Vale A/Prof Paul Darveniza

Vale A/Prof Paul Darveniza

14 Jun 2024

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of A/Prof Paul Darveniza, St Vincent’s Neurologist of over 50 years.

He was a National Hospital for Neurology Queens Square Fellow and later Fellow at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda USA, before taking up a Consultant Neurologist post here at St Vincent’s.

He was a pioneer in the treatment of movement disorders, leading the Botox Clinic for Movement Disorders alongside A/Prof Stephen Tisch and Dr Sam Bolitho. With numerous research papers and media interviews under his belt, Dr Darveniza’s speciality expertise spanned clinical neurology, muscle diseases, myaesthenia gravis, and movement disorders. 

Highly regarded by his peers and loved by his patients, he was well renowned for his genuine and compassionate bedside manner. His colleagues recall “he had a remarkable ability to make every patient who saw him feel better, through his humanity and regard for fellow human beings”. 

In one newspaper article, Dr Darveniza once described himself as “a neurologist with a slight sporting background". 

Prior to entering the medical profession, he was professional rugby player, playing the position of hooker for the Wallabies. After touring South Africa representing Australia, Paul and six team mates who came to be known as “the Magnificent Seven”, took a stand against apartheid in South Africa in 1971, when they refused to play against the all-white Springboks that toured Australia. Soon after their protest, the Australian government severed sporting ties with South Africa until 1994 when teams were no longer based on race.

It was later recognised that a direct line could be traced from their actions, to the referendum that marked the end of apartheid in 1994. 

Paul was honoured when South African President Nelson Mandela awarded them the Medal of Freedom, a prized possession that hung on his office wall here at St Vincent’s, until his retirement in September 2023. 

This incredible accomplishment, and Paul’s resolute action in publicly advocating for equality regardless of the risks to his own career, is indicative of his working life’s purpose.

Whether on the football field, or on our campus – his dedication to helping others knew no bounds.

We pay tribute to Paul in acknowledging the contribution he made to our community, his commitment of service to St Vincent’s, and the deep impact he had on his colleagues and patients alike.

📷 Dr Paul Darveniza (right) with Dr Stephen Tisch.

Drs Darveniza  Tisch