The Auckland Medical Museum Trust is seeking donations for its first exhibition – Brave Hearts.


We know our sporting heroes inspire young New Zealanders. And we know that international success encourages our youth to achieve.

But how many of us know about New Zealand’s history of world-class achievements by dedicated young heart surgeons and their teams?

The first simple heart operations in NZ were done in 1942. But it was Sir Douglas Robb’s 1948 series of successful operations on “blue babies” which first captured the imagination of the public.

By the 1950s a revolution was about to break on the world’s operating tables. New practices and new technology launched an exciting era for cardiac surgery internationally.

The Auckland Medical Museum will display and tell the story of New Zealand’s first heart-lung bypass machine that changed everything. In 1962 Brian Barratt-Boyes, using this machine, applied a masterful technique for replacing a heart valve with a human donor and set the international standard for aortic valve surgery. The machine was first used to close a hole in the heart in 1958.

We want to celebrate those brave medical pioneers who rode a new wave of medicine to learn and teach how to repair the damaged hearts of newborn babies, children and adults.

And we want everyone to know more about the heart, what can go wrong, what can be done to fix the problem, and what we can do to prevent problems in the first place.

The progress in cardiology and all the specialisations involved in heart surgery over the last 60 years is astonishing.

We believe New Zealand’s pioneering story must be told.


We need your help to achieve this.

We are now live on
social media

Please  “like” and “share” to help promote Brave Hearts to a wide audience

I am convinced that to venture forward into the future, it is important that we honour and appreciate the past achievements of pioneers. Their work and inventions has literally saved thousands of lives including mine on six separate occasions. 

– Ta’afuli Andrew Fiu

Your donation will help bring this story to life. Here’s how…

Internet banking: AMMT Westpac account: 03-0389-0792746-00.
Please confirm your donation by email to or mail this completed form to AMMT c/- P Holst. PO Box 482, Orewa 0946

Auckland Medical Museum Trust (AMMT) is a Registered Charitable Trust CC50444 under the New Zealand Charities Act 2005. A receipt enabling donors to claim a tax credit for income tax purposes on cash donations of $5.00 will be forwarded.

For more information please contact:
Margaret Horsburgh: email or phone 021 444 012

Have you got a story or experience you’d like to share?

Brave Hearts Steering Committee

Margaret Horsburgh
Margaret Horsburgh (Chair)
CNZM, RN, EdD, MA (hons), BA

Margaret trained and worked as a nurse at Green Lane Hospital in the 1960s and 1970s, subsequently working for several decades in the tertiary education sector. She has an ongoing interest in New Zealand’s medical and health heritage and has continuing involvement with Auckland’s museums. Currently she is a trustee of the Auckland Museum Foundation.

Alan Kerr

Alan was a cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon at Green Lane Hospital from 1969 until retirement in 2002. He initially had a leading role in the development of coronary artery surgery in NZ, and later a major interest in heart surgery for children. He became Honorary Clinical Professor of Surgery of the Auckland School of Medicine in 1997. Since retirement he has worked as a volunteer helping to develop paediatric cardiac services in Palestine.

Alan Kerr
Judy Murphy
Judy Murphy
RN, Dip N, Dip Nsg Ed (Lond)

Judy was a charge nurse at Green Lane Hospital in the 1970s, before completing advanced studies in nurse education in London. She has a wide range of experience in health research at the University of Auckland. Judy is a volunteer guide at Auckland Museum and co-author of two books on medical history.

Warren Smith

Warren is a cardiologist and electrophysiologist presently working at Auckland City Hospital. He developed the electrophysiology service at Green Lane Hospital and was the director of Cardiology 1998-2003. He is an Honorary Associate Professor of Medicine of the Auckland School of Medicine since 2001.

Warren Smith
Rick Pearson
In Collaboration with
Rick Pearson

Rick is one of New Zealand’s leading exhibition architects and recipient of numerous awards for architecture and design. Projects include Kaiapoi Museum, Navy Museum, Rotoroa Island Exhibition Centre, Colin McCahon House, Arokai Mt Cook Centre and the Auckland Medical School’s Pathology research Centre.

Peter Holst (Treasurer)

Peter practised and taught medicine in Dunedin and later in Wellington. After retirement from full-time work he was a part-time Director of Continuing Education for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and was a member of the Taranaki District Health Board. He has a continuing interest in the history of medicine.

Peter Holst

Auckland Medical Museum Trust


The Auckland Medical Museum Trust (AMMT) was formed in 2014 with the objective of bringing a medical museum to the Auckland community.
Brave Hearts is the first tangible step towards a dedicated medical museum that will showcase our medical achievements and inspire future generations.

Chair: Dr Margaret Horsburgh

Professor Linda Bryder, Dr Tatjana Buklijas, Dr Alistair Kwan, Dr Warren Smith, Dr Graeme Woodfield

Treasurer: Dr Peter Holst

Honorary secretary: Ms Judy Murphy

So, what will the show look like?
Check out the concept here…

Animations bring heart conditions to life

Kylie Sullivan is using her animation and 3D modelling skills to create anatomical visualisations of heart conditions for patients as part of her post-graduate degree in digital design at AUT. Brave Hearts is delighted that Kylie’s graphics will be a big attraction for the young audience the exhibition targets.

Kylie says it has been is invaluable to have a cardiologist or surgeon to spot any anatomical inconsistencies, and advise her on how much she should visually exaggerate a concept in order to create a clear but faithful representation.

She also found getting feedback on the animations from patients and laypeople from diverse backgrounds provided unexpected perspectives.  “They could point out something that someone not learning these facts for the first time would never have thought to account for.”

Brave Hearts wants to express its gratitude to Kylie’s for her talent, generosity and professionalism in providing us with animated models of various heart conditions for the exhibition.

Left: Kylie Sullivan, AUT honours student working on Brave Hearts. Kylie has developed animations showing the effects of heart disease and congenital heart defects. November 2016.

Keep up to date – Newsletters

Issue one

We had a very successful evening with Carol Hirschfeld donating her time as MC, Dr Alan Kerr recounting the history of the cardiac unit at Green Lane Hospital and Andrew Ta’afuli Fiu inspiring and amusing us with his tales of experiencing six open heart surgeries. Read more >>

Issue three

We are delighted to report that Brave Hearts – the New Zealand Cardiac Story will open to the public on Friday 18th August 2017 at Auckland Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). Read more >>

Issue two

How are we progressing? We have been awarded a grant from the Lottery Grants Board to help us bring Brave Hearts to the public. This is fantastic news but we can only pick up the grant if we can show the Lottery Grants Board in January that we have secured the remaining 20 percent of the funds we need. Read more >>

Photo gallery

Films and interviews

Sir Brian Barratt Boyes – pioneer heart surgeon

F88951 – New Zealand’s Top 100 History Makers, Episode 5 (2005). Archival footage preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Courtesy of Visionary Film & TV.

Heartfelt thanks go to our generous sponsors and donors

Principal sponsor
Special acknowledgement

Lottery Grants Board through the World War One Commemorations, Environment and Heritage (LWEH) Committee

Principal donors

David and Genevieve Becroft Foundation

The Douglas Charitable Trust

Hazel and Alan Kerr

Sir Douglas Myers

Robin Norris

Lindsay Spilman

CSL Containers

Green Lane Research and Education Fund

Pearson & Associates Architects

Ralph & Eve Seelye Charitable Trust

Alan Gibbs

Auckland Heart Group

LivaNova PLC

Four Winds Foundation Ltd

The Mazda Foundation Trust


Basil Hutchinson

R V Trubuhovich

Elizabeth M Steele

Warren M Smith

Barbara Wyley

K Helen Dufaur

Sir David Hay

Jennine Fleming

Peter Fleming

Michael Frawley

Elizabeth Harrington-Chamley

Kay and Jim Judson

Jocelyn Lowe

Kevin McLean

Elaine Rush

David & Georgina Sisam

Peter Stone

Raewyn Stone

Desiree Sheahan

Judy Murphy


MD Maxwell

Laurie Reynolds

M G Dunshea

P E Holst

Roy and Sarah Clare

Margaret Horsburgh

Dame Jenny Gibbs

Ken Graham

Wekatahi Trust Cole Family

JD Robb

Valerie Whitlock

Peter Hays

Keith Francis

Clinton Sangster

Luise Brandt

Beverly Johnson

Neil Anderson

Grace Benson

Annette Delugar

Bill and Anne Ringer

Sue Webb

AP and GD Randerson

Challinor-Draffin family

Amanda Milne

Jenny & Peter Swan

Maria Collins

Elizabeth Berry

Alan Merry

Susan Twining

Trevor and Robyn Agnew

ZOLL Medical New Zealand

National Services Te Paerangi, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

R Doughty

Angela Caughey

Graeme Woodfield

Sue Waddell

David Barratt-Boyes

Anonymous – 16 donations

Updated 8 September 2017

Brave Hearts is live on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Linkedin

Please “like” and “share” to help promote Brave Hearts to a wide audience

Get in touch

Dr Margaret Horsburgh
Mobile: 021 444 012
Address: AMMT, c/- P E HOLST,
PO Box 482, Orewa 0946

AMMT is a Registered Charitable Trust CC50444 under the New Zealand Charities Act 2005.