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Colleagues remember Dr Robert Ogle as portrait unveiled

Portrait of esteemed RPA doctor to be hung in Mothers and Babies department.

Two people pose for a photo by the painting of Robert Ogle.
SydneyConnect Image: Dr Jason Ting and Dr Mona Marabani by the painting of Dr Robert Ogle

Colleagues, friends and family of much-loved doctor Robert Ogle have gathered to unveil his specially commissioned portrait, which will be hung at RPA Women and Babies in recognition of his significant contribution to Sydney Local Health District.

The portrait by Sydney artist Paul Newton was revealed during a ceremony attended by Rob’s brother, Peter, and the District’s Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson, the Clinical Director of Women’s Health, Neonatology and Paediatrics Professor Jonathan Carter and Dr Ogle’s former colleagues Professor Jon Hyett, Dr Mona Marabani, Dr Jason Ting and Dr Ritu Mogra and many staff across the hospital and the District. 

Dr Ogle, 61, died on 25 April 2020 when a cancer, thought to have been cured, returned and within a short time claimed his life.

His colleagues were able reflect on his contribution to RPA at that time, but because of COVID have only now been able to gather together as a group to unveil the portrait.

“Dr Ogle was one of our District’s most esteemed and beloved staff. He had a lifelong commitment to RPA and a vision to provide high-quality and equitable care to mothers, their babies and families every day,” Dr Anderson said. 

“Dr Ogle provided strong and supportive leadership at RPA and our District during his career and it’s a fitting tribute that his portrait will now be hung in RPA Women and Babies in his memory. He was a wonderful friend and colleague. We miss him greatly.”

Professor Hyett said Dr Ogle made an enormous contribution to RPA.

“He trained here, worked here and continued to aspire to improve clinical outcomes for women and children and to provide opportunities for the staff he worked with,” Professor Hyett, a friend of Dr Ogle’s for more than 20 years, said.

“He always had his hand on the pulse — being physically present almost every day of the year. He provided counsel and support to numerous consultants and junior doctors and to other colleagues. He was interested in their work and in their lives.”

Dr Ogle studied at The University of Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine and began his internship at RPA in 1982 and later completed his residency at the hospital.

He then obtained series of specialist postgraduate qualifications, and in 1997 travelled to London taking a position as a Consultant / Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine at University College Hospital and with University College London. He was involved in early studies of genetics, fetal medicine and pioneer studies in nuchal translucency.

When he came back to Sydney in 1999, he joined Liverpool Hospital as a consultant before returning to RPA in 2001 where he was a senior staff specialist in Maternal Fetal Medicine and Molecular and Clinical Genetics.

He became the Director of RPA Women and Babies in 2009 and in 2012 he was appointed as the District’s Director of Women’s Health, Neonatology and Paediatrics.

He was the author of almost 50 research papers, in 12 of which he was the lead.

“Rob was the consummate clinician. Mothers and their babies were at the centre of everything he did and strived for. He was a teacher, a mentor and a thinker,” Dr Marabani, a long-time friend who was an intern alongside Dr Ogle at RPA, said.

“At the heart of everything he did were those qualities of an excellent physician — an enquiring mind, an eye for detail, a vision and a deep compassion for other human beings,” she said.

Dr Ting described him as having a kind and gentle heart. 

“He was dedicated to his job. He cherished his trainees greatly and was very supportive of them. He would find well thought out solutions to even the most complex situations,” he said.