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Acknowledging Professor Tony English

In July this year, AMRRIC was sad to lose one of its greatest friends and supporters, Professor Tony English AM. Dr English was one of a small group of committed individuals whose vision led to the establishment of AMRRIC. He also served as Senior Vice President between 2004 and 2006. 

Tony graduated in veterinary science with First Class Honours from the University of Queensland in 1966. After completing a PhD at the University of Queensland in 1976, he joined the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney the following year. He received a Member of the General List of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2006, and in 2008 was awarded the Gilruth Prize from the Australian Veterinary Association for outstanding service to veterinary science in Australia.

Tony’s professional life spanned both the veterinary profession and his role in the Army Reserve – he retired after 38 years with the rank of Colonel. Tony became involved with the Army ATSIC Community Assistance Program (AACAP) program, which included running dog health programs in selected Indigenous communities. Using proceedings from a 1993 Darwin conference developed by another the early visionary Jack Shields (DPI Cairns), he ran a successful pilot program at the Northern Territory community of Bulla in 1997.

During this time, a conversation at Galiwin’ku with Environmental Health Worker Phil Donohoe cemented the need for an independent organisation committed to education in communities, to providing sustainable dog health programs and to linking those programs with research. Others joined Tony and Phil in their vision and worked towards the formation of AMRRIC.

One of those early colleagues, AMRRIC’s current President Dr Ted Donelan said, “Tony was a key player in AMRRIC’s establishment. As a great person and an older man with an established academic reputation, he became an important mentor for many of the younger people involved in the early days of AMRRIC. With his passion for the cause and his reputation in academic and environmental fields he opened many doors for AMRRIC.”

Tony was always available to give sensible, practical advice, or just to have a friendly chat. He was very proud of AMRRIC’s achievements and proud of his role in its formation. He was a true friend of AMRRIC to the end.

 

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