2016 AVA Award Winners


The Gilruth Prize was established in 1953 and is the highest ranking award of the Australian Veterinary Association.

Professor Mary Barton
It’s difficult to overstate the diversity and depth of Dr Barton’s impact on the veterinary profession.

As the author of more than 150 published papers and having been cited thousands of times, Dr Barton is regarded as one of Australia’s leading microbiologists and her expertise has been sought across the globe.

She is a veterinarian who not only engages in the research, but is active in getting that research out into the world of veterinary practice. Within the AVA and the profession, Dr Barton has been a role model and mentor to countless veterinarians.


The Kesteven Medal was first awarded in 1980 and is conferred on Australian veterinarians in recognition of distinguished contributions to international veterinary science.

Dr Joanne Meers
Dr Meers’ career reflects a lifetime commitment to international veterinary science.

She is passionate about improving the livelihoods of smallholder producers, who are typically of lower socio-economic status, in developing countries.

Throughout her career, Dr Meers has demonstrated excellent engagement and collaboration with colleagues in developing countries, including Mozambique, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines over a sustained period.

Dr Meers has made major contributions to international veterinary science by using her considerable experience as a virologist to address livestock and biosecurity (diagnostic) challenges in developing countries.


The AVA President’s award was established in 2006 and is awarded to a veterinarian who makes an outstanding practical contribution to veterinary science or practice in Australia.

Dr Stephen Page
Dr Page is recognised worldwide for his expertise in pharmacology and antimicrobial resistance.

He is also the co-founder of two start-up companies involved in new drug discovery research and development and he has initiated research collaborations with a number of Australian universities into novel veterinary medicines including a number of potential new antimicrobial drugs.

Dr Page provides advice to government and non-government organisations in Australia, including the AVA, with particular emphasis on antimicrobial use, antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship.

He is currently also a member of the AVA Antimicrobial Resistance Advisory Group.


Fellowship of the AVA is the Association’s most senior award for service to the Association through the AVA Board, Division, Special Interest Group or representing the AVA in the local community.

Dr Kersti Seksel
Dr Seksel joined the AVA in 1986. She quickly became a major contributor to the Sydney Metropolitan Practitioner’s Branch and she joined the AVA Board in 1999.

Dr Seksel was instrumental in forming the Australian Veterinary Behaviour Interest Group in 2004 and she nurtured, mentored and guided its development.

Dr Seksel has and continues to serve on numerous committees and boards outside the Association. She has always been committed to the development, education and motivation of other veterinarians in the field of veterinary behaviour.


The Meritorious Service Award is given to members who have rendered special or long-term service to the association, its divisions, branches or special interest groups.

Adjunct Professor Philip A Moses
Dr Moses is a prominent and well-respected veterinarian throughout Australia and Southeast Asia.

He has worked tirelessly for the Australian Veterinary Association, joining as a graduate from the University of Sydney in 1986. He has been a Committee member of the Brisbane Veterinary Practitioners branch for the past 17 years and he has spoken at many AVA conferences, both state and national.

He has presented at numerous conferences in Australia and overseas and he is published widely. He continues to travel throughout Southeast Asia lecturing, on a voluntary basis.

Dr Matthew (David) Petersen
Dr Petersen has served the ACV for many years, holding the positions of president, vice president and president-elect, and has just completed his third and final year as ACV treasurer.

He was a member of the ACV World Buiatrics Congress 2014 committee.

He has been involved with the CSU veterinary campus since its inception and he has mentored, lectured and provided practical advice to the faculty. He is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at CSU and also supplied a son as a student for the inaugural graduating year!

Dr Christine Smith
Dr Smith came to Australia from Canada to work as a referral surgeon and senior lecturer in equine surgery at the University of Sydney.

She took on committee roles with EVA and became president of the SIG in 2011. As the education committee deputy chair in 2012 and 2013, she saw the delivery of two Bain Fallon conferences.

She became a champion in the field of large animal emergency rescue training. Dr Smith formed an alliance with Fire and Rescue NSW to deliver training in these skills which over 250 veterinarians have now completed.

Dr Philip Stott
Dr Stott has taken on many roles within the AVA and the South Australia Division.

He was heavily involved in the Division’s work on the dangerous dog’s issue and in leading delegations to meet with parliamentary and policy makers on the issue.

Dr Stott also represented the AVA in relation to mandatory microchipping in South Australia.

Ever eager to encourage vets to become more involved with the Association, a mark of his term as Division president was the effort he put into creating ad hoc volunteering opportunities for members.

Katharine Haines
Dr Haines joined the AVA in 1984 and has been active in the South Gippsland Branch.

Dr Haines is an outstanding role model for female members of the AVA, particularly those whose career plans are to specialise in her areas of interest or become a practice principal. 

She was one of the first female veterinary practitioners appointed as an Academic Associate in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne and has been a very supportive mentor for veterinary students and young veterinary practitioners for more than 20 years.


This Award is conferred on a final year veterinary student from one of the veterinary schools for academic achievement and exceptional commitment to cattle medicine.

Dr Lucy Collins
Upon commencing her veterinary science studies, Dr Collins was awarded a Rural Veterinary Student Scholarship for her commitment to rural practice.

Working at Kyabram Veterinary Clinic since graduating has given Dr Collins the opportunity to gain exposure to a wide range of cattle medicine and surgery cases, and she is thriving in rural mixed practice with a strong dairy focus.

She has been a student member of the AVA and ACV throughout her university studies and looks forward to continuing her involvement with both the AVA and ACV communities as a rural practitioner.

Practices of Excellence - Small animal award

Wilston Vet
Wilston Vet in Queensland is this year’s best small animal veterinary practice. Practice owner, Dr Meredith Brothers, says their aim at Wilston is to always provide a positive customer experience from the minute a client walks in and she believes that it’s their personal touch that takes their service one step further.

Wilston Vet provides half hour consultations which are then followed up with a phone call to check on a pet’s progress and the client’s satisfaction with their visit. They also provide patient photos, birthdays cards as well as wellness check-up reports.

Practices of Excellence - Large/mixed animal award

Gisborne Veterinary Clinic
Located north-west of Melbourne, Gisborne Veterinary Clinic first opened in 1980. Founding partner Dr Russell Dyer says that a key to their success so far has been their ability to adapt to the changing needs of their clients and develop a veterinary team with a strong mix of skill sets.

The team at Gisborne Veterinary Clinic believe that it’s their perfect combination of highly trained and knowledge staff and an ability to form long-lasting relationships with their clients that is the key to their success.



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