Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial
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ID number ART24271
Title Brigadier Neil Hamilton Fairley
Collection Art
Object type Drawing
Maker Heysen, Nora (Artist)
Place made Australia: Queensland, North Queensland, Cairns
Date made 1945
Medium black conte crayon on paper
Measurement Overall: 48.5 x 35.6 cm


Portrait depicting Brigadier Neil Fairley, CBE, FRS, MD, DSc (Melb), FRCP (Lond), FRACP, DTM&H, Director of Medicine Land Headquarters South West Pacific Area, Chairman Combined Advisory Committee to General MacArthur on Tropical Medicine and Sanitation SWPA.
There were grave fears for the strength of Australians fighting in the malaria prone regions of the Pacific during the Second World War. By June 1943, it was estimated 25,000 Australians in Papua and New Guinea had contracted malaria. Supplies of quinine, used to treat malaria since the First World War, and the synthetic drug atebrin were inadequate to meet demand. Brigadier Fairley was instrumental in the establishment of the Land Headquarters Medical Research Unit was quickly established in Cairns, Queensland where a specialist team of researchers trialled synthetic anti-malarial drugs.