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Gold Coast doctor's stunning gift to Bond University

September 3, 2021

Bond University Vice Chancellor and President Tim Brailsford and John Kearney OAM. PICTURE: Cavan Flynn.

Prominent Gold Coast doctor John Kearney OAM has made one of the most significant donations in the history of Bond University to help educate the next generation of medicine students.

In recognition, the University has named its anatomy laboratory the Dr John Kearney Anatomy Laboratory.

Bond University Vice Chancellor and President Tim Brailsford described Dr Kearney’s donation as an “extraordinary gift”.

“John has dedicated his life to improving the lives of others and his various contributions to this university and specifically the Medical Program are his shining beacon and serve as an inspiration to all of us,” Professor Brailsford said.

“This gift ensures that John's legacy will benefit many generations of future students to come.”

The value of the gift is not being released but it ranks among the top five by an individual since the university was established in 1989.

The money will fund:

* A new position of the Dr John Kearney Fellowship in Clinical Skills

* Anatomy and clinical skills laboratory equipment

* Laboratory training and research

* Programs to improve the clinical skills of staff, students and researchers

Dr Kearney, an ophthalmologist who established the Gold Coast Eye Clinic in 1984, is an Associate Clinical Professor at Bond University and trains students in the acclaimed Medical Program.

He hopes the endowment will help produce well-rounded medicine graduates with a bedside manner to match their clinical skills.

“I would like Bond’s medical graduates - before they even think about ordering any tests – to have listened to the patient, to have physically examined the patient and gained their trust,” Dr Kearney said.

“Because no one else can do that. The technicians, they can do the tests but they can't take the history. They haven’t learned general communication skills which Bond is very good at teaching.

“We must arm our doctors well with these important basic skills.”

Dr Kearney is the son of the late barrister Dr John F Kearney AM QC and Dr Alison Kearney who were long-time benefactors and supporters of the university.

The senior Kearneys are memorialised in the names of two university facilities they helped establish: the John and Alison Kearney Library and the John and Alison Kearney Law Library.

Dr Kearney continues a family passion for education, social justice and community service.

As a young doctor he ran a hospital in Papua New Guinea and for decades has set up eye clinics for people living in remote Australia, PNG, East Timor and the Pacific Islands.

He has helped train 25 ophthalmologists in developing countries.