Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Queensland since 1986, Professor John Pearn truly a Renaissance man, renowned for his many hats, diverse interests and unquenchable energy. He has been an academic and clinical teacher for 50 years in medicine and health sciences. He is the author of some thirty books and more than 200 published papers on the history of medicine and health. As Major General John Pearn, he served in the Defence Reserves for 35 years, ultimately in the appointment of Surgeon General of the Australian Defence Force. He commanded the 2 Field Hospital, formerly No. 1 Casualty Clearing Station which was the pivot medical unit on the beach at Gallipoli, 25 April 1915.
Professor John Pearn was a founder, later President and then Honorary Life Member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine. He is an historian of the Order of St John. He has been a Member of the Council for the International Society of the History of Medicine for many years; and its Vice President for the last four years.
John Pearn is equally well known for his broad range of amateur interests, as an enthusiastic scholar of medical history and botany, as a collector of fossils, stamps and coins, and as a prolific writer and orator on all of these subjects, includings botany, orchids, plants and healing. He is also an experienced tour leader with great natural charm and attentiveness to each member of the group.