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, where his research involved the study of lymphocytes and their movement around the body. 

    He continued in this field as a research associate in the Division of Immunology, Duke University Medical Centre, Durham, North Carolina, USA. 

    On his return to Australia, Andrew was appointed as a medical registrar at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, where he remained for two years. 

    Consultant career:

    His next move was to Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia, as a staff specialist in clinical immunology and senior lecturer in immunology at Flinders University. 

    In 1979, he took up a position as head of the Department of Immunology at The Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Sydney, NSW, where he was also a physician in the Department of Respiratory Medicine, and a clinical lecturer in paediatrics at the University of Sydney. 

    Andrew returned to the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, in 1990 as the director of Clinical Immunology and director of Paediatric Physician Training.

    He was appointed professorial associate and subsequently professor, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne. From 1995 to 2003, Andrew was the director of the Department of Immunology, Women’s and Children’s Health Care Network, Royal Children’s Hospital. 

    In 2003, Andrew was appointed professor in the first Australian chair of Paediatric Allergy and Immunology, University of Sydney and Department of Allergy and Immunology, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW. 

    He held these positions until he returned to Melbourne in 2009, as a clinical paediatric research immunologist at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. 

    Major Achievements:

    Throughout his years in the medical profession, Andrew’s contribution to his chosen field has been formidable. He held a number of senior positions in professional societies and was a member of expert panels and advisory committees, including those with a focus on research and education. 

    He presented papers based on his original research at many Australian and international conferences and presented post graduate lectures and seminars in Australia and overseas, including the United Kingdom, USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sweden. 

    He was involved in the supervision of students for higher degrees and examined theses for higher degrees for a number of universities. 

    Andrew undertook postgraduate work, as a visiting fellow, at centres in the United Kingdom, Sweden, USA and Singapore, as well as in Australia. 

    He published well over 200 articles in refereed journals. His contribution to medical knowledge and to the welfare of children through a lifetime of dedication was enormous. 


    Andrew was appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s birthday honours in June 2018, for significant service to medicine, and to medical education, in the field of paediatric allergy and immunology as a clinician, academic and researcher.

    He was president of the RCH Medical Alumni Association in the years 2014, 2015.

    Personal and family matters:

    Andrew grew up in the Anglican church. His first link with Scots’ Church was during the period he was studying at the University of Melbourne, when he used to attend the evening services. 

    Andrew and his wife Sally, a general practitioner, met as undergraduates. 

    After graduation Sally worked in Libya and Penang for some years before she and Andrew met up again in Melbourne. 

    They were married just prior to moving to Durham, North Carolina, where Andrew took up his position at Duke University. Sally worked as a general practitioner at Durham and wherever the family subsequently moved, gaining a wealth of varied experience. 

    Andrew and Sally have a son, Charles, and two daughters, Celia and Alice. 

    Andrew was held in high esteem for his intellect, humour and kindness. With his extraordinary clinical acumen and unique teaching style, he taught successive generations of paediatricians not what to think, but how to think. His probing questions on ward rounds, and obvious delight when discovering a teaching point arising from something not asked or not examined, were as legendary as his kindness to those in need, and the mischievous glimmer that would appear in his eyes when talking about his beloved Carlton Football Club. He knew politics but was not political. He was not afraid to express opinions that were unpopular or unfashionable, and revelled in being challenged - for his views had been formed after much thought, and because real intellects are not threatened by differences in opinion.