Dr Vernon James, O.A.M, FRCS, FRACS, was a noted vascular surgeon.
Dr James introduced specialist vascular and microsurgery techniques to Australia, as well as the first intensive care unit and ambulance paramedic service to the Illawarra.
In 1985, Dr James was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to medicine, particularly in the field of vascular surgery.
In a tribute to Dr James at the Parliament of New South Wales in 2004, his colleague The Hon Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans said:
‘He was well known for starting work at 6.30 a.m. and not finishing until 8.00pm or 9.00pm. He could do nearly as much work in a day as some surgeons did in a week…He was a very fast and impressive technical surgeon…But his greatest achievement was, when he returned to Wollongong weak with leukaemia, having the hospital operating theatres at Shellharbour named after him. He regarded that as his greatest triumph.’