Where are they now? Richard Reed (5788)

18 May 2022

Retired pathologist, Angus cattle breeder, arts patron and renowned lecturer, Dr Richard Reed enjoys a much storied life in Melbourne.

He first walked onto the grounds of Christ’s College in 1949, with his secondary school education culminating in being made Head of Condell’s House in 1953.

In 1966, Dr Reed moved to Australia, seeking wider experience in the medical profession. Following two years at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, he received a “modest grant for St Thomas’ London, where I did the experimental work for my doctorate, MD”.

“On return, I joined Melbourne Pathology and ended up chairman for 10 years,” he says. “I developed an unusual practice where I worked with the surgeons in many of the private hospitals here. I was often in the operating theatre to handle the portion containing the cancer and, if helpful, do a rapid frozen-section diagnosis. The next day I could give the surgeon the features to make decisions for best treatment.”

He appreciated his time with the clinical team, which often dealt with breast cancer.

“A feature for Melbourne is the cooperation in the medical world. In all clinical trials there is a problem of getting enough patients to have meaningful results. We decided to cooperate under the umbrella of the Cancer Council. We were joined by other selected centres in 1987 and have grown to be one of the most meaningful clinical trials in the world, now known as the International Breast Cancer Study Group based in Bern Switzerland. It is a model for other cancer trials.”

Today, Dr Reed keeps his “brain busy by giving 90-minute presentations each week with U3A in classical music or science based on new ideas in the New Science publication”.

He also owns a 200-hectare farm, raising registered Angus cattle – with the prefix All Black – with most being well above the average for measured Angus.

Among Dr Reed’s many achievements have been his pathology career and cancer study contribution, along with his time on the Board of the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) Foundation, helping to create a park in his Melbourne neighbourhood and being invited to deliver a special lecture at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.

His most cherished memories include “being able to hold our silver wedding anniversary dinner at the NGV among the best paintings”.

“I love living in Melbourne with my wonderful wife, Vivienne, and going to concerts, plays, galleries and opera (I was president of the Richard Wagner Society.) We also walk regularly in the many big parks with century-old mature trees and numerous birds. The birds sing all day in our small garden.”