• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: IMP0101

Browne, Grace Johnston

(1900 – 1988)
  • Nationality Australian
  • Born 2 January, 1900, Scotland
  • Died 17 December, 1988, Sydney New South Wales
  • Occupation Gynaecologist, Obstetrician


Grace Browne was Director of the New South Wales Division of Maternal and Baby Welfare 1937-1964 and was a part-time lecturer in Maternal and Child Health at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, University of Sydney 1946-1964. She was president of the Australian Federation of Medical Women, and also president of the Australian Federation of University Women. Grace Browne was appointed MBE – Member of The Order of the British Empire (Civil) – 13 June 1959, for her work as director of Baby Welfare in the New South Wales Health Department.


Grace Cuthbert Browne was the youngest of a family of five. The family came to Australia when her father was appointed to insurance company, Sydney Marine Underwriters. The family lived in Lindfield, NSW and Grace attended Ravenswood School at Gordon from 1913 – 1917. In her own words (De Berg Tapes: National Library Tape 619) Grace described Ravenswood as “a very interesting school, the academic training was regarded as important and in those days this was exceptional.” Grace completed her Leaving Certificate in 1917 and won an exhibition to Sydney University to study medicine.

She married Professor F J Browne D.Sc., M.D., F.R.C.S.Ed, F.R.C.O.G University College Hospital, University of London

MB, Ch M University of Sydney
First Resident Medical Officer at RNSH
GP in country and city for 12 years
Honorary Medical Officer before 1937
Rachel Forster Hospital for Women and Children
Tresillian Mothercraft Home – Royal Society for Welfare of Mothers and Babies
Lane Cove Baby Health Centre – Dept. Public Health
Director Maternal & Baby Welfare Dept. Public Health in NSW from 1937 until retirement
Member Maternal Mortality & Perinatal Committee, Dept. Public Health (formerly secretary 1939-1965)
Member Committee on Maternal & Child Health, National Health and Medical Research Council for over 20 years
Member Child Welfare Advisory Council NSW – advisor to Minister of Health
Member Board of Social Studies until transfer to University
Member National Fitness Council NSW
Member Council Bush Nursing Association for 25 Years
Lecturer in Maternal & Child Health, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine University Sydney to 1965
Medical Officer, Grosvenor Hospital, Dept Health 1965-1970
Honorary Organiser Medical Group on Health Education with Headmistress Association Independent Girls Schools NSW
World Health Organisation travelling scholarship 1950-1951

Member Australian Medical Association (AMA) – Fellow 1972
Rep. Women Medical Practitioners on Council of Australian Medical Association NSW Branch 1966-1969
Member Australian Paediatric Association
Fellow Royal College Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Member Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Member Convocation: Macquarie University from 1965
Member Convocation: ANU 1975
Member Council Ravenswood School for Girls 1961- 1975
Member Aust & NZ Association for Medical Education
Member Aust Obstetrics & Gynaecological Research Society
Member Aust Council Scientific Study of Mental Retardation

Vice-President Medical Women’s International Association
President Australian Federation of University Women
President Australian Federation of Medical Women
Australian Convenor Standing Committee for Health for Aust National Council of Women
State – NSW
President Public Medical Officers’ Association
President Medical Women’s Society NSW
President Sydney University Women Graduates Association
Vice-President Australian Physiotherapy Association (NSW)
Membership of Community Organisations
Institute of International Affairs, Arts Association Sydney University, The English Speaking Union, The Victoria League, The National Trust of Australia, The Art Gallery Society NSW, The Elizabethan Theatre Trust, The Friends of the Opera, Public Health Association, Council of Social Services, Fellow of Royal Institute of Public Administration.

The Queens Club, Avondale Golf Club, The Soroptimist Club of North Sydney


Published resources

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
    • Grace Cuthbert Browne interviewed by Hazel de Berg in the Hazel de Berg collection [sound recording]
  • Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection
    • Grace Cuthbert Browne papers, 1908-1989, collected by Kathleen Commins
  • Ravenswood School for Girls
    • Archives of Ravenswood School for Girls

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • National Council of Women of Australia (1931 - )
    • Ravenswood School for Girls (1901 - )
    • Rachel Forster Hospital for Women and Children (1925 - 1963)
  • Member
    • Australian Federation of Graduate Women Inc. (1922 - )
    • Australian Federation of Medical Women (1927 - )
    • Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific (SISWP)