The Doris Sym Memorial Lecture: Developing a Philosophy of Occupation for Health

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The Third Caledonian Health Lecture, held on 3 March 1999, was dedicated to the memory of Doris Sym, MBE, Fellow of Glasgow Caledonian University, and founder and first Principal of the Glasgow School of Occupational Therapy. Professor Gordon Dickson, Dean of the Faculty of Health at Glasgow Caledonian University, hosted the event, which was attended by a wide range of people including Doris's family, friends, ex-colleagues, practising occupational therapists, retired occupational therapists and academics from other disciplines within the Faculty of Health.

In 1997, the year of the diamond jubilee of occupational therapy education in Scotland, I had the honour of presenting Doris Sym for the award of honorary fellow of Glasgow Caledonian University. Resplendent in her academic robes, Doris gave a feisty speech recalling the challenges involved in setting up a new educational establishment and looking forward to her future participation in University events. Her death early in 1998 came as a shock to us all.

The University was pleased and honoured to welcome Dr Ann Wilcock, founding editor of the Journal of Occupational Science: Australia and historian of the College of Occupational Therapists, to give her lecture – 'Developing a philosophy of occupation for health' – in memory of a pioneer and visionary woman who led the development of her profession and established the school teaching it in the West of Scotland.

Ann Carnduff, Head, Division of Occupational Therapy, Glasgow Caledonian University.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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