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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 3 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1001..


sure other members here today will be feeling this, that I inform the Assembly that Dr John Buckingham passed away this morning.

Dr Buckingham has been the eminent breast cancer surgeon in the ACT for over three decades and I think Canberrans are very grateful that, as a younger man who was recognised as an excellent surgeon, he resisted the opportunity to work anywhere else in the world but brought his extensive skills and his care to our community.

Dr Buckingham graduated in medicine and surgery from the University of Sydney, New South Wales, with honours in February 1971. He trained in general surgery at the Mayo Clinic in the United States of America. In 1979, when Canberra's Calvary hospital opened, he joined its staff as a consultant general surgeon and later became a specialist breast surgeon for the ACT region.

As a general surgeon Dr Buckingham was one of the first to demonstrate the value of CT scanning in the early diagnosis of appendicitis. He pioneered the sentinel node mapping technique, which enables diagnosis of lymph node involvement with breast cancer diagnosis. Under his guidance Calvary hospital was among the earliest institutions in Australia to undertake sentinel node biopsy.

He was also involved in establishing Breastscreen ACT and has been the designated surgeon for this service since 1992. His contribution to breast surgery in the ACT region over many years has been outstanding. In recognition of his major contribution to the care of women with breast cancer, John was awarded the ACT senior Australian of the year in 2010.

In 2011 he was recognised by the ANU Medical School by the conferring of an associate professorship. He received this honour when a foundation fund was launched to support the John Buckingham Prize, a prize which will be awarded, subject to final university approval, to an ANU medical student for outstanding achievement in a research capacity in the ANU medical course. On behalf of the ACT community, the ACT government made a $10,000 donation to that John Buckingham Prize when it was announced.

Dr Buckingham has contributed to the teaching of medical students based at Calvary hospital, resident staff, surgical registrars, nurses and community groups such as Bosom Buddies for many years. In recent years he was actively involved in teaching students from the ANU Medical School as part of the year 3 surgical rotations at Calvary hospital. This included involvement in the clinic-pathological correlation sessions with staff from ACT Pathology.

In the last 10 years Dr Buckingham was actively publishing in the area of breast cancer. Over his career, his research interests have generated 22 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 14 published abstracts and many presentations at scientific meetings, two of which have won awards. John Buckingham was recognised as the father of breast screen and breast surgery in the ACT.

He has had a long association with a number of committees and treatment groups within the breast cancer field and, impressive as all of these highlights are, they do not


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