Parliament thanks Australian veterinarians

Media release date: 
Monday, 21 March 2011

A special motion which is being tabled in Australia’s House of Representatives today and in the Senate on Wednesday recognises the diverse contributions of the veterinary profession to the nation.

The motion is part of the Vet2011 celebrations for World Veterinary Year which marks 250 years of the veterinary profession worldwide.

The Australian Veterinary Association will host a special event at Parliament House on Wednesday (23 March) showcasing the work of vets in the health and welfare of Australia’s people and animals.

At the event there will be the opportunity meet veterinarians from a wide range of areas, including those working in Indigenous communities, from the Black Saturday bushfires, from Australian quarantine, and from projects in developing countries, who will be available for interview and for comment. 

President of the Australian Veterinary Association, Dr Barry Smyth, said: “Today’s parliamentary motion recognises the important contribution that the profession makes to the nation, to local communities and to the health and welfare of animals and people in the region. 

“Veterinarians play vital roles in human health and welfare through disease control, food safety, scientific research, biosecurity, quarantine, agriculture, and the positive power of pets in the lives of Australians. We are very proud that this contribution has been recognised by the Australian Government today.”

Vet2011 Reception and Official Launch 

When: 6.30pm Wednesday 23 March

Where: The Alcove, Parliament House, Canberra

The following vets will be available for interview:

  • Dr Malcolm Ware, community vet and Black Saturday bushfire survivor from Whittlesea Victoria.
  • Dr Catherine Schuetze, founder of Vets Beyond Borders - working to improve animal welfare and community health in developing countries in Asia and the Pacific.
  • Dr Lisa Chimes, vet and TV personality, co-presenter on Network Ten’s Bondi Vet and emergency and critical care vet at Sydney Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH)
  • Dr Debbie Osborne – Owner of the Northern Territory’s largest and most remote veterinary practice, working to help improve the health of animals and people in Indigenous communities.
  • Dr Mike Bond, CEO, Animal Health Australia - helping to protect Australia from animal disease outbreak.
  • Dr Emma Haslam, Senior Veterinary Officer with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service.







No. 30


APPROX. 6.30 TO 9 PM



†5 MR COBB: To move—That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) this year marks the two-hundred and fiftieth anniversary of veterinary education with the establishment of the first veterinary school in Lyon, France, in 1761; and

(b) around the world, 2011 is being designated World Veterinary Year to honour the contribution and achievements of the veterinary profession in the community to animal health and production, public health, animal welfare, food safety and biosecurity; 34 No. 30—21 March 2011

(2) recognises that:

(a) in Australia, 2011 marks the one hundred and twentieth anniversary of the first class of graduates from the inaugurated Melbourne Veterinary College;

(b) seven schools of veterinary medicine are now established in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, WA and SA;

(c) veterinarians:

(i) are dedicated to preserving the bond between humans and animals by practising and promoting the highest standards of science-based, ethical animal welfare with all animals, large and small;

(ii) are on the front line maintaining Australia's status as free from exotic diseases which threaten the environment, human and animal health, providing extensive pro bono services annually through ethical treatment of unowned animals and wildlife;

(iii) are vital to ensuring the high quality of Australia's commercial herds and flocks and security of our food supply; and

(iv) provide a valuable public health service through preventative medicine, control of zoonotic disease and scientific research; and

(d) significant contributions and achievements have been made by many individual members of the Australian veterinary profession including:

(i) Nobel Prize winner and Australian of the Year, Dr Peter C. Doherty, who achieved major breakthroughs in the field of immunology which were vital in understanding the body's rejection of incompatible tissues in transplantation, and in fighting meningitis viruses;

(ii) Professor Mary Barton, a leading veterinary bacteriologist with a distinguished career in government and in veterinary public health, who has a strong research background in bacterial infections of animals and in antibiotic resistance in animal and human health; and

(iii) Dr Reg Pascoe, a renowned equine surgeon and dermatologist and leader in his profession for more than 50 years, who published 70 research papers and many texts while earning a doctorate and running a busy practice in Oakey, and dedicated years to the National Veterinary Examination and the Veterinary Surgeons' Board of Queensland; and

(3) recognises:

(a) that 2011 is World Veterinary Year;

(b) the valuable and diverse roles veterinarians perform in the Australian community; and

(c) the veterinary profession as it celebrates the past and continuing contribution by veterinarians. (Notice given 1 March 2011. Time allowed—50 minutes.)

For further information and requests for interviews contact the AVA media office on (02) 9431 5062, 0439 628 898 or

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health and welfare.

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