To date we have raised just over $150,000 for the Geoffrey White Scholarship with the support of our generous donors. We would like this scholarship to exist forever, so we’re aiming to raise $250,000 so that we can distribute $12,000 for all time!
Associate Professor Geoffrey White AM (Fr 1970) was a world-renowned pioneer in the field of Vascular Surgery. A second-generation Andrewsman, Geoff was also a leader in the development of “Endovascular and Vascular Surgery” changing long incisions and dissections for less invasive procedures and vastly improved the survival rates of patients. The College will honour the legacy of this highly respected Andrewsman who passed away on Australia Day in 2012, by asking for support from our community to fund St Andrew’s first scholarship for medical students.
Originally from Newcastle, Geoff entered College as a Fresher in 1970 following in the footsteps of his father Kevin (Fr 1941). Later, Geoff’s brothers Peter and Richard also attended the College. Geoff received an MBBS from the University of Sydney in 1976 and subsequently undertook his surgical specialty training at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH).
In 1984 he moved to California with his wife Kathy and their first child to take up an academic post at the UCLA-Harbor Medical Centre under Professor Samuel E. Wilson. It was here that he developed his interest in vascular research in the new field of endovascular surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine and Chief of Vascular Surgery at VA Wadsworth Medical Centre, Los Angeles.
Returning home in 1989, Geoff took up clinical practice in the Department of Vascular Surgery at RPAH. Combining his strong background in clinical practice and research-he was Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Sydney and later, Foundation Professor of Vascular Surgery at Macquarie University Hospital- Geoff collaborated with colleagues, including fellow Andrewsman Emeritus Professor John Harris (Fr 1967), Dr Weiun Yu and Dr Michael Stephen, to develop innovative new techniques and medical devices for minimally invasive endovascular surger. Open surgery for aneurysms [arterial “blow-outs”] and blocked arteries was rendered almost obsolete. Of note was the “Trombone Technique” which allowed simple overlapping manufactured components to be used instead of complex “made to measure” devices: a simple concept which revolutionised the availability of endovascular procedures.
In 2000, Geoff was appointed Head of the Department of Vascular Surgery at RPAH, a position he held until his illness in 2010. In 2013, the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital honoured his memory by naming a cutting edge operating theatre the “Geoff White Hybrid Theatre”.
His work led to many patents in the US and worldwide, three published textbooks and hundreds of chapters and research papers. He was a founding member of the international Society of Endovascular Surgery and a Member of the” International Society of Cardiovascular Surgery”. He was a highly valued invited speaker at international meetings and was always at the cutting edge of endovascular advances. Despite his arduous travel schedule, he managed very productive clinical and research interests.
While Geoff was well-known in medical circles, he rarely ventured into the spotlight; he occasionally appeared on the TV- Series RPA and became a public figure in 2000 when he led the team that performed Kerry Packer’s kidney transplant. Mr Packer’s medical advice was that the team at RPAH was the world’s best.
A keen sportsman, Geoff played for the Rawson Cricket Team for St Andrew’s, the College Old Boys Cricket XI after graduation and later the Hollywood Cricket Club during his time in Los Angeles. He was a keen sailor, a passion he developed at his childhood home at Lake Macquarie and an enthusiastic golfer. Perhaps what he is best remembered for is dinner parties he hosted with his wife Kathy and his generosity as a colleague and friend.
Tragically, Geoff White passed away in 2012 after a two year battle with melanoma. He left behind his wife Kathy and three children Zoe, Max and James. In 2003, Max continued the family tradition of residing at College, making him the third generation White to live at Andrews and the fourth generation to become a doctor.
Geoff White’s legacy continues through the lives of the patients who, daily, benefit from his pioneering techniques and are often able to return home the next day. Widely respected by his peers, in Australia and overseas, his contribution to the medical and wider community is a source of great inspiration for medical students and graduate surgeons alike.
If you would like any more information regarding the Geoffrey White Scholarship or our Scholarships and Bursaries program, please contact Hannah Atwell, Director of Advancement E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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