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Biographical entry Gee, Robert William (Bill) (1927 - 2004)

AM

Born
1927
New Zealand
Died
9 May 2004
New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Veterinarian
Alternative Names
  • Gee, Bill (Also known as)

Summary

Robert Gee, also known as Bill Gee, was a veterinarian devoted to animal health, especially that of livestock. He worked for many state agriculture departments, studying the epidemiology of disease and implementing disease control and eradication programs. Bill Gee was also seconded to work in Britain to help eradicate foot and mouth disease.

Details

Robert "Bill" Gee and his parents immigrated to Australia from England. He completed his secondary education at Wesley College, Victoria and received a Victorian government cadetship in veterinary science. Gee moved to Sydney to complete his BSc, and then returned to Victoria to take up the position of district veterinary officer for the Department of Agriculture. Gee's first assignments were to investigate the outbreak of Murray Valley / Ross River fever and prevent Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) from entering Victoria. The later disease he also managed to help eradicate from the Northern Territory, when he took up a posting there in 1966. Bill Gee established the first mixed veterinary practice in Shepparton where he was the first to diagnose diseases new to Victoria, including heartworm. Gee's success in disease control saw him seconded to Britain to fight foot and mouth disease outbreaks. In 1974 the federal government established the Australian Bureau of Animal Health to provide a national approach to disease epidemiology and control. Gee was appointed the bureau's inaugural director. During his directorship the bureau helped Australia become the only continent to eradicate brucellosis and tuberculosis in livestock, and oversaw the 1975 select committee on animal welfare. Gee and the bureau also worked on the establishment of a high security research laboratory at Geelong and the Cocos Island quarantine station. Bill Gee had become internationally recognized as an expert in his fields. He was the first person from the southern hemisphere to be appointed president of the Office Internationale des Epizooties - the world coordinating body for disease control. Gee was a fellow and one-time president of the Australian Veterinary Association and the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. Bill Gee received a doctor of veterinary science from the University of Sydney and was made a member of the Order of Australia by the federal government.

Events

1950
Education - Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) completed. Location: Sydney University, NSW
1958
Career position - Joined Nicholas Ltd. to market new drugs
1966 - ?
Career position - Chief Veterinary Officer in the Northern Territory
1974
Career position - Foundation Director of the Australian Bureau of Animal Health
1986
Career position - Retired

Published resources

Online Resources

Annette Alafaci