Graeme Dennerstein

VIC/TAS Branch President and Representative


Graeme was born a couple of weeks before the commencement of WW2, but that did not stop him having an enjoyable childhood. His family lived in Essendon from which his general practitioner father practiced from home and helped him decide to do medicine from when he was a toddler. He graduated from Melbourne University in 1961 (second youngest in the year) and qualified as a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist in 1967 with top marks in the examination.

He became an avid environmentalist since his early teens, joining the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) in 1969. In 1963, he fell in love with flying and obtained his pilot’s licence. He had 30 years in the Airforce Reserve as a medical consultant and used his flying to supply rural medical assistance. His flying facilitated him having the grazing lease on Passage Island in Bass Strait for 38 years – one of the great joys of his life.

He was the foundation director of Victoria’s second teaching hospital family planning clinic (at Footscray Hospital) and this, plus his busy private and public obstetric practices gave him considerable experience with unplanned pregnancies, which he quickly realised were one of the world’s greatest problems. Environmentalism, his medical practice, flying and seeing for himself what humans were doing to the world made him an avid supporter of SPA, to which he was introduced by his friend and mentor Kelvin Thomson MP.

He is currently very upset about the Gaza/Israel war, which is related to overpopulation, a subject that seems impossible for our politicians to address. For years he has been trying to get convince some of Australia’s key environmental organisations to address population but with little success. As he keeps saying to them “Good doctors avoid empirical treatment, that is treating the symptom, in this case environmental degradation, without addressing the cause – Homo sapiens.”

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