The Department of Anaesthesia (or Anaesthetics as it has variously been called) was officially created by a resolution of the Board of Directors of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in 1930, after a recommendation by the hospital Medical Board. Anaesthesia had, of course, been practiced at the hospital for many years prior to this.
The Nuffield Chair of Anaesthesia was the result when The Nuffield Foundation offered funding for the new position of Associate Professor of Anaesthetics at Sydney University in 1960. Our page on Viscount Nuffield briefly explains how this occurred.
In the late 1960's, the Chairman of the Department, Dr Phillip Jobson, established the Visiting Professor Fund to bring distinguished visitors from overseas. The First Visiting Professor was Professor E.M. Papper in 1969.
In 2005, the 75th Jubilee of the Department, Prof Barry Baker completed a book, Australia's First Anaesthetic Department, 75 Years at the RPA, covering in detail the history of the Department and the Hospital from the very beginning. Interest in this book should be directed to the Department.
Further information about the history of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital can be found here.