2019 Award Citations


Ian Clunies Ross Memorial AWard - Prof Joanne Devlin

Professor Devlin is an outstanding contributor to the veterinary profession, animal industries and the heath of Australian wildlife. Her achievements in research are characterised by exceptional breadth and depth of activity, comprehensive engagement with a range of partners and global impact.

Her research has shown that in many, but not all, of the important herpesviruses of domestic animals, recombination is a major evolutionary force. This work resulted from her discovery that the re-emergence of the major poultry disease infectious laryngotracheitis in Australia was attributable to novel, more virulent strains of the virus that had resulted from recombination between two attenuated vaccine strains after a new vaccine was introduced into Australia in 2007. This seminal work demonstrated for the first time that recombination between live vaccines could pose a significant risk to animal health and resulted in the development of new guidelines for importation of veterinary vaccines. She has demonstrated how common recombination is and defined the factors that influence its occurrence. This work has resulted in much clearer guidance on the risks of using multiple attenuated vaccines and ways to mitigate this risk. In addition, Professor Devlin has also greatly advanced our understanding of viral pathogens in our native fauna. She has identified and characterised a variety of new viruses of bats, marsupials and native birds and has contributed significantly to our understanding of the role of chlamydias and retroviruses in the health of koalas.

In addition to her fundamental research on viral pathogenesis and evolution, she has engaged with industry to develop a new vaccine to control infectious laryngotracheitis. She created this novel genetically engineered vaccine, completed proof-of-concept studies to show its potential, and completed all the safety and efficacy testing required for its release. It is now in field trials in Australia – the first gene deletion vaccine to have achieved this milestone.

Professor Devlin delivers a considerable amount of teaching in veterinary public health at an excellent standard. This teaching is critical to the veterinary program and is absolutely dependent on her skills in maintaining high levels of engagement with a range of private businesses and government.

She is actively engaged with the veterinary profession, through membership of the Executive Committee of the Victorian Division of the Australian Veterinary Association and has a leadership role in the association’s mentoring program for recent graduates.

Thus, Professor Devlin has played significant roles in her profession and as a research leader and has been recognised nationally and internationally for her research, which has made a major contribution to international veterinary science.


Meritorious Service Award - Dr Gail Versluis

Gail is a long serving and most highly esteemed member of the Pharmacology Chapter.

In addition to running a busy clinical practice day to day - she has made an enormous contribution in service to Chapter and College throughout the years. The Chapter welcomes this award as both highly deserved and overdue.

As a long standing secretary of the Pharmacology Chapter - Gail has knowledgeably guided the members, examination committees and  many Presidents through their required duties. 

Gail is the magic formula that helps keeps this small Chapter consistently punching above its weight. 

Typically the first and last Chapter member standing after each day at Science week, Gail is also a stand out champion of exam candidate and member support and encouragement to join the college. 

Even after presentations have finished - you’ll typically find her in discussion with younger members encouraging them to pursue further development opportunities.


Meritorious Service Award - Dr Lydia hambrook

Lydia Hambrook is a current fellow of the ANZCVS Small Animal Medicine and a member of the Feline Medicine and Oncology Chapters. Since becoming a fellow in 2012, Lydia has served as a SAM fellowship examiner in 2013, SAM fellowship HSE in 2014, CEC liaison officer for fellowship examinations in 2015/2016, SAM membership HSE in 2017, SAM stream Science Week Convenor 2018, Head of the SAM Chapter Examination Committee 2015-2018 and Head of the SAM Standards Committee 2018 to current.

  • She has worked tirelessly to:
  • Form robust and diverse groups of examiners
  • Develop and review examinations (at both levels)
  • Analyse SAM Fellowship and Membership examination results over the past 10 years in an attempt to identify trends
  • Promote utilisation of mentors as an essential part of examination preparation
  • Revise SAM subject guidelines and,
  • Create a SAM examination question bank

She has recently been appointed to the Board of Examiners.


Presidential Award - Dr Mandy Burrows

- Delivered by Dr Zoe Lenard

I stand before you to acknowledge the substantial contribution of a giant in our profession and in our College. A diminutive giant, who is fierce, fearless and feminist.

A person with a taste for quality French champagne and high-end fashion.

A person whose contribution spans decades, whose contribution to improve our College has been responsive to substantial growth and embraced substantive change. A person whose creative insight turns problems into opportunities, then converts those opportunities into goals.

Aristotle said, We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

Aristotle was talking, of course, about Mandy Burrows.

Mandy graduated from Murdoch University in 1985. After a short stint in practice and driven by the pursuit of knowledge she returned to Murdoch to complete an internship in small animal medicine, before starting in a residency in pathology. Clearly dealing with specimens and necropsies wasn’t a good fit, and before long she found her veterinary passion, dermatology. Mandy completed an alternate path residency (under Ken Mason). She became a Member of the College in Medicine of Dogs in 1992, and a Fellow in Dermatology in 1998. Mandy was instrumental in setting up a Dermatology Chapter in 2002, and remained on the Chapter executive for 12 years, till 2015.

Mandy was a driver to get the Chapter affiliated with the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology, and in successfully bidding for the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology 9th Congress to be held in Sydney in 2020.

Mandy built a successful private dermatology practice in Perth, based at Murdoch University and at Perth Vet Specialists, before joining the Animal Dermatology Group with practices in North America, New Zealand and Australia. She has taught several generations of undergraduate students and has successfully trained three Fellows. She is a highly engaging and charismatic lecturer, with a style of delivery that is entertaining and popular.  She is an Associate Professor in Medicine at Murdoch University and Chair of the Veterinary Medicine assessment committee.

Mandy’s formal service to the College spans 21 years. In addition to her Chapter roles, she was on the Board of Examiners 2002-2013 (9 years) including a 4-year year term as Chief Examiner. She transformed the way the Board approached its work, forming the Training and Credentials Committee and Examinations Committees and was fundamental to initiating many of the improvements in exams that we see today. Mandy was elected to College Council in 2013-2019, which has meant service to Council of 9 years.  This immense voluntary service, in addition to running a practice, and with her husband Graham, raising two girls, Gracie and Charlie in Perth.

That is an impressive CV by any standard. And it only just scratches the surface.

What motivates Mandy Burrows?

Her friend Bruce Smith, a surgeon, remembers the first day of his internship at Murdoch University in 1991. There were three other new interns, including Mandy. By day 2, Bruce and fellow interns had delegated all authority to Mandy. They were dealing with a pocket rocket, immaculately dressed, a signature white lab coat to prevent the designer labels getting scurfy or greasy. Someone who was willing and able to use a much wider vocabulary than a surgeon could muster. Someone who saw it as her duty to educate him about improving his dress standards (no more brown shoes and black belt). These interns realised that they had to rapidly come up to standard, Mandy’s standard, or they would be left for dust.

Mandy is an experienced verbal warrior, with a dry and cutting wit. Her husband Graham reported that when he met her he was a left-leaning student politician espousing the virtues of egalitarianism. Mandy’s spin was that she also believed in equality for all, that everyone should have a BMW. From opposite ends of the spectrum they have had a long and successful partnership.

Mandy is a supremely confident networker and maintains vast connections professionally and socially. She is a “say-do” person – she always gets done what she says she will. She makes herself available, and provides prompt responses via email, phone, or in person. I know many of you will have shaken your head in disbelief when you see that she has answered an email after midnight. She is an organisational superpower: she is purposeful, creates lists and achieves outcomes. 

How can she do this? Mandy has drive and vision. She has an ability to cycle to the top of the room, see the bigger picture, and then work back on the ground to sort out the details. Of the College Convocation yesterday, a colleague commented, “That was wonderful… I can see it had Mandy’s fingerprints all over it”. Another colleague commented that she is highly intuitive: she can see the heart of the problem and articulate it. I have many times felt in awe of her power to summarise a situation. She is capable of being direct or blunt, depending on your perspective. You may not be surprised that the whole package (intellect, organisational prowess, the drive and confidence) can be intimidating. But, at the heart of it, Mandy is a deeply caring individual who has supported and fostered the careers of many, many vets.

Finally, Mandy is one of the most energetic people I know. I don’t know how she does it or how she recharges. She loves a good party. I recall an awards dinner several years ago when one of her residents was awarded her Fellowship, and Mandy danced on the table. She was tactfully told by the President of the day that it was not a good, and she climbed down. I am not sure I would be so game…

What motivates Mandy Burrows? Excellence, contribution, and action.

So, on behalf of our College, for your gigantic and long-serving contribution to our College and profession, Amanda K Burrows, a Presidential Award.


college oration - Dr boyd jones

- Delivered by Dr Caroline Mansfield

Academic and Professional Achievements

  • Awarded BVSc (with distinction) 1968 from Massey University
  • Medicine of Dogs Membership 1974 and then Canine Medicine Fellowship 1984
  • Melbourne University then Massey University as a leading veterinary science researcher and teacher
  • Adjunct Professor in Small Animal Internal Medicine at the University of Florida
  • Chair in Small Animal Clinical Studies at University College Dublin and then Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (AVMA accreditation)
  • Returned to Massey as Emeritus Professor.
  • Director of the Centre for Service and Working Dog Health at Massey University
  • Awards including:

- 2011 World Small Animal Veterinary Association International Award for Service to the Profession
- Blaine Award from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association for outstanding contributions to the advancement of small animal medicine, awarded April 2012,  Birmingham UK
- NZVA President’s Award, June 2015
- Awarded Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), June 2015

  • Editorial board of the NZVJ, IVJ, numerous awards and grants committee
  • Founding member of the Small Animal Society (now known as the Companion Animal Society)
  • Chairman of the Veterinary Council of New Zealand (1995-96)
  • An active examiner and chapter member
  • ANZCVS President from 1991 to 1993
  • Pushed for inclusion of NZ into ANZCVS
  • The discovery of five novel, previously unreported, entities including (i) the first case of Zollinger Ellison syndrome in the dog, (ii) familial hyperchylomicronaemia in the cat, (iii) feline myotonia (iv) muscular dystrophy due to truncated dystrophin and (v) CNS demyelination due to feeding of irradiated cat food
  • Co-author of over 140 publications