AGM & awards

Hear about the year that was from AVA’s elected representatives and then stay on to celebrate your fellow members being honoured in this year’s award ceremony.

Only financial members of the AVA are able to vote at the AGM.

Annual General Meeting and AVA Awards Ceremony
Monday 6 May 2019, 3.00pm-4.30pm - Riverside Theatre

The AVA recognises outstanding service to the Association or the veterinary profession through a program of awards and prizes. Awards include:

  • The Gilruth Prize is the AVA's most prestigious award. It is awarded to members and non-members for outstanding service to veterinary science in Australia.
    The Gilruth Prize was established by the Australian Veterinary Association in 1953 to commemorate the name of Dr J.A. Gilruth. Dr Gilruth was Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Melbourne, the first Chief of the Division of Animal Health, CSIRO, and was an outstanding veterinary authority. This prize is awarded for outstanding service to Veterinary Science in Australia.
  • The Kesteven Medal is awarded to members for distinguished contributions to international veterinary science by providing technical and scientific assistance to developing countries.
  • Fellowship Awards are awarded to members for outstanding service to the association.
  • Honorary Membership is awarded to eminent non-veterinarians for services to the AVA or the veterinary profession.
  • Meritorious Service Awards are awarded to members or non-members (who are not eligible for membership of the association). The Meritorious Service Award recognises special or long-term service to the AVA, its divisions, branches or special interest groups.
  • The Excellence in Teaching Award is awarded to members in recognition of the importance of teaching veterinary science in Australian universities.
  • AVA Practices of Excellence Awards. The AVA Practice Management special interest group and Hill's Pet Nutrition are proud to provide an award to recognise veterinary practices that deliver outstanding service to their clients. Two practices (one small animal and one large animal, mixed, or equine) will be awarded each year.
  • The Don Kerr Veterinary Student Award is awarded to a final year veterinary student from one of the seven veterinary schools. This award recognises academic achievement and exceptional commitment to the field of cattle medicine.

2018 Gilruth Award: Emeritus Professor David Hampson

2018 AVA Award Winners

Gilruth Prize:
Emeritus Professor David Hampson

Kesteven Medal:
Professor John Edwards

President’s Award:
Dr Sue Beetson

Dr Peter Reid
Dr David Neck
Dr Warwick Vale
Dr Sue Beetson

Meritorious Service Awards:
Dr Michael O’Donoghue
Dr Alison Taylor
Dr Meredith Flash
Professor Rick Read

Don Kerr Student Award:
Dr Sinead Phillips

About the 2017 winners

10 veterinarians were recognised for their commitment to the profession and the Association at the AVA Awards ceremony.

The Gilruth Prize is the AVA’s most prestigious award and this year’s recipient was Peter Chenoweth. Having worked in veterinary science for more than 40 years, Professor Chenoweth is renowned for his knowledge and experience in animal reproduction and education. He is a former AVA Board member and has authored over 200 publications in animal reproduction, veterinary education and animal welfare. Professor Chenoweth has established animal andrology laboratories in the USA and Australia and he is also a founding member of the Consortium of Veterinary Andrology Laboratories and the Association of Applied Animal Andrology.

The Kendall Oration is presented at the AVA Annual Conference when it’s hosted in Canberra or Melbourne and this year’s recipient was John Charles Milne. Professor Milne has extensive experience in disease management, having served as the Chief Veterinary Officer in Scotland and helping to oversee the response to a foot and mouth disease outbreak in the UK. In 2014, he became Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer and has made it a priority to develop response plans to potential pest or disease outbreaks. He has also served as the Chief Veterinarian in other countries when disease outbreaks have occurred.

The recipient of the 2017 Kesteven Medal was the late Rick Speare. With dual degrees in veterinary science and human medicine, Professor Speare worked as a clinician in both fields and was committed to raising awareness of the One Health concept throughout the world. His most recent work was in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea where he facilitated strengthening research capacity in those countries. He had a long association with James Cook University, produced 301 publications and his research challenges were focused on improving the health of human and animal life.

The winner of the President’s Award was Anne Fawcett who graduated as a vet from the University of Sydney in 2005 after already establishing a career as a journalist. Dr Fawcett has been active in the education of veterinary students at the University of Sydney in ethics and professional practice. She is a Director of the University of Sydney veterinary intern mentoring program, participant in the AVA’s new graduate mentoring program, and founder of The vet cook book. Recently, Dr Fawcett co-authored Veterinary ethics: navigating tough cases, which will make a significant contribution to veterinary literature.

Recognised for their outstanding service to the AVA were David Beggs and David Johnson, who were both awarded Fellowships.

David Beggs has more than 25 years of experience as a cattle veterinarian and is the author of several computer software programs, including the widely used ‘Dairy Data’ and ‘Bull Reporter’ and he set up and moderates the ACV ListServ. More recently, he has been coordinating the AVA response to the Bovine Johne’s Disease review, is the Scientific Officer for Australian Cattle Veterinarians and teaches at the University of Melbourne Veterinary School.

David Johnson has been the Chief Veterinarian to Equestrian Australia and the London Olympic team and he has been dedicated to disease prevention surveillance. In the late 80s and early 90s he served on the NSW Division Executive Committee, EVA Executive Committee and the AVA Board. In 1993, he was elected as President of EVA and after that he served as an AVA Policy Councillor for a further 10 years. He also represented the AVA in the NSW Racing licence court case of 2013–2014.
Meritorious Service Awards were presented to four members who have shown long-term service to the AVA, divisions, branches and special interest groups (SIGs). Included this year were former EVA presidents Nathan Anthony and Ian Fulton, Tanya Stephens, who has been a driving force of the animal welfare and ethics SIG, and former NSW Division president, Geoffrey Tomkins.

As the 2017 recipient of the Don Kerr Student Award, Nell Wharton was recognised for her outstanding academic achievement and commitment to cattle medicine.
Senior Firefighter Anthony Hatch was announced as this year’s Honorary Member. His work has resulted in the training of over 400 veterinarians and countless more emergency personnel being trained to safely manage equine emergency rescues in Australia.