Natimuk's Dr Rod Sutherland remembered | Photos

BELOVED Natimuk resident Dr Rod Sutherland has been remembered for his generous and caring spirit.

Dr Sutherland passed away peacefully at Natimuk Nursing Home on Monday, aged 90.

His son Bruce Sutherland said his father died surrounded by loved ones.

“Dad was a wonderful man; anyone who ran into him on the street had their day brightened,” he said.

“He was a caring man who always lived his life 100 per cent.

“When us kids were young he did have a cancer scare, which gave him an understanding of life and a real empathy of people who were ill.

“He really put his patients first and was always on call, 24 hours a day; work had to know where he was at all times.”

Roderic ‘Rod’ Sutherland was born on March 7, 1928 in Geelong, and grew up in Melbourne.

During the Second World War, his family moved from the city to Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges.

After attending schools in Olinda and Mont Albert, Dr Sutherland received a scholarship to study at Wesley College. He later qualified to study medicine at Melbourne University.


After completing his studies he worked at Mooroopna Hospital, the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Royal Women’s Hospital. 

It was at the Royal Children’s Hospital where Dr Sutherland met nurse Barbara Clifford. The couple married in 1957.

Between 1957 and 1960, Dr Sutherland spent time as a locums across the Mallee.

He also spent time as a doctor on a cargo ship to England, and worked in Watford, Exeter and Taunton.

The Sutherlands had their first child Ian in 1958, followed by Anna in 1959 and Bruce in 1960.

The family settled in Natimuk, because Rod had enjoyed his earlier time working in the Wimmera.

Both Rod and Barbara worked at the former Natimuk Hospital, now the Natimuk surgery.

Dr Sutherland enjoyed the challenges and surprises that country practices offered.

His free time was spent on a range of hobbies and interests including gardening, painting, photography, fishing, golf, bird observing and rock-climbing.

He was also a part of a number of community groups and advisory bodies, including Rotary, and bird observers, native plant, field and game, book and vintage clubs.

​Dr Sutherland is survived by his wife Barbara, 89, and their three children, along with nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

His funeral will be next week.