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Biographical entry Ball, James Richard Baldwin (Dick) (1928 - 2017)

19 February 1928
Blyth, United Kingdom
31 October 2017
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Dick Ball was a psychiatrist who was among the first to study psychiatric aspects of sexual orientation when homosexual behaviour was illegal. This interest formed the basis of his continuing research. He migrated to Australia in 1962 after starting his career in medicine and psychiatry in the United Kingdom and while doing his national service in the Royal Air Force. Ball held senior positions at major Victorian psychiatric institutions including Larundel and the Mental Health Research Unit, Parkville, before becoming Professor of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, and Director of the Department of Psychiatry at St Vincent's Hospital in 1978. During his tenure at St Vincent's, the Hospital came to be regarded as one of the best psychiatric training centres in Victoria. Ball was President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists from 1979 to 1981 at a time of great controversy relating to professional standards and deep sleep therapy.



1953 - 1955
Career position - Medical Officer, Royal Air Force, Ismailia, Egypt
Life event - Settled in Australia
1962 - 1965
Career position - Deputy Superintendent, Larundel Psychiatric Hospital, Melbourne
1963 - 2012
Career position - Foundation Member, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
1965 - 1970
Career position - Director, Mental Health Research Unit, Parkville teaching University of Melbourne
1970 - 1978
Career position - Chief Clinical Officer, Victorian Mental Health Authority
1978 - 1992
Career position - Professor of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne
1978 - 1992
Career position - Director, Department of Psychiatry, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne
1979 - 1981
Career position - President, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
1992 - 2012
Career position - Consultant psychiatric practice
1996 - 2012
Career position - Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, St Vincent's Hospital
1997 - 2006
Career position - Director, Carelink
Life event - Retired from practice

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  • Who's who in Australia 2012 (Melbourne: Crown Content Pty Ltd, 2012), 2430 pp. Details

Helen Cohn