Sir Gustav Nossal is an internationally renowned scientist and has been a significant figure in Australia’s medical and scientific community. He was Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (1965-1996), Professor of Medical Biology at the University of Melbourne and President of the Australian Academy of Science.
Gustav Nossal was born in Bad Ischl, in Austria, on the 4th June, 1931. The Nossal family left their home town of Vienna for Australia when he was eight years old. When he attended his first Australian school, Nossal spoke no English but graduated from St Aloysius’ College in 1947 as the dux of the College. In 1948, he entered Sydney University’s Medical School, graduating later with first class honours. At the age of 26, he left his job in Sydney and moved to Melbourne to work with Macfarlane Burnet in Medical Science. Nossal gained his PhD degree in 1960 at the age of 29.
Gustav Nossal has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career. He was knighted in 1977 for his ground-breaking work in immunology and made a companion of the Order of Australia in 1989. He was awarded the Albert Einstein World Award of Science in 1990 and in 1996 he won the highly prized Koch Gold Medal for major advances in biomedical science. He has been identified as one of Australia’s national living treasures.
Sir Gustav Nossal is involved in a number of other organisations that allow him to reach people in many areas of the community, including the Centenary of Federation Victoria Committee, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and The Global Foundation. He has been listed in annual Australia Day Honours four times, including as Companion of the Order of Australia in 1989 “For services to medicine, to science and to the community” and a Centenary Medal Winner “For distinguished service to the study of antibody formation and immunological tolerance” in 2000, when he was also named Australian of the Year.
We are honoured to have our school named after Sir Gustav Nossal and to be associated with such a prominent and inspirational figure; an Australian who believes in state education and has brought true benefit to the world.