15 Ooctober 1947 ‒ 9 December 2011
David Norman Chamberlain was born on the 15 October 1947 at
Cygnet, in the Huon Valley in Tasmania. He was the second eldest of
the six children of Norman Chamberlain, a general practitioner, and
his wife Phyllis. He grew up in South Road, Moorabbin where his
father had his general practice. David's primary schooling was at
Kostka Hall, Brighton. From there he moved on to senior school at
Xavier College in Kew.
A bright student, and to keen to maintain the family tradition,
David went on to study Medicine at Melbourne University, graduating
in 1971. Following his graduation he became a resident at
St Vincent's hospital in Melbourne where he met a nurse called
Maree who later became his wife.
David developed an interest in surgery and after completing his
surgical residency he set his sights on Orthopaedics. Opportunities
to train in Melbourne were scarce and David was accepted for a
training position in Perth.
After he successfully completed his orthopaedic training David
travelled to Edinburgh to work at the Royal Infirmary. He
frequently regaled his colleagues with stories of the legends of
orthopaedic surgery with whom he worked during his time there.
Upon returning to Melbourne with Maree and their three children,
he set up rooms at the Mercy Private hospital. He had public
hospital appointments at Prince Henry's Hospital, Dandenong
Hospital, and was a founding member of the Orthopaedic unit at
Maroondah Hospital in Ringwood.
When first introduced to people David was initially shy and
focused. However, once he established a relationship he was a true
and generous friend.
He was the most efficient of surgeons. His spatial construct
abilities were excellent and he rarely had to change course or
re-do part of an operation. On those rare occasions he recognised
the problem quickly and put it to rights. He was highly regarded by
his co-workers, many of whom were also his patients.
He worked tirelessly on the Board of Studies for the Victorian
Regional training committee of the AOA. He helped to train young
surgeons and he made sure they got the best out of the four years
of training they received. It was probably as a surgical teacher
that he will best be remembered. He loved teaching and the trainees
both valued and delighted in their time with him.
After Prince Henry's Hospital closed he left Dandenong Hospital
in order to focus his attention on Maroondah Hospital. By this time
he had also moved his private rooms to Ringwood. He served as Head
of the Senior Medical Staff at Maroondah and became head of the
Orthopaedic department, a position he held until his retirement due
David slipped down a flight of stairs on a rainy night and
suffered a severe head injury. Whilst he eventually partially
recovered, he was unable to care for himself. He was diagnosed with
bowel cancer two years after his injury and was receiving
chemotherapy. He died peacefully in his sleep at the age of
Most will remember David's passions outside orthopaedics,
particularly his love for the Carlton Football club and the special
relationship he had with anything Louis Vuitton. He enjoyed
excellent champagne and was always the first to acquire the newest
technological gadgets. He travelled extensively and always found
the best restaurants, no matter where he was.
His funeral was held on Friday 16 December 2011 in Malvern. It
was well attended by family and friends who gave tribute to
Alison Taylor FRACS