History and Heritage


History of ANZCA

Anaesthetists originally were members of organisations representing physicians and surgeons, but as anaesthesia developed as a specialist field, so did the need for specific education and qualifications.  Read more about the history of ANZCA and view a timeline of the history.

History of FPM

Pain medicine was recognised as a medical specialty by the Australian Medical Council in November 2005 and by the Medical Council of New Zealand in December 2012. In 1998, ANZCA Council approved the establishment of a Faculty of Pain Medicine. The first face-to-face board meeting was held in 1999, and the first Fellowship exam held later that year. Read more about the history of FPM through the online exhibition Pain & Progress: the formation and development of the Faculty of Pain Medicine.

ANZCA and FPM Past Presidents and Deans

In 1952, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons founded a Faculty of Anaesthetists, with Douglas Renton appointed Acting Dean. The following year he was appointed inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Anaesthetists.
In February 1992, the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) was formed, with Peter Livingstone appointed inaugural President.
The Faculty of Pain Medicine was founded in 1999, with Michael Cousins appointed inaugural Dean.
View the full list of past ANZCA presidents and faculty deans, including FPM deans.

College coat of arms

The College arms and crest feature Andreas Vesalius and William Harvey, who represent the heritage of anaesthesia. Read more about their contribution and interesting facts about the College arms and crest.


History of anaesthesia and pain medicine

Anaesthesia refers to the practice of administering medications or gases that block the feeling of pain and other sensations, allowing medical and surgical procedures to be undertaken without causing undue discomfort to the patient.  Read more about the history of anaesthesia and pain medicine.


Geoffrey Kaye Museum

Founded in 1935 by Dr Geoffrey Kaye (1903-1986), the Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History chronicles the history of anaesthesia, intensive care medicine and pain medicine. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive anaesthetic history collections in the world. 


Oral histories

Find out more about the oral history project which supplements the College's history and heritage holdings, and builds on our considerable research and educational resources.


Historical archives

The ANZCA archives document the history and administration of ANZCA and its predecessor, the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, from 1952 until the present. The archives also hold records of the Faculty of Pain Medicine. Contact the Museum for further information.


History and Heritage Reference Panel 

ANZCA's History and Heritage Expert Reference Panel reports to the ANZCA chief executive officer on matters relating to the history and heritage of the College, including the Faculty of Pain Medicine.



The College headquarters is made up of two buildings, a gracious two-storey mansion, Ulimaroa, and ANZCA House, completed in 2001.  Read about the fascinating history of Ulimaroa.  

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