Herbert Michael Moran (1885-1945) was born in Sydney. He graduated from the University of Sydney in 1908. In his young days he earned a considerable reputation as a rugby player. Following his graduation he went to England as captain of an international football team, and stayed there for some time doing postgraduate.

In World War I he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) and served in France and the Middle East. After the war he became interested in the new cancer treatment of radium therapy being developed in France and Sweden. He later pioneered the surgical application of radium in New South Wales, and indeed in Australia. He obtained his Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) in 1929.

Sir Douglas Miller recalled Moran as "of striking appearance, tall and handsome, and possessed [of] great personal charm. He had a broad learning and culture, and was well versed in the literature, both general and medical, of France and Italy, as well as having a wide knowledge of English literature. Himself a master of English prose, he wrote three books in beautiful English of inimitable style.

"He was a man of delicate temper, inclined to be suspicious, hurt, offended and disappointed by people who did not fulfil his high standards. The span of his professional career in Sydney was punctuated by premature retirement from good hospital positions. He was not prepared to put up with conditions of which he did not approve."

Disillusioned, Moran left Sydney in the early 1930s, never to practice there again. He lived for a few years in Italy, where he identified with the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. He again became disillusioned and on the outbreak of World War II returned to England and rejoined the RAMC. At this time he was operated on for the removal of a mole, but the growth was only partially excised.

Herbert Moran died on 20 November 1945 of malignant melanoma.


  • The name of the lecture shall be The Herbert Moran Memorial Lecture in Medical History.
  • The lecture shall be delivered in each state of the Commonwealth of Australia and in New Zealand, at such times and in such places as the Council may determine.
  • The lecture shall be delivered during the course of a state or New Zealand Annual Meeting (by convention, the lecture is now delivered at the Annual Scientific Congress).
  • The subject of the lecture shall be of medical historical interest.
  • The lecturer shall be appointed from time to time by the Council.
  • The award shall take the form of a bronze medal.

Herbert Moran Memorial Lecturers in Medical History

2021 - Mr Campbell Miles - The Twelfth Century Renaissance and the Institutionalisation of Medical Education 
2019 - Professor Sean Hughes - Person or system – What leads to surgical advances? 
2018 - Dr Phillip Sharp - Moran & Mussolini
2017 - Professor David Cherry - Bullecourt

2016 - Robert Likeman - Luck now and then : the extraordinary life of Dr William Brydon (1811-1873)
2015 - Professor Stephen Hopper - Darwin, Surgeon and naturalist, and the continuing exploration of plant diversity on old Southern Hemisphere landscapes
2014 - Professor John Collins - Mastectomy with tears : breast cancer surgery in the early nineteenth century
2013 - Professor Graeme Woodfield - No ordinary man : the remarkable life of Lord Arthur Porritt
2012 - Associate Professor Michael Hollands - From intellectualism to scientific method, the transformation of medieval anatomy
2010 - Professor Wyn Beasley - The romantic surgeon: the College's first named lecturer, Ernest Hey Groves
2009 - George Fielding - These Hallowed Grounds
2007 - Professor Robert Lusby - The Art and Science of Wine Making: Hunter Valley, 1820-1880
2006 - Peter Campbell - Radiation-induced Disease; Why Surgeons Should Look Back to the Future
2005 - J. Hanrahan
2004 - G. Low - A Race for Fame and Glory - Hong Kong 1894
2003 - R. Magee - Medical Practice and Medical Education 1500-2001: An Overview
2002 - D. David and D.A. Simpson - World War I: The Genesis of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery
2001 - R. Pearce - Doctors and Writers: The Merchants of Paradox
2000 - S.A. Mellick - Exploring the Legacy of History
1999 - P. Wrightson - The Growth of the Concept of Mild Head Injury
1997 - B.W. Taylor - The Renaissance and Reconstruction
1996 - N.A. Myers - Landmarks in the History of Oesophageal Surgery
1995 - D.A Simpson - Helmets in Surgical History
1994 - G. Wilson - The Partnership
1993 - N. Dan - Trephination in the Pre-European Era in Australasia
1992 - G. Flynn - The History of Surgery in Canberra
1991 - J.H. Pearn - Courage and Curiosity - The Surgeon Explorers in Australia and New Zealand
1990 - A.W. Beasley - They Left Nothing Unattempted
1987 - J. Leavesley - Eternal Summer Gilds Them Yet - Aesculapius and his Temples of Healing
1983 - J.A. Williams - Provincial Pioneers in Pommie Surgery
1981 - B. McC. O'Brien - Abraham Colles and the Australian Connection
1980 - R. Nicks - The New Zealand Saga: The History of Chest Surgery
1980 - J.W. Kirklin - The Continuing Evolution of Corrective Surgery for Congenital Heart Disease
1977 - R. Nicks - The Saga of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Australia
1976 - F. Ortiz Monasterio - Two Thousand Years of Medicine and Magic in Mexico
1975 - D.W. Taylor - The Monro Collection in the Medical Library of the University of Otago
1974 - Sir John Loewenthal - PRACS Moran
1972 - E. Ryan - Early Medical Practice in the Wimmera
1969 - J. Cobley - Thomas Arndell - Surgeon Magistrate and Farmer
1968 - Sir Douglas Miller - Sir Alexander MacCormick - Man and Surgeon
1964 - C.E. Cook - Medicine and the Australian Aboriginal - A Century of Contact in the Northern Territory
1963 - R. O'Regan - Some Early Medical Practitioners of Wellington
1959 - J. Estcourt Hughes - John Woodall - An Elizabethan Surgeon
1956 - K.F. Russell - A Seventeenth-century Plagiarist
1954 - Sir Gordon Bell - John Hunter's Tradition
1950 - Col. A.M. Mackintosh - The Australian Medical Association
1947 - K. Inglis - The Historical Approach in the Study of Medicine