The Adelaide Medical Students’ Society (AMSS) is the peak representative organisation for medical students at the University of Adelaide. Currently the Society represents over 900 full-time medical students from all six year levels of the undergraduate course.

The AMSS is proud to provide these students with a myriad of activities, which fall beneath six pillars: representation, education, recreation, health and wellbeing, philanthropy and membership. The AMSS is incredibly vibrant with a rich culture, and it is recognised as being amongst the very best medical student societies in Australia.

In 2017 the AMSS enters its one hundred and twenty eighth year of operation and continues to grow and prosper. The Society boasts an inclusive and representative committee of over fifty voting members, ensuring that all medical students are provided ample opportunity to be involved and contribute to their community. The most important function of the Society is to actively represent medical students to the University of Adelaide. It achieves this through its extensive educational representation on numerous boards and committees within the Faculty of Health Sciences. The healthy relationship of the Society with the Faculty enhances its capacity to provide meaningful student input into the curriculum and course structure.

The AMSS has a huge events calendar, with over 80 social, educational and recreational events planned already for the year! From netball, MedFooty and debating, to International Food Fiesta, the annual MedRevue and of course some parties along the way, there is something on almost every week to help maintain a healthy balance of work and play. Much-loved favourites like MedCamp, Jazz Night and MedBall bring together hundreds of medical students to encourage the vibrant culture of the AMSS.

[stimulus], the Society’s publication, along with regular AMSS email updates provide insight in to student and Society news, educational resources, medical issues and other interesting bits and pieces. The brand new AMSS website is constantly updated with everything from social events and photos to educational material and current medical news.

The vibrant AMSS culture and the aims of the Society can be summarised by its motto, “Traditio, Spiritus, Gaudium” – Tradition, Spirit, Good Times. We try to keep this in mind as much as possible – after all, that is what Med School is about!

Invocation #

The AMSS Invocation was designed as a succinct way to continually remind Committee and Executive members of the primary aims of the Society.

The hope is that by being continually reminded of these aims, individual Committee and Executive members will be inspired, will have a better understanding of the mandate for the Society to act, and will integrate these aims into the fulfilment of their duties.

Furthermore, the Invocation is designed to be a reference point for members in the context of circuitous discussion or debate. It is hoped that by reminding the Committee of the primary aims of the Society, debate can be focused and therefore become more efficient.

Originally it was proposed that the Invocation be read before each Committee meeting, but following discussion at a Committee level, it was decided that it best be put at the front of the pre-reading for AMSS meetings: in this fashion it will be readily available in meetings, without potentially seeming strange or excessive to observers or new Committee members.

The AMSS Invocation is directly derived from the Primary Aims of the Society, as stated in the Constitution; the Invocation reads:

"The Adelaide Medical Students' Society exists primarily to represent Adelaide medical students both individually and as a whole; to provide social, cultural and educational support for its members; and to further the welfare of its members." 

As a mark of respect, this Invocation will be coupled with a formal recognition of the traditional indigenous owners of the land on which AMSS meetings are held.

History #

The Adelaide Medical Students’ Society was officially founded at 2pm on Thursday May 21st, 1889.

As the first few cohorts of medical students advanced through the course since the Adelaide Medical School was established in 1885, the question of whether to form a Society to advance and protect the interests of medical students at the University of Adelaide began to be brought forward. At the time, the senior medical students took the matter into consideration but it was felt that the time was ‘not yet ripe’ for the formation of such a Society.

At the beginning of 1889, with all five years of the course now represented, as was the length of the course at the time, it was decided that a meeting to reconsider the question was now warranted. The inaugural general meeting of the Society, held in the Medical Theatre, was presided over by Professor Sir Edward Charles Stirling and with much enthusiasm and unanimous agreement it was decided that a Society should be formed in connection with the University of Adelaide.

Professor Sir Stirling, one of the founders of the Medical School, had the distinction of becoming the AMSS’ first President, and the lecturers and professors of the Medical School became the Vice-President’s of the AMSS.

Founding Members of the AMSS 
President: Sir E.C. Stirling
Members: Drs Goldsmith, Lynch, Robin, Verco, Morgan, Beyer, Giles, Mead, Powell, Seabrook, Cavanagh, Embling, Good, Gunson, Moule, Cudmore, Shanahan, Gibbes, Sangster, Giviro, Corben, Russell, Goode and Fowler.

Since these early and historical beginnings by the founding members, the AMSS has grown into a most prominent body in the Adelaide Medical School, representing the educational, political, recreational and health interests of all medical students. Over the years, its officer-bearers and committee members have also gone on to become national and international leaders in the world of medicine. Baron Howard Florey, Nobel Prize recipient for his role in the extraction of penicillin and one of the Adelaide Medical School’s most famous graduates, was in fact an AMSS alumnus and in his time held the position of Honorary Secretary – the equivalent of the modern day AMSS President.

One hundred and twenty-five years later, the AMSS continues to exist today as the primary body of medical student representation at the University of Adelaide, and renown as one of the most significant and professional student societies in Australia.

Strategic Plan #

In 2011 the AMSS undertook the intitiative to develop a strategic plan to provide recommendations for the management of the Society and it's interests into the future.

This document was review across 2016 and 2017 with the final document presented to the Membership at the 2017 Annual General Meeting.

The 2016/17 review was undertaken with the intention to make this document more approachable and outcome focused.  It should be viewed as flexible and responsive to membership feedback and therefore should be reviewed on a regular basis.  The overarching goals within the document form a scaffold which should be utilised in the yearly development of an ‘implementation plan’ during the Executive Retreat and initial meeting of the Committee.  Such an implementation plan need not address every issue or goal outlined in this document but rather specific goals and outcomes of Executives from year to year.  This flexible approach will enable the vibrant enthusiasm of Adelaide medical students to contribute to a dynamic and exciting Society.

Furthermore, the review has specific relevance in the changing context of the Medical Program of the University of Adelaide.  The implementation of the Doctor of Medicine in place of existing Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery will see the Medical Program change from a Non-Graded Pass to a Graded degree. This major change will have drastic implications for the volunteer base of the Society, thus this review focuses distinctly on elements of volunteer burden and engagement.  These and other internal measures will ensure sustainability for the Society in the years to come, thus should be a focus of early implementation.

If you have any questions about the 2017 Review of the Strategic Plan please contact

Download the 2017 Review of the Amss Strategic Plan Here

Honour Boards #

The AMSS has erected Honour Boards in the Eleanor Harrald Building Student Common Room to commemorate notable members of the Society. However, in this age of the 'interweb', we also thought it fitting to acknowledge contributors to the Society 'on-line'. Please find below our past Presidents and recipients of various prizes and awards. We note that there are gaps with respect to the Patron's Plate, so if you know who the recipients were in the relevant years, please contact the President.

We note that, previously, the President of the AMSS was an esteemed doctor who performed more of a 'Patron' type role. This practice ceased in the mid-seventies the esteemed 'Patron' type Office Bearer became the Chairman / Chairwoman. Today we have a Patron, which is currently Professor Randall Faull. We have, from the time of the change in the mid-seventies, documented the name of the student President rather than the esteemed medical practitioner.

We note that before 1998, any medical student was eligible to be awarded the Patron’s Plate each year. From 1998 onward, only final year medical students have been eligible to receive the Patron’s Plate. The criteria have otherwise remained unchanged since the inception of the award.

Traditio | Spiritus | Gaudium