Happy Australia Day

Australia Flag

The 26th of January marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales. Today, Australians all over the world will be celebrating what’s great about Australia and being Australian. The University has many links with Australia, here a few examples of figures who have contributed to the rich connection that stretches across 9,434 miles.

John Dunmore Lang

Lang studied arts and theology at the University, graduating MA in 1822. He was born in Greenock to a Presbyterian family. Dunmore had a very successful academic career, winning prizes in Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Theology during his time here. After graduating, Lang joined his brother George in Australia in order to minister to the Scottish Presbyterians living in the colony.

Lang set up the first Presbyterian Scots Church in Sydney, laying the foundation stone in 1826. He also founded the Caledonian Academy, a primary school attached to the Church.  He later returned to Britain in 1830 and brought back with him sixty skilled mechanics who were to become the first skilled workers introduced to the country. By 1832 he had set up the first higher education institution in Australia named the Australian College. He was an elected member of the New South Wales Parliament for various periods between 1843 and 1869 and urged self-government for Australia. Sir Henry Parkes, who is often attributed as ‘the father of the Federation’ spoke of his contribution to Australia during his memorial tribute to Lang. He stated that the ‘colony owes more to him than to any other man. We may look in vain for his equal … He has always been one of the boldest advocates for the political rights and liberties of the colonists.”

You can view Lang’s University Story profile here.



Isabella Henrietta Younger’s Matriculation Slip GUAS: R8/5/34/11

Isabella Henrietta Younger

Young graduated MB ChB from the University in 1914. She was originally from Warrnambool, Victoria. She had previously studied medicine at Melbourne University.

After graduating, Young spent time working in various impoverished areas of Edinburgh and Glasgow. She later became the house physician at the Queen’s Hospital for Children in London. She returned to Australia in 1917, becoming the benefactor of the Victoria Clinic which opened in 1918. Young’s experience in Scotland informed her work both as an author and a doctor. She published two books, Feeding the Child – All Ages (1929) and The Happy Mother and Child (1940), both focusing on infant welfare. She also spent periods of time working in various hospitals across Victoria.

In 1938 she was awarded and O.B.E for her work in the field of infant and maternal welfare. She died of cancer on the 2 April 1956, at her South Yarra home, A plaque commemorating her work is at the Queen Elizabeth Maternal and Child Welfare Centre, Carlton.

You can view Isabella’s International Story profile here.


John A McConnochine                     GUAS: DC225/1/10

John A McConnochie 

McConnochie graduated MB ChB from the University in 1913. He was born in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia on 15 May 1885, son of medical doctor, James McConnochie. He first matriculated at the University aged 22. McConnochie  won  two second class certificates during his time here, the first for Zoology in 1907, and the second for Medical Jurisprudence and Public Health in 1911.

After graduating,  McConnochie stayed in Glasgow, where he became a General Practitioner in the Crosshill area of the city. He also signed up to aid in the war effort in Scotland during the outbreak of the First World War. In June 1916, McConnochie submitted an application to the Scottish Medical Service Emergency Committee, based in Edinburgh, under the Medical Recruiting Scheme. Through this application, McConnochie could be called up to leave his practice and partake in general service under the Royal Army Medical Corps, under the position of Lieutenant.

You can view John’s International Story profile here.

This is only a brief glimpse at our links with Australia. To find out more about our 343 connections with Australia, you can view our international story page.


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