Honorary awards

Robert William Gee

The degree of Doctor of Veterinary Science (honoris causa) was conferred upon Robert William Gee at the ceremony held at 4.00pm on 18 December 1997.



I have the honour to present Mr Robert William Gee for the conferring of the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Science (honoris causa).

Mr Gee graduated Bachelor of Veterinary Science from this University in 1950. After some time as a district veterinary officer in Victoria as well as in private practice as a dairy cattle veterinarian, he was appointed Chief Veterinary Officer of the Northern Territory in 1966. He joined the Department of Health in Canberra in 1971 and was given national responsibility for animal quarantine and later also for human and plant quarantine. He became the first Director of the Australian Bureau of Animal Health as well as being Chief Veterinary Officer of Australia. He had a major role in setting up the highly successful eradication programmes against pleuropneumonia, tuberculosis and brucellosis in cattle. For fourteen years he represented Australia in the Office International des Epizooties and he was President of this organisation for four years from 1982. Before retiring in 1986 he was awarded the Kesteven Medal of the Australian Veterinary Association for international services to Veterinary Science. He was recently awarded the 1997 Gilruth Prize of the Australian Veterinary Association, the highest award in Veterinary Science in Australia.

Since 1986, Mr Gee has been the Associate Director of the J.D. Stewart Veterinary Science Foundation in this University. He has undertaken much of the day-to-day work associated with the Foundation's fund-raising programme. It was his persistence together with the influential persuasion of Doug Anthony, that enabled the Foundation to attract large donations from industry and commerce as well as from private donors. It is mainly the combined effort of Bill Gee with Doug Anthony that has finally resulted in the construction of the splendid new Veterinary Science Conference Centre.

Mr Gee has also maintained a close association with the University as an external member of the Faculty of Veterinary Science. His extensive professional experience and his wry sense of humour have been put to good effect in providing advice to the Faculty.

Mr Gee has an abiding interest in animal welfare and is now Chair of the Animal Care and Ethics Board of TAFE in NSW. Over his long and distinguished career he has made many major contributions to the health and welfare of animals in Australia.

Chancellor, I have great pleasure in presenting Robert William Gee for admission to the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Science (honoris causa).