Learn more about a pioneering bionic ear surgeon

Author Tina Allen at Bookshop Bowral with Linda Emery, BDHS archivist. Photo: supplied

Author Tina Allen at Bookshop Bowral with Linda Emery, BDHS archivist. Photo: supplied

Experienced medical writer Tina Allen launched her first book, a biography entitled Bill Gibson: pioneering bionic ear surgeon, at the Bookshop Bowral in March 2017.  

Following on from that launch, Tina will be guest speaker at the Berrima District Historical and Family History Society’s meeting on August 24 at 2:00pm. Tina will provide more detail on how her book came about and on Professor Gibson’s family history. 

During research for her book, Tina discovered that Bill Gibson, an ENT specialist, was the fourth generation of doctors on his father’s side of the family.

Each of the previous generations served as medical officers in a war, although Bill never had to opportunity to serve himself for England, the country of his birth. Bill’s father, Captain John Gibson, was not present during his birth on June 11, 1944 because he was part of the D-Day Landings in Normandy.  

From her first meeting with Professor Gibson, Tina’s book took seven years to research and write. However, Tina said she found the process “richly rewarding because he told her so many interesting stories about his family and the British Isles”. 

The second half of her book documents his life and medical career in Australia after emigrating in 1983 to take up the inaugural professor of ENT post at the University of Sydney.

In August 1984, Professor Gibson operated on two young women who were some of the first people in the world to receive the bionic ear, pioneered by Professor Graeme Clark’s team in Melbourne. Between 1984 and 2014, Professor Gibson performed the bionic ear operation more than 2000 times, making him one of the most prolific surgeons in his field. 

The talk will be of interest to anyone who enjoys reading biographies, medical stories and/or researching family history. Come along and be inspired by the story of a surgeon who transformed the life of thousands of people with the bionic ear. Books will be available to purchase. 

The meeting is at the Historical Society’s Research Centre, Old Council Chambers Building (Playhouse), Bowral Rd, Mittagong. Enquiries 4872 2169 or bdhsarchives@gmail.com

- Supplied to SH News by Philip Morton, Publicity Officer, BDH&FHS. Phone: 4872 2169 or 4883 7862 Email: bdhsarchives@gmail.com