Robert Johnson said he is honoured to be elected as the new national president of the AVA.
“The opportunity to lead the profession that I enjoy being part of so much is a source of great pride for me,” he said.
“I’m really excited about the future and our current focus areas of continuing professional development, antimicrobial resistance, graduate support and animal welfare.”
Johnson graduated in veterinary science from the University of Sydney in 1977, after which he worked in a practice in Blacktown in Sydney’s west.
In 1983, he set up his own veterinary practice with his veterinarian wife, Jane, in Springwood.
They moved to Penrith in 2003, and pride themselves on offering veterinary services for wildlife and reptiles as well as other small animals.
Vice President of the AVA, Chris Reardon, said the association warmly welcomes Johnson to his new position.
“Robert has been a leader in policy development having been on the AVA Policy Advisory Council for the last 10 years,” Reardon said.
“He recently chaired the Policy Advisory Council ahead of the Pan Pacific Veterinary Conference in Brisbane last month and received wide support for his inclusiveness, his attention to detail and for his ability to negotiate resolutions among a wide variety of opinions.
“A multi-linguist, a cartoonist and a veterinarian in western Sydney, Robert is a people’s person and is poised to lead the way ahead with a united profession,” Reardon said.
Johnson is a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists (feline medicine) and holds a Certificate in Zoological Medicine from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
He is also president of the AVA special interest group for unusual pets and avian veterinarians, and has extensive experience in zoo medicine.
Johnson’s various board and consultancy positions include Lecturer in Reptile and Wildlife Medicine at James Cook University, Project Officer with Australian Biosecurity Information Network, Official Veterinarian for the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, and as a member of the Animal Ethics Committee at the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.