Some key people in our history

 
Ausvet’s proud reputation is in large part due to a number of key people who have been influential in shaping the company and its drive for excellence and innovation. We remember their important contribution to the development of the company in these pages. Some of these outstanding epidemiologists are enjoying well-earned retirement while others have moved into challenging senior leadership roles in a diverse range of organisations.
Chris Baldock

Ausvet was founded in 1996 by Drs Chris Baldock (1947-2005) and David Kennedy as a private company dedicated to providing independent epidemiology services globally. Angus Cameron joined them in 1999.

Francis Christian (Chris) Baldock died suddenly of a heart attack on 6 July 2005, cutting short an outstanding international career in animal health epidemiology.

David Kennedy BVSc (Hons 1) MVS MANZCVS

David emerged from the surf, and occasional smog, of Port Kembla to graduate from the University of Sydney in veterinary science with first class honours in 1975. His long-term aim to run a rural practice and “have a farm”. This was inspired by his family buying a modest grazing property on the southern tablelands of NSW when he was teenager and was heightened by the local vet’s impressive investigation of deaths amongst his own small flock of pregnant ewes.

Bonded to the then Department of Agriculture, he commenced work at the state diagnostic laboratory near Sydney but was out working as a field vet himself on the southern tablelands within 6 months. Although bonds were cancelled shortly afterward, the “crash” in the cattle industry and a rugby injury in the mid-70’s prompted a career rethink and piqued David’s interest in disease control and epidemiology, which was in its infancy at the time. The seminal Epidemiology in Veterinary Practice by Calvin Schwabe and others at UC Davis was published in 1977 and Roger Morris, Dick Roe and Rob Cannon were pioneering practical epidemiological applications to underpin Australia’s national control programs for bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis (BTEC). Computing at the time was only in its formative years with remote, slow and often intermittent access to central mainframes, limiting their application to epidemiological data collection, analysis and modelling.

The Department facilitated David’s transfer to a new livestock production environment in the NSW Riverina region and then encouraged and sponsored his Masters in epidemiology and preventive medicine at the University of Melbourne in 1979. He married Stephanie at the end of the year and, on returning to NSW, promoted epidemiology as a key discipline for a field veterinarian. Priceless experience of the importance and urgency of animal disease control was gained during a two-year stint under an AusAID development program in rural Zimbabwe. The newly independent country was short of veterinarians to help stem the impacts of endemic protozoan, bacterial and viral infections that were exotic to Australia.

David’s association with the (then) Australian College of Veterinary Scientists had started in 1982 when it awarded him the College Prize, noting that “his enthusiasm and capability in the clinical field of veterinary medicine, has contributed to the practical application and better understanding of veterinary epidemiology.” In 1985, he gained Membership of the College by examination and soon started a long association with the late Chris Baldock, and other colleagues through training (including the first Post-Graduate Foundation training course in 1990) and examining candidates for membership across Australia. He was elected to the Council of the College in 1991 and was President from 1993-95; a time when Chris was the College’s Chief Examiner, strengthening their friendship.

In the late 80’s, personal computers became available and, as a regional epidemiologist in coastal NSW, David conducted structured surveillance with classmate Peter Kirkland, investigating the incidence and reproductive effects of bovine pestivirus in dairy herds. In the early 90’s, a portable computer facilitated his role as the visiting epidemiology consultant to NSW’s veterinary services development project in eastern Indonesia. In both roles he assisted the development of prototype computerised animal health information systems.

He transferred to Orange to “get a farm” and to lead the State’s animal health surveillance program, implementing training programs and the collation and publication of surveillance data and information. He also took on the disease control program and became the state leader for Johne’s disease control. He was appointed as the technical adviser to the livestock industries’ National Johne’s Disease Coordinating Committee in 1995, formed in response to concerns about the ongoing spread of this insidious infection (paratuberculosis) and hypothesised links with a chronic bowel disease in people.

The following year, Chris and David took the bold step of launching AusVet Animal Health Services Pty Ltd, coinciding with David’s appointment as the coordinator for new national Johne’s disease program; thus providing their fledgling company with its first contract (with the red meat and dairy R&D organisations), … and critical income.

Shortly after, Chris gained AusVet’s second contract as national surveillance coordinator with the newly formed Australian Animal Health Council (now Animal Health Australia), commencing what became a close, long-standing partnership. The AAHC also took over managing the Johne’s program, with David leading industry and government teams that developed national guidelines and standards for regional control programs and for assurance programs for herds and flocks. David was active in the International Association for Paratuberculosis, working with colleagues developing global guidelines for Johne’s disease control and was a member of the External Advisory Board for the United States Johne’s Disease Integrated Program. For several years he was also Vice-President of the Association and was awarded its Outstanding Service Award in 2005.

Over the next decade, AusVet succeeded and grew, with a staff of highly skilled and trained epidemiologists recruited to work on a broad range of projects in Australia and overseas. Chris’s sudden death in 2005 severely impacted staff and clients in many ways. However, the AusVet team stepped-up and successfully assured clients that they would carry his impressive load.

David became more involved in development projects overseas. As well as managing two of Chris’s AusAID projects aimed at harmonising aquatic animal health surveillance and live food-fish movement guidelines among the ASEAN countries, he led multidisciplinary teams on projects in Laos and reviewed surveillance and control programs in south-east Asia, southern Africa and the Pacific for AusAID and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). For a short while he acted as manager of ACIAR’s animal health research program.

David retired from AusVet in 2012 but continued as the independent technical advisor to the live export R&D program till 2017. The program grappled with improving the management and prevention of losses and illness among animals exported from Australia. An impressive cohort of specialists, including AusVet epidemiologists, was pivotal to the success of challenging research projects on sea and land. During this time, he also chaired the project advisory committee and the standards committee working with consultants to develop the novel Livestock Global Assurance Program to improve the health and welfare of animals along the length of the live export chain through quality assurance, rather than regulation. During this time, David was also an honorary Associate Editor for the Australian Veterinary Journal.

He finally retired from veterinary work in 2021 after a decade as a member of the NSW Department’s Animal Ethics Committee.

Angus Cameron
Simon More

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Nigel Perkins

Nigel joined Ausvet in 2004 and became a Director in 2007. Nigel joined the University of Queensland in February 2016 as Professor of One Health and Academic Superintendent within the School of Veterinary Science. In October 2017 Nigel was appointed as the Head of School of the School of Veterinary Science.

Nigel came from a mixed grazing background in south west Queensland and completed a veterinary degree at the University of Queensland, followed by a Master of Science at The Ohio State University and a PhD in veterinary epidemiology at Massey University, New Zealand. He has practiced as a veterinarian in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and has worked as a veterinary academic clinician at university veterinary schools in Australia, the USA and New Zealand.

Prior to working at Ausvet, Nigel was promoted to Associate Professor in veterinary epidemiology and Group Leader of the EpiCentre, an internationally acclaimed epidemiology research and consultancy centre within the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Science, Massey University.

Alison Hillman
Brendan Cowled

Dr Evan Sergeant

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Dr Jenny Hutchison
BVSC(HonsI) BVetBiol MS PhD Cert. Lang. DACVIM(LAIM) GAICD

Jenny’s interest in large animals became apparent at an early age, demonstrated by the acquisition of as many (individual) farm animals as possible on a peri-urban piece of land on the then outskirts of Brisbane, in Queensland, Australia. This was followed by veterinary studies at the University Queensland.

Seized by the desire to see the world and further her education at the same time, Jenny left Australia and began an internship program in Rural Animal Medicine at the University of Florida. This one-year experience turned into nearly twelve, as she moved from production animal work (herd health, nutrition, reproduction and field surgery) to working in food animal internal medicine at Colorado State University. This residency program was accompanied by a Masters Degree in Clinical Sciences, and it was here that Jenny was first exposed to the wonders and joys of epidemiology. Although she rounded off her advanced medical training by achieving Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Large Animal), Jenny’s focus turned to epidemiology, and her passion with the topic began with her PhD program in Colorado.

After completing her PhD and returning to Australia, Jenny worked with both state (WA) and federal departments of agriculture. Most of her work with these entities has been directed at supporting Australia’s international trade in livestock, using her skills in epidemiology, surveillance, zoning for animal disease freedom, and quantitative risk analysis.

Jenny joined Ausvet in 2005. As a senior and experienced veterinary epidemiologist, she has a passion for teaching and training, and enjoys sharing her interests and skills in data science (including data manipulation and visualisation), epidemiology, surveillance, risk analysis and systems underpinning these, including the use of structured query language (SQL), R, and geographical information systems (particularly QGIS).

Jenny is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Company Directors Course. She has been a Director of Ausvet since 2010. She made an outstanding contribution to the company in her various roles and led the Canberra team with passion and dedication. Jenny left Ausvet in November, 2019 to take up a senior position in OIE, Paris.

Jenny Hutchison
David Kennedy BVSc (Hons 1) MVS MANZCVS

David emerged from the surf, and occasional smog, of Port Kembla to graduate from the University of Sydney in veterinary science with first class honours in 1975. His long-term aim to run a rural practice and “have a farm”. This was inspired by his family buying a modest grazing property on the southern tablelands of NSW when he was teenager and was heightened by the local vet’s impressive investigation of deaths amongst his own small flock of pregnant ewes.
Bonded to the then Department of Agriculture, he commenced work at the state diagnostic laboratory near Sydney but was out working as a field vet himself on the southern tablelands within 6 months. Although bonds were cancelled shortly afterward, the “crash” in the cattle industry and a rugby injury in the mid-70’s prompted a career rethink and piqued David’s interest in disease control and epidemiology, which was in its infancy at the time. The seminal Epidemiology in Veterinary Practice by Calvin Schwabe and others at UC Davis was published in 1977 and Roger Morris, Dick Roe and Rob Cannon were pioneering practical epidemiological applications to underpin Australia’s national control programs for bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis (BTEC). Computing at the time was only in its formative years with remote, slow and often intermittent access to central mainframes, limiting their application to epidemiological data collection, analysis and modelling.
The Department facilitated David’s transfer to a new livestock production environment in the NSW Riverina region and then encouraged and sponsored his Masters in epidemiology and preventive medicine at the University of Melbourne in 1979. He married Stephanie at the end of the year and, on returning to NSW, promoted epidemiology as a key discipline for a field veterinarian. Priceless experience of the importance and urgency of animal disease control was gained during a two-year stint under an AusAID development program in rural Zimbabwe. The newly independent country was short of veterinarians to help stem the impacts of endemic protozoan, bacterial and viral infections that were exotic to Australia.
David’s association with the (then) Australian College of Veterinary Scientists had started in 1982 when it awarded him the College Prize, noting that “his enthusiasm and capability in the clinical field of veterinary medicine, has contributed to the practical application and better understanding of veterinary epidemiology.” In 1985, he gained Membership of the College by examination and soon started a long association with the late Chris Baldock, and other colleagues through training (including the first Post-Graduate Foundation training course in 1990) and examining candidates for membership across Australia. He was elected to the Council of the College in 1991 and was President from 1993-95; a time when Chris was the College’s Chief Examiner, strengthening their friendship.
In the late 80’s, personal computers became available and, as a regional epidemiologist in coastal NSW, David conducted structured surveillance with classmate Peter Kirkland, investigating the incidence and reproductive effects of bovine pestivirus in dairy herds. In the early 90’s, a portable computer facilitated his role as the visiting epidemiology consultant to NSW’s veterinary services development project in eastern Indonesia. In both roles he assisted the development of prototype computerised animal health information systems.
He transferred to Orange to “get a farm” and to lead the State’s animal health surveillance program, implementing training programs and the collation and publication of surveillance data and information. He also took on the disease control program and became the state leader for Johne’s disease control. He was appointed as the technical adviser to the livestock industries’ National Johne’s Disease Coordinating Committee in 1995, formed in response to concerns about the ongoing spread of this insidious infection (paratuberculosis) and hypothesised links with a chronic bowel disease in people.
The following year, Chris and David took the bold step of launching AusVet Animal Health Services Pty Ltd, coinciding with David’s appointment as the coordinator for new national Johne’s disease program; thus providing their fledgling company with its first contract (with the red meat and dairy R&D organisations), … and critical income.
Shortly after, Chris gained AusVet’s second contract as national surveillance coordinator with the newly formed Australian Animal Health Council (now Animal Health Australia), commencing what became a close, long-standing partnership. The AAHC also took over managing the Johne’s program, with David leading industry and government teams that developed national guidelines and standards for regional control programs and for assurance programs for herds and flocks. David was active in the International Association for Paratuberculosis, working with colleagues developing global guidelines for Johne’s disease control and was a member of the External Advisory Board for the United States Johne’s Disease Integrated Program. For several years he was also Vice-President of the Association and was awarded its Outstanding Service Award in 2005.
Over the next decade, AusVet succeeded and grew, with a staff of highly skilled and trained epidemiologists recruited to work on a broad range of projects in Australia and overseas. Chris’s sudden death in 2005 severely impacted staff and clients in many ways. However, the AusVet team stepped-up and successfully assured clients that they would carry his impressive load.
David became more involved in development projects overseas. As well as managing two of Chris’s AusAID projects aimed at harmonising aquatic animal health surveillance and live food-fish movement guidelines among the ASEAN countries, he led multidisciplinary teams on projects in Laos and reviewed surveillance and control programs in south-east Asia, southern Africa and the Pacific for AusAID and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). For a short while he acted as manager of ACIAR’s animal health research program.
David retired from AusVet in 2012 but continued as the independent technical advisor to the live export R&D program till 2017. The program grappled with improving the management and prevention of losses and illness among animals exported from Australia. An impressive cohort of specialists, including AusVet epidemiologists, was pivotal to the success of challenging research projects on sea and land. During this time, he also chaired the project advisory committee and the standards committee working with consultants to develop the novel Livestock Global Assurance Program to improve the health and welfare of animals along the length of the live export chain through quality assurance, rather than regulation. During this time, David was also an honorary Associate Editor for the Australian Veterinary Journal.
He finally retired from veterinary work in 2021 after a decade as a member of the NSW Department’s Animal Ethics Committee.
Chris Baldock
David emerged from the surf, and occasional smog, of Port Kembla to graduate from the University of Sydney in veterinary science with first class honours in 1975. His long-term aim to run a rural practice and “have a farm”. This was inspired by his family buying a modest grazing property on the southern tablelands of NSW when he was teenager and was heightened by the local vet’s impressive investigation of deaths amongst his own small flock of pregnant ewes.
Bonded to the then Department of Agriculture, he commenced work at the state diagnostic laboratory near Sydney but was out working as a field vet himself on the southern tablelands within 6 months. Although bonds were cancelled shortly afterward, the “crash” in the cattle industry and a rugby injury in the mid-70’s prompted a career rethink and piqued David’s interest in disease control and epidemiology, which was in its infancy at the time. The seminal Epidemiology in Veterinary Practice by Calvin Schwabe and others at UC Davis was published in 1977 and Roger Morris, Dick Roe and Rob Cannon were pioneering practical epidemiological applications to underpin Australia’s national control programs for bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis (BTEC). Computing at the time was only in its formative years with remote, slow and often intermittent access to central mainframes, limiting their application to epidemiological data collection, analysis and modelling.
The Department facilitated David’s transfer to a new livestock production environment in the NSW Riverina region and then encouraged and sponsored his Masters in epidemiology and preventive medicine at the University of Melbourne in 1979. He married Stephanie at the end of the year and, on returning to NSW, promoted epidemiology as a key discipline for a field veterinarian. Priceless experience of the importance and urgency of animal disease control was gained during a two-year stint under an AusAID development program in rural Zimbabwe. The newly independent country was short of veterinarians to help stem the impacts of endemic protozoan, bacterial and viral infections that were exotic to Australia.
David’s association with the (then) Australian College of Veterinary Scientists had started in 1982 when it awarded him the College Prize, noting that “his enthusiasm and capability in the clinical field of veterinary medicine, has contributed to the practical application and better understanding of veterinary epidemiology.” In 1985, he gained Membership of the College by examination and soon started a long association with the late Chris Baldock, and other colleagues through training (including the first Post-Graduate Foundation training course in 1990) and examining candidates for membership across Australia. He was elected to the Council of the College in 1991 and was President from 1993-95; a time when Chris was the College’s Chief Examiner, strengthening their friendship.
In the late 80’s, personal computers became available and, as a regional epidemiologist in coastal NSW, David conducted structured surveillance with classmate Peter Kirkland, investigating the incidence and reproductive effects of bovine pestivirus in dairy herds. In the early 90’s, a portable computer facilitated his role as the visiting epidemiology consultant to NSW’s veterinary services development project in eastern Indonesia. In both roles he assisted the development of prototype computerised animal health information systems.
He transferred to Orange to “get a farm” and to lead the State’s animal health surveillance program, implementing training programs and the collation and publication of surveillance data and information. He also took on the disease control program and became the state leader for Johne’s disease control. He was appointed as the technical adviser to the livestock industries’ National Johne’s Disease Coordinating Committee in 1995, formed in response to concerns about the ongoing spread of this insidious infection (paratuberculosis) and hypothesised links with a chronic bowel disease in people.
The following year, Chris and David took the bold step of launching AusVet Animal Health Services Pty Ltd, coinciding with David’s appointment as the coordinator for new national Johne’s disease program; thus providing their fledgling company with its first contract (with the red meat and dairy R&D organisations), … and critical income.
Shortly after, Chris gained AusVet’s second contract as national surveillance coordinator with the newly formed Australian Animal Health Council (now Animal Health Australia), commencing what became a close, long-standing partnership. The AAHC also took over managing the Johne’s program, with David leading industry and government teams that developed national guidelines and standards for regional control programs and for assurance programs for herds and flocks. David was active in the International Association for Paratuberculosis, working with colleagues developing global guidelines for Johne’s disease control and was a member of the External Advisory Board for the United States Johne’s Disease Integrated Program. For several years he was also Vice-President of the Association and was awarded its Outstanding Service Award in 2005.
Over the next decade, AusVet succeeded and grew, with a staff of highly skilled and trained epidemiologists recruited to work on a broad range of projects in Australia and overseas. Chris’s sudden death in 2005 severely impacted staff and clients in many ways. However, the AusVet team stepped-up and successfully assured clients that they would carry his impressive load.
David became more involved in development projects overseas. As well as managing two of Chris’s AusAID projects aimed at harmonising aquatic animal health surveillance and live food-fish movement guidelines among the ASEAN countries, he led multidisciplinary teams on projects in Laos and reviewed surveillance and control programs in south-east Asia, southern Africa and the Pacific for AusAID and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). For a short while he acted as manager of ACIAR’s animal health research program.
David retired from AusVet in 2012 but continued as the independent technical advisor to the live export R&D program till 2017. The program grappled with improving the management and prevention of losses and illness among animals exported from Australia. An impressive cohort of specialists, including AusVet epidemiologists, was pivotal to the success of challenging research projects on sea and land. During this time, he also chaired the project advisory committee and the standards committee working with consultants to develop the novel Livestock Global Assurance Program to improve the health and welfare of animals along the length of the live export chain through quality assurance, rather than regulation. During this time, David was also an honorary Associate Editor for the Australian Veterinary Journal.
He finally retired from veterinary work in 2021 after a decade as a member of the NSW Department’s Animal Ethics Committee.

Please get in touch

L1, 34 Thynne St (Block E Trevor Pearcey House, Traeger Court)
Bruce ACT 2617
AUSTRALIA

+61 2 6190 7738

contact@ausvet.com.au