Fallon Mody, 2018. Photograph: Nabil Asakly

Fallon Mody

Doctors Down Under: European Medical Migrants in Victoria (Australia), 1930–60′ (PhD in History & Philosophy of Science, 2019). The middle of the twentieth-century saw an unprecedented mass relocation of medical practitioners – through forced migration, military service, and as economic migrants. Between 1930 and 1960, over three thousand medical migrants – that is, overseas-trained medical graduates – are known to have arrived in Australia. Their arrival was transformative as they challenged longstanding Australian legislative structures, and came to occupy critical gaps in local medical manpower. However, medical migrants in Australia are understudied. This research begins to redress what historians have called the ‘conspicuous silence’ or ‘collective amnesia’ that characterises nation-centric medical histories, where medical migrants are largely invisible. Through a series of case studies, underpinned by a prosopographic database documenting over two hundred ‘European medical migrants’, the thesis examines the resettlement and professional lives of two broad groups registered in the state of Victoria between 1930 and 1960: British and Irish medical migrants (the privileged invisible) and continental European medical migrants (the marginalised ‘aliens’). Each case study can stand alone and addresses an identified gap in the historiography. However, taken together, these case studies enable a more nuanced reflection of the differences and intersections between groups of medical migrants that historians have tacitly held as being too disparate to study collectively. Key outcomes of this research include the recovery and contextualisation of the ‘special types of labour’ medical migrants undertook; the impact of gender in the process; and the agency displayed by more marginalised groups of medical migrants.

Supervisors: Dr James Bradley, Associate Professor Sara Wills, Professor Fiona Fidler