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Mater. Exceptional People. Exceptional Care.


Dr Kevin William Ryan CBE, RFD, QC

September 9 1925—November 18 2009

We will remember him as former chairman of the Mater board, but Dr Kevin Ryan was also a brilliant lawyer, scholar and judge.

Dr Ryan was born and raised in Victoria, moving to Queensland to join the Christian Brothers order, during which time he taught in Bundaberg and Mackay. After leaving the order at age 23, Dr Ryan commenced law studies in Brisbane and spent several years working as a barrister, before applying for a lecturer’s position at The University of Queensland.

After marrying Josephine Morrison in 1954, Dr Ryan spent two years earning his PhD at Cambridge University before he returned to Australia and was made a Queen’s Counsel.

After time abroad as Australian Trade Commission and Commercial Counsellor, Dr Ryan returned to The University of Queensland as Professor and Dean of the Law School.

Dr Ryan also held positions with the Work Discrimination Committee and the Migrants Commission, was made a Commander of the British Empire for his work with migrants, remained a tireless worker for charity and published several books.

In addition to sitting on the Mater Board (including his time as chairman), Dr Ryan was chairman of the Archbishop's Finance Board and chairman of the Archbishop's bio-ethics committee. He was also vice-patron for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Dr Ryan returned to the Bar in the 1980s and was appointed a Supreme Court judge in 1984. After covering several high-profile cases, Dr Ryan retired from the Supreme Court in 1994.

Dr Ryan is survived by his wife Josie, children and grandchildren.

References: A scholar and a gentleman. The Courier-Mail 2009 Nov 26; 75

Dr Kevin William Ryan


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