Management Committee

President - Northern Chapter - Dr Frank Madill.


The Honourable Dr Frank Madill AM M.B.B.S. (Melb), F.R.A.C.G.P. was born Francis Leslie Madill on the 5th of September, 1941 at the Packenham Bush Nursing Hospital in Victoria. Educated at Garfield Primary School, Drouin Central Classes and Warragul District High School, he graduated MBBS from Melbourne University in 1965. He and his wife Linda moved to Tasmania where he was Resident Medical Officer at the Launceston General Hospital 1966 – 1967. He commenced fulltime General Practice in 1968, and during this period also managed his Romney Marsh sheep stud farm at Nunamara. Elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 1986 he was a Cabinet Minister from 1992-96 and Speaker of the House from 1996-1998. Frank retired from the Parliament in 2000 and resumed part time General Medical Practice in the Northern Suburbs of Launceston. He lectured in the School of Human Life Science at UTAS from 2004 – 2014 and was visiting lecturer at the Australian Maritime College and at the Medical School at the Sydney University during this period. He is the author of four (4) books – If You Faint Fall Backwards, It All Comes Back to Sheep, Why Politics Doctor and Sanders DFC – Out of the Darkness. He is a life member of the Bell Bay Seafarers Mission, Mowbray Cricket Club, North Launceston Football Club, Saints Softball Club and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. He was a recipient of the Centenary Medal in 2003, the Serving Brother of St John in 2004 and was honoured with the award of Member of the Order of Australia in 2014 for services to Parliament, Medicine and the Community.

Immediate Past President - Northern Chapter - Dr Eric Ratcliff. OAM

Eric Ratcliff was born in Launceston in 1938, completed secondary education at Launceston High School and graduated M.B.,B.S. from University of Queensland in 1964. He qualified as a consultant psychiatrist in 1976 and became a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 1981. He was a long-serving General Councillor of the College, chaired a number of bi-national committees, and was awarded the College Medal of Honour in 2006. He has served a number of terms as Chair of the Northern Branch of the Royal Society. In addition to continuing psychiatric and medico-legal practice in Launceston, he is a recognised architectural historian, and has published on aspects of nineteenth century architecture and design in Tasmania and in England and on hospital and medical history in Tasmania. He was honoured with the O.A.M. in 2004 for services to psychiatry and architectural conservation.

Treasurer - Northern Chapter - Mr. Brian East

Born in 1941 and raised mainly in Launceston. I was educated at Scotch College, the University of Tasmania and the University of Adelaide.

My initial employment was as a teacher and senior master at Launceston Matriculation College and Kings Meadows High School. This was followed by nearly 30 years at the University of Tasmania (and its antecedent institutions) and a university in Bristol (UK), ultimately on the staff of UTAS Department of Economics.

Early retirement has afforded the opportunity to broaden activity with a variety of volunteer positions, as well as a second career in horticulture – maintaining a large garden.

Recreational pursuits include cycling (many long-distance tours, including Melbourne – Sydney, Adelaide – Melbourne, Brisbane – Sydney), bushwalking and rowing. After coaching school crews for 22 years, I resumed recreational and competitive rowing and have competed in many Tasmanian Masters Regattas, as well as two World Masters Championships. Other distractions include encouraging grandsons (presently two, but counting) to ride trikes and bikes, occasional (too infrequent) visits to our East Coast house, and interstate and overseas travel.

I have been a member of the Royal Society for nearly twenty years, and Treasurer of the Northern Branch since 1997.

Secretary - Northern Chapter - Ms. Chel Bardell

Chel Jasmine Bardell is originally from Sydney, and started her professional life as a Natural Health Practitioner, with a strong commitment to the value of diet and lifestyle factors in the maintenance of good health.

She gained a Bachelor of Health Science, majoring in Complementary Medicine, while practising in Bathurst, in NSW, but during this time, also became increasingly aware of the importance of psychological issues in the health profiles of individuals, so returned to university to complete an honours degree in Psychology, majoring in Neuroscience.

In 2003 she sold her practice and moved to Tasmania with her husband Jon. She maintains a keen interest in all aspects of the human brain, from neuroscience to philosophy, which she is currently exploring. In her spare time, she and Jon grow organic fruit and vegetables, and try to live as sustainably as possible.

Committee Member - Northern Chapter - Mr. Elvin Fist

Born in 1931 in the north-west of the State, Elvin Fist became a teacher and school principal before joining the staff of the newly re-opened Hobart Teachers’ College in 1963. He remained in teacher education in Launceston, first at the Launceston Teachers’ College as Vice-Principal and later at the TCAE as Principal Lecturer in Education from 1964 until his retirement in 1989.

He originally qualified at the University of Tasmania and later studied at the University of London, Macquarie University and briefly the University of British Columbia.

Mainly interested in history, he nevertheless began attending Royal Society Northern Chapter meetings in the 1970s and later joined the Management Committee.

With his late wife, Mary, he had three children, a teacher, a scientist and a veterinary surgeon, ten wonderful grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. Sailing was their family sport.

Nowadays, with his wife, Gay, he is involved in varied retirement activities through a range of organizations.

Committee Member - Northern Chapter - Mr. David Morris

David Morris is an educator with wide experience in Tasmania in State schools, independent schools, in the TAFE sector and as a reference librarian in the State Library of Tasmania and the University of Tasmania.

David is State Chairman of the industry Focus Group for TasTAFE’s Library & Museum Studies’ courses. His distinguished contribution and expertise to teacher librarianship and library services in Tasmania and at the national level was recognised in 2013 when he was awarded the esteemed Doreen Hopkins Medal by the Australian School Library Association. He is President of the Tasmanian Council of Churches and, until June 2013, was also Convener of the Tasmanian Council of Churches Commission for Christian Ministry in State Schools, which is co-responsible for the development and monitoring of Tasmanian Education Department guidelines for the conduct of chaplaincy in State schools , and Christian religious education in State schools.

David currently sits on the Advisory Council, Scholarship Committee and Appeals Committee of Worldview Centre for Intercultural Studies. He has a long-standing commitment to the promotion of knowledge in the community, and is currently Head of Library & Information Services at Scotch Oakburn College in Launceston.

Committee Member & QVMAG Representative - Northern Chapter - Mr. Richard Mulvaney

Richard Mulvaney is the Director of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and an ex officio member of the management committee – Northern Chapter.

Committee Member & Hon. Librarian - Northern Chapter - Mr. Andrew Parsons

Andrew has been associated with the Royal Society of Tasmania since 2010.

He worked at the AMC and UTAS libraries, Launceston and Hobart, from 1996 through to early 2013. From 2010 to 2013, he managed UTAS Library’s special and rare collections; as part of this role he served as Hon. Librarian to the Society. During his time as the Society’s Hon. Librarian, he oversaw the continuation of digitising of the Society’s archives and ‘Papers & Proceedings’, as well as completion of cataloguing and reorganisation of the Society’s serials collection (with acknowledgement of the efforts of the previous Hon. Librarian and former Councillor, Graeme Rayner).

In February 2013 he took up the position of Library Coordinator with the library at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, where he revived the Society’s northern library collection. Andrew is one of what might be a mere handful of Society members to have had the privilege of serving in both the south and the north of the State; on the Council (2010-13) and then the Management Committee of the Northern Chapter (2013-).

Committee Member - Northern Chapter - Mr. George Merridew. MB BS, FRACGP FANZCA FFPMANZCA


George is an anaesthetist in private practice and at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH). He has been an RSTN member since 2011.

He is a 1972 medical graduate of the University of Tasmania in 1972. George served as an RAAF medical officer from 1975-8, then joined the Reserve and pursued civilian specialist training in anaesthesia, in Adelaide, qualifying in 1983.

Travelling with his wife and children, he then worked in Bristol UK, Hong Kong and at the Mayo Clinic MN, USA. In 1986 they returned to Tasmania, to a staff appointment at the LGH and family life in Launceston. George was LGH Director of Anaesthesia from 2003-8.

Since 1995 he has been on the board of management of the Royal Flying Doctor Service Tasmania Inc., including a term as President from 2009-12.

In addition to surgical and obstetric anaesthesia, he has practised extensively in pain medicine, critical care medicine, inter-hospital transfer of the critically ill, and anaesthesia in austere environments. As an RAAF Specialist Reservist until aged 65, George had multiple overseas deployments, and a committee position from 2000-4 representing anaesthesia in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) health system. He was convenor of the first eight ADF courses in Military Anaesthesia, all held in Launceston from 2000-7.