ASAVA names 2014’s Practitioner of the Year

The Australian Small Animal Veterinary Association has announced that the 2014 Practitioner of the Year is Mary Porter, a clinician in Sydney.

The award did not surprise Porter’s colleagues, who applauded her diagnostic and psychological skills and said, “She enjoys complex cases, listens to her clients and likes to give emotional support to owners.”

Porter graduated from the University of Sydney in 1979 with first class honors and the university medal. Despite encouragement to pursue an academic career, Porter chose to work with Henry Hirschhorn and Graham Lester at Pittwater Animal Hospital. She worked with Hirschhorn and Lester for the next 8 years reminiscing that “their thoughtful encouragement helped develop my enthusiasm for general practice and surgery – they were wonderful.”

While still a young practitioner, Porter became a Member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Canine Medicine, now the Small Animal Medicine chapter.

In 1987, Porter moved to Canberra. She began research under the late Bede Morris at the John Curtin School of Medical Research on splitting lamb embryos and investigating their immunological disparities while working with David Pembrey at Wanniassa Hills Veterinary Hospital.

Although research proved successful, Porter found her passion lay in clinical practice.

In 1989, she returned to Sydney and moved to Chatswood Veterinary Clinic with Fiona Smith and a team of “wonderful supportive colleagues.” Continue reading ASAVA names 2014’s Practitioner of the Year

Decorated veterinarian made Companion of Charles Sturt University

Douglas Bryden, AM, was made Companion of the University of Charles Sturt University, in recognition of his role in the development of CSU’s veterinary degree.

Bryden was one of the early consultants called upon to develop the degree program – before most people knew about it.

As Bryden recalled, it was a bit like being asked to participate in a secret-service mission.

“I got a phone call one evening in 2002 from Wagga Wagga asking would I come down and discuss something,” he recalls. “I didn’t know what it was they wanted to discuss or why, but I knew from the questions they were asking that it was really important.” Continue reading Decorated veterinarian made Companion of Charles Sturt University

Veterinary radiologist receives highest academic honour

Graeme Allan and Hugo.Veterinary specialist radiologist Graeme Allan will be awarded a Doctor in Veterinary Science (DVSc) this year in recognition of his prolific contribution to the field of veterinary diagnostic imaging.

The DVSc is a rare honour, awarded to outstanding researchers whose body of work is deemed to have made a consistent and distinguished contribution to veterinary science. Candidates submit a collection of original publications for assessment by examiners who are considered pre-eminent in their respective research field.

The unusual thing in Allan’s case is that his clinical research was undertaken while running a busy private specialist practice. As such he is the first Australian veterinarian in private practice to receive the DVSc by examination.

His thesis, ‘Radiological Studies of Disease in Companion and Zoo Animals’, is a compilation of more than 45 years of collaborative studies looking into a range of conditions, including pioneering studies on contrast radiography, oesophageal dysfunction, radiotherapy for treatment of cancer in companion animals right through to new forms of rickets in rex kittens, osteochondrosis in the cheetah and osteocondritis in snow leopards. Continue reading Veterinary radiologist receives highest academic honour

Vet nurse wins national award

Sunshine Coast veterinary nurse Alyce Murphy has become the first Australian to receive the Hill’s Vet Nurse of the Year Award.

The inaugural award was presented to the 23-year-old in Sydney in conjunction with National Vet Nurse Day.

Murphy, who was nominated by her employer at Lamington Terrace Vet Surgery in Nambour for her contribution to the care of patients and their owners, said she was honoured by the award.

“There is nothing better than coming to work and helping families with pets overcome illness and sending them back home healthy again, she said. Continue reading Vet nurse wins national award

Geoffrey Lodge: from Boyup to Queen’s Birthday honours

Western Australian ornithologist Geoffrey Lodge has been recognised for his work studying birds as part of the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2011. Geoffrey Lodge was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia, for service to ornithology which caps a remarkable career involving over forty years volunteer work studying birds in association with the WA Museum.

Geoffrey is a former farmer and shire president from the Western Australian wheat belt town of Boyup Brook, who is now retired along with his wife Diana living near Albany on WA’s south coast. Geoffrey’s interest in birds started from an early age growing up on a farm near Beverley, which is about 120kms east of Perth. Continue reading Geoffrey Lodge: from Boyup to Queen’s Birthday honours