Gunther, John Thomson

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Gunther, John Thomson

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Sir John Thomson Gunther OBE CMG

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1910 - 1984


Sir John Thomson Gunther was born on 2 October 1910 in Sydney. Gunther studied medicine at the University of Sydney (MB, 1935). From 1935-1938 he worked as a medical officer with Lever’s Pacific Plantations Ltd in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. On 30 June 1941 Gunther was commissioned as a flight lieutenant in the Royal Australian Air Force’s Medical Branch. He obtained diplomas of tropical medicine and public health from the University of Sydney and in December 1944 he took command of the Tropical Research Field Unit in New Guinea. In 1946 Gunther became Director of Public Health in the Territory of Papua New Guinea, and organised the medical services after the disastrous Mount Lamington eruption of 1951. In 1957 he was appointed to Assistant-Administrator in Papua and New Guinea. From 1964, he was senior government member in the new House of Assembly, and was a special representative at the United Nations in 1965. Gunther was a member of the Currie commission on higher education in Papua and New Guinea that led to the establishment of the University of Papua and New Guinea (UPNG). He was appointed foundation Vice-Chancellor of UPNG in 1966, retiring in 1972. He then became a Director of Bougainville Copper Pty Ltd. Gunther died on 27 April 1984 at West Heidelberg, Victoria.


Solomon Islands; Papua New Guinea

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

colonial administrator; health services personnel; medical researcher; public servant; university administrator

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Prepared by Karina Taylor on 15 July 2009; revised on 15 May 2012




Australian Dictionary of Biography, (accessed on 15 May 2012)

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