Professor Maurice Cauchi

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Maurice Cauchi AM, MQR is a Professor of Pathology, an author about migration to Australia and a community leader in Melbourne, Australia.

Early life and Medical career

Maurice Cauchi was born in Għarb, Gozo, in 1936 and was educated at the Lyceum Gozo and The Royal University of Malta from where he graduated as an MD in 1961. In 1962 he proceeded to further his education in the UK, where he studied at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, and the Royal Cancer Hospital, obtaining an MSc (1964), a DPH (1965) and a PhD (1967). He was then appointed a Lecturer in Pathology at the University of Malta (1968).

Maurice migrated to Australia with his family in 1969 on his appointment as a Senior Lecturer at Monash University in Melbourne. In 1976 he moved to the Royal Women's Hospital as a Haematologist and was later appointed Director of Haematology and Immunology, as well as Associate Professor of Pathology at both Melbourne University and Monash University.

Maurice returned to Malta in 1992 as Professor of Pathology at the University of Malta and Director of Pathology, St Luke’s Hospital. He was also Chairman of the Bioethics Consultative Committee (Ministry of Health), and Chairman of the Gozo Health Council (Ministry for Gozo). He left Malta and returned to Australia in 2003.

Involvement with Maltese culture and Ethnic Councils

His interest in Maltese cultural issues started in the 1980's with his involvement in the Maltese Literature Group (MLG) with Dr Joe Abela. Later on he became the President of this association, during which time he was instrumental in publishing Irjieħ, an anthology of poetry in Maltese written by members of the MLG. He was also Chairman of the Education Committee, and President of the Maltese Community Council of Victoria (1989 -1991), and again in 2004 when he returned from his 11-year stay in Malta. From 1989 to 1991 he was Chairperson of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV).

During this time he also started Il-Maltija, a monthly paper for the Maltese community in Victoria, as well as The Ethnic Voice, a monthly newsletter for the ECCV. He also organised the reprinting of the classic Malta and the Maltese – A Study in Nineteenth Century Migration by Charles A Price (1989). Together with Victoria University he was instrumental in setting up a Youth Forum in 1999 and published its proceedings. He has also contributed to the medical education of the community, through his talks on radio, as well as his well-attended courses of lectures on topics of medical interest.

One of Maurice’s major interests has been to document empirical data gleaned from census information and other sources about issues relating to Maltese migrants in Australia. His monograph Maltese Migrants in Australia (1990) is a unique collection of information about Maltese migrants, and deals with topics including education, health, economic performance, etc. His second book in this genre, The Maltese Migrant Experience (1999), is less empirical in approach, and is in effect a collection of articles and editorials written at various times. It includes articles written originally for The Ethnic Voice, a monthly magazine which he produced for the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (1989-1990), and Il-Maltija the official paper of the Maltese Community Council of Victoria, as well as relevant articles from The Times of Malta. Most recently he has published Worlds Apart, which is a study of migration as seen in English literature in the second half of the 20th century. He has published a large number of articles in newspapers in both Australia and Malta.

Multicultural commitments

During his time in Malta (1992-2003) he was chairman of the Commission for Maltese Abroad (Ministry for Social Policy, Malta, 1992-1994), as well as chairman of the Malta Migration Museum (2001-2003). During this time he was largely responsible for establishing a website for this virtual museum, which is the most comprehensive collection of information about Maltese migrant issues.


Prof Cauchi has written extensively on various aspects of migration. His range of topics includes statistical analyses of migrant movements, health issues, educational issues of second generation Maltese, racism, Maltese language preservation, returning migrants, and xenophobia, to name just a few. The following is a list of his books relating to migrant issues:

  • 1982: Is-Saħħa, (second edition, 1997)
  • 1983: Meta Jofroħ il-Baħar, (ed.) G.Abela and M. Cauchi
  • 1986: Irjieħ, Anthology of Poetry from Australia (ed. M. Cauchi, M. Cassar, J. Saliba, Maltese Literature Group, Melbourne
  • 1990: Maltese Migrants in Australia, M. Cauchi
  • 1999: Maltese Background Youth, (ed.) M. Cauchi, H. Borland, R. Adams, Victoria University, (Proceedings of Conference organised in Melbourne)
  • 1999: The Maltese Migrant Experience
  • 2002: Worlds Apart – Migration in Modern English Literature, Europe-Australia Institute, Melbourne
  • 2006: Maltese Achievers in Australia, MCCV Publication, Melbourne 2006
  • 2008: A Who's Who of Maltese-Background Persons in Australia and New Zealand, Maltese Historical Association (Aust) Inc
  • 2009: Under one Umbrella: A History of the Maltese Community Council of Victoria, 1958-2008, Maltese Community Council of Victoria

Involvement in Medical Issues

For the early years as a senior lecturer at Monash University Medical School (1969-1976), he was heavily involved in lecturing, and research, supervising several students undertaking higher degrees. As Director of Haematology and Immunology (1976-1991) he was involved not only with running a busy hospital department, but also in research and teaching medical students at both Monash University and Melbourne University. During this time also he was involved with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australia (RCPA) and for several years he was the Representative of the RCPA in Victoria.

During his time in Australia Maurice has been involved in a number of issues, including:

  • President of the Thalassaemia Association of Victoria
  • Chairman of the Victorian Branch of the Royal College of Pathology of Australia, involved in the training and examining of pathology trainees
  • Member of the Pathology Services Accreditation Board

Monographs relating to medical or scientific issues

  • Obstetric and Perinatal Immunology, Edward Arnold, 1981. ISBN 0-7131-4384-3

Translations of this book: Into Italian: Immunologia Ostetrica Perinatale, 1983 Into Russian: 1986.

  • The Clinical Pathology of Pregnancy and the Newborn Infant, (ed. M.N. Cauchi, G.L. Gilbert. & J.B. Brown) Edward Arnold, 1984. ISBN: 0-7131-4433-5
  • Trends in Pathology in Malta, (ed.), University of Malta, 1996
  • Life is a Miracle: The Human Body in Health and Disease, Mireva Publications, 1998
  • Informed Consent: Proceedings of a Symposium for Medical and Paramedical Practitioners, (ed.), 1998
  • Proceedings of the Conference on Bioethics and Disability, (ed.), 1999
  • Ix-Xjenza u s-Soċjeta, Malta 2000
  • Publications in Pathology, (ed.), University of Malta 2000
  • Bijoetika fl-Ewropa Illum, M.N.Cauchi, PEG Publications, 2002
  • Patients’ Rights, Reproductive Technology, Transplantation, (ed.), M.N. Cauchi The Bioethics Consultative Committee, Malta 2000
  • Inter-professional Ethics in Health Care, (ed.), M.N. Cauchi, The Bioethics Consultative Committee, Malta 2001
  • Bioethics Issues at the Beginning and End of Life, (ed.), M.N. Cauchi, The Bioethics Consultative Committee, Malta 2002
  • The University of Gozo Centre: From Vision to Reality, (ed.), M. N. Cauchi, 2002.

He has published over a hundred research papers in scientific journals. He has also published numerous articles relating to science, medicine and ethics in Maltese newspapers. Since 2006, he has contributed about 80 published articles to the Sunday Times in Malta, mostly but not exclusively on medical and scientific issues, covering a wide variety of topics such as prostate problems, the biology of divorce, and cancer prevention.

Apart from medical and migration issues, he has written articles on topics such as Maltese women writers in Australia, young Maltese scientists in Australia, and a new deal for Maltese living overseas. In all, he has contributed well over 100 articles covering a huge range of topics.

Awards and recognitions

For his services to the community he was made a Member of the Order of Australia, (AM,1991) and was awarded the Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika, (‘Medal for Services to the Republic’ of Malta, MQR ,1992).

In addition to his distinguished medical career, Maurice has been a tireless worker in promoting the Maltese community in Australia. He has been instrumental in establishing an MCCV initiative, the Bishop Joe Grech Memorial Fund, which was established in 2011. The Fund offers an annual scholarship to younger generations of Maltese Australians from Victoria to take a more active interest in Maltese history, culture and language by experiencing them first hand during a visit to Malta. The inaugural scholarship was awarded in 2012.

Prof Maurice Cauchi is married to Agnes (nee Gatt) and they have two children (Denise and Stephanie) and two grandchildren (Andrés and Leila).


Personal communication with Professor M. Cauchi

External links