Professor Susan Prescott, whose research at The University of Western Australia is helping to unravel the causes of allergic diseases in children attending her clinics, will pay tribute to an intrepid grandmother, Lady Monica Prescott – a medical missionary in war-torn China in the 1930s – at a fund-raising function at UWA later this month.
“My grandmother, who died recently, was an inspiration. She was born into a long line of adventurers, explorers and missionaries who believed ‘travel was the best education’. When I left school, she took me travelling and getting to know her and hearing all her stories made me want to become a doctor,” Professor Prescott said..
Professor Prescott will talk about her adventurous grandparents – who worked at a hospital in Japanese-occupied China before being evacuated to Australia – when addressing a UWA Centenary Trust for Women luncheon at Winthrop Hall on July 29, 2007. The Trust was established to provide educational opportunities for women facing financial difficulties.
“My grandmother wanted to become a doctor, but the family was poor and scholarships were very difficulty to get, so she had to be creative,” Professor Prescott said.
“Eventually she found one for a candidate who didn’t drink, didn’t smoke and went to church regularly. She later joked that she was probably the only one eligible.”
Monica Prescott was also one of few women doctors in Manchester in the 1930s when she met a lecturer in physiology who went on to become Vice-Chancellor of UWA – Sir Stanley Prescott.
Professor Prescott will talk about her grandfather’s dramatic escape from China, and his later role in establishing the UWA Medical School and the Raine Medical Foundation. As a medical graduate, she would later benefit from a Raine grant that helped her to establish her own research credentials.
Tickets for the UWA Centenary Trust for Women luncheon are available through Leigh Grant of the University’s Office of Development on 6488 4774.
Professor Prescott is available for interview, and for photographs during her clinics for asthmatic children at Dorothy Surnamm House, 80 Hay Street, Subiaco, on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.