Contributors to Victorian Adult Burns Service

Professor John “Jock” Masterton (Director VABS 1967-1996)

Originally from Scotland, John began his surgical training in London and then Aberdeen. Following a job opportunity for Monash University and Alfred Health in 1963, he and his family moved to Australia. His expertise in the treatment and management of burns at the Alfred Hospital was the stimulus to establish the Victorian Burns Unit, and he subsequently became its first Director, a position he held for 28 years.

John was also one of the leaders in establishing the Australian & New Zealand Burn Association (ANZBA) in 1976. He continued to as head of the Adult Burns Unit until his retirement in 1996.

Strong community support continues for the burns unit at The Alfred

Associate Professor Heather Cleland (Director VABS 2002-2024)

Heather began as a Visiting Plastic Surgeon at the Alfred in 1992 and became the Director of Burns Surgery in 2002. She has been deeply involved in clinical and academic pursuits, most recently securing significant funding $2.36 million from the MRFF, for a clinical trial on third-degree burn wound closure (2021-2026).

Heather has held several professional roles, including President of the Australian and New Zealand Burns Association and Deputy Director of Surgical Services at Alfred Health. Her work extends to various organisations and she has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers. Her interests include skin bioengineering, wound healing, and clinical quality registries. Heather’s passion for care of the burn injured patient is inspirational and has contributed significantly to the field. 

Helen MacPherson Smith Trust

The trust has been a major contributor to the establishment of the Helen Macpherson-Smith Burns Unit. Longstanding support from the trust since 1993, has seen:

  • Construction of the Burns unit
  • Upgrading of beds
  • Establishing the Burns research unit,
  • Investment in theatre a specialised burns operating table
  • New offices
  • New operating theatre for the Alfred Centre for Burns

We extend our gratitude to the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust for their generous support, which has served the Victorian community by providing key infrastructure and equipment to the Victorian Adult Burns Service.