De Garis, Mary Clementina

Personal Details

SurnameDe Garis
First nameMary
Middle nameClementina
Date of birth1881
Place of birthVictoria
Date of death1963
Place of deathGeelong, Victoria


Mary Clementina DE GARIS was a doctor for Muttaburra, arriving in June 1907, and staying until August 1908, although she resigned in May. She was born in 1881, in Victoria, to a clergyman. She was Dux of her year at College, and graduated with high honours from the University of Melbourne in 1904 (the same year as Adela Williams), accepting positions at Melbourne and Women’s Hospitals. In 1907, she was awarded the Doctorate of Medicine before travelling to Muttaburra for her first full-time position. After leaving here, she travelled to the UK and USA to further her professional development. She came back to work in Melbourne, and then took a position at Tibooburra for some years. She went overseas for much of the War in order to be nearer her fiancé (who had enlisted and was killed in France), and became Chief Medical Officer in Macedonia for 14 months, for which she was decorated by the Serbian government. Much has been written about Dr de Garis, including a biographical book by Ruth Lee. After the War, she came back to Geelong, where she was the first and only female doctor for over 20 years, and was the driving force in advancement of Maternity care in that area. She continued to practise until 1960, and died in Geelong in 1963.
[Source: Dr Arratta Museum]


Muttaburra Hospital
Start Date1907
Finish Date1908
PositionDoctors - Permanent, Medical Officer M.D.