About the Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures

History of the Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures

In 2018, we marked the 40th anniversary of the Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures (Bain Fallon), one of the AVA's flagship conferences.

Emerging from groundbreaking equine veterinary education events in Australia during the 1970s, the idea for Bain Fallon was conceived and championed by two consecutive serving Presidents of the Australian Equine Veterinarian Association (AEVA now EVA) - Geoff Hazard (1977) and Bill Howey (1978).

Geoff and Bill’s collaborative vision for Bain Fallon was to significantly advance the professional development of equine veterinarians in Australia and to establish through the Equine Group an international network of experts and an annual forum through which knowledge and research could be shared.

The lecture series was named in memory of two eminent equine veterinarians renowned for their professional excellence and mentorship, who had died in 1974 – Murray Bain, who was Bill Howey’s former employer, and Peter Fallon, who was an associate and former employer of Geoff Hazard.

Every year, a traditional homage to the two namesakes continues in the form of reprints of their obituaries in Bain Fallon conference proceedings.

Geoff, Bill and Audrey Best (The Equine Group's first administrative officer) set a date for 15–16 June 1978 and began fundraising for Bain Fallon. Two successful equine conferences were held, the first, in Sydney, featured equine specialists Professor David Hutchins, Reuben Rose, Phil Knight and Bill Howey, and the second event (March 1977) featured Percy Sykes, Professor Bill Pickett (Colorado State University, USA), Professor Cliff Irvine (NZ), Margaret Evans (NZ), Bill Stewart and again, Bill Howey.

In late 1977, John Morgan, an associate of Bill Howey’s, met with Leo Jeffcott of the Animal Health Equine Research Station in Newmarket, UK. In Leo Jeffcott’s words “John asked me for a list of lectures that I could give to the AEVA, and I came up with 21 topics thinking that they would choose 6. It never occurred to me they would ask me to do the lot. However, it was a great challenge to present 21 lectures to such an enthusiastic and attentive audience. I finally lost my voice after the discussion of the last lecture. It was my family's first visit to Oz, and the greatest conference I have ever been to. Despite the obstructive columns, the Wentworth Hotel was a great venue and we had no problems with slide projection – I have never shown so many slides in my life. The event organisation from AEVA and Audrey Best was outstanding. I still have a copy of the three booklets given to delegates as proceedings.”

It is difficult to calculate the exponential opportunities that can be created from knowledge sharing and generous mentoring. In writing this article, it is clear that Murray Bain’s and Peter Fallon’s dedication to professional excellence, and their approach to collegiality was amplified, 4 years after their deaths, by an internationally credentialed conference, which today brings together over 200 delegates and 50 trade exhibitors every year.

This article was written with the assistance of Dr Bill Howey and Professor Emeritus, Leo Jeffcott of Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney. 

About Equine Veterinarians Australia

Equine Veterinarians Australia is a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and the premier provider of continuing professional development for equine veterinarians in Australia.

With an emphasis on providing the support members need to remain at the forefront of equine veterinary medicine, the Equine Group also represents the interests of members to governments and equine industry groups.

The Equine Group maintains strong links with both equine organisations and horse owners. An important role for the Equine Group is providing advice and information to the people who care for horses to ensure that Australian horses enjoy the best possible health and welfare.

You must be a member of the AVA to join, and you can add the Equine Group to your membership online. 

Contact us for more information, or to become a member of the Equine Group.

What the 2018 delegates had to say...

92.3% of delegates rated the quality of the exhibition as good or great.

“The Bain Fallon is a standout equine conference for networking, scientific content, and acts as a unique facilitator for engendering collegiality among all willing participants. Peter Reid

“The Bain Fallon is a great way for Equine Veterinarians throughout Australia to find support within the industry and keep up with the most current evidence-based medicine from all around the world”. Essie Hamilton

“A fabulous event with a strong scientific and social programme. Brings out the fabulous collegiality of the equine veterinary profession”. Jon Pycock

*2018 Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures delegate survey