Join Pauline Conolly as she explores the remarkable life of Dr Victor Ratten. Originally a dentist in West Wyalong, in 1906 Ratten travelled to Chicago and purchased a bogus medical diploma. Immediately afterwards he became a rural GP in Sheffield, Tasmania, and was later appointed Surgeon Superintendent at the Hobart Hospital in 1917.
Ratten’s fraud was eventually uncovered, but through self-promotion and the popular support of his patients, Ratten was able to continue his work thanks to The Ratten Doubts Removal Act, earning himself a place in Australian history as a folk hero.
After a career in public libraries and vocational training, Pauline Conolly is now a full-time writer based in the Blue Mountains. She has published two books on social history, and is currently working on a biography of Dr Victor Ratten. Pauline’s website is archived by the National Library of Australia due to its heavy content on history.
Hosted by Shoalhaven Libraries.
Proudly presented as part of the History Council of NSW’s Speaker Connect program for History Week 2017, supported by Create NSW.
Image courtesy Tasmanian Archives.