Neil Briton CBE




Neil William Briton was born and educated in Sydney, N.S.W. After obtaining a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree at the University of Sydney he was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Animal Husbandry at Queensland Agricultural College at Gatton in 1938. After serving as Acting Director fromĀ· 1940-45, he was appointed Director in 1946. Under his direction as head of the College for thirty-nine years prior to his retirement in 1979, it grew from the Queensland Agricultural High School and College to its present status as an independent College of Advanced Education. Its courses have expanded from those devoted exclusively to agricultural pursuits to include Bachelor's Degrees not only in Agriculture but also in Applied Science and Business. Under Neil Briton's direction the College also developed the building program which has resulted in a campus that is one of the most attractive in Queensland.

Throughout the long period of his headship, Neil Briton personally, and through the activities of the College, made significant contributions to the work of the University of Queensland in respect of its involvement with the agricultural. and animal industries. His service to the University of Queensland began in 1938-39 on his appointment as a part-time lecturer in Animal Production in the Faculty of Agricultural Science and as a Temporary Lecturer in the Faculty of Veterinary Science. In 1940-41, he was appointed to membership of both the Board of the Faculty of Agricultural Science and the Board of the Faculty of Veterinary Science. He remained an active member of both boards until his retirement. He also served on the Executive Committee of the Faculty of Agricultural Science. Reciprocally, the University of Queensland has made extensive use of facilities at the Queensland Agricultural College for both teaching and research.

Mr. Briton fostered the development of high quality animals of all major commercial species and, as a result, a considerable contribution to genetic improvements within the animal industries of Queensland has been made by stud stock from the Queensland Agricultural College. He was active in co-ordinating and supervising research projects undertaken at the College and provided facilities for members of the C.S.I.R.O., the Department of Primary Industries and the University of Queensland to undertake research into animal and plant industries.

Mr. Briton's significant contribution to Veterinary Science was recognized by his peers when he was invited, in 1970, to become a foundation member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists.

In addition to his contributions to the Queensland Agricultural College, tertiary education and the veterinary profession, Mr. Briton exerted a significant influence over rural education throughout Queensland. He was chairman of a Government Committee which played a key role in the introduction of agricultural courses in high schools, and in the establishment of Junior Farmer Clubs in Queensland. He was the author of a report which led to the establishment of Rural Training Schools in Queensland. He also served on the Agricultural Education Advisory Council for Queensland and was an active member of the Queensland Board of Advanced Education.

These major contributions to educational development and administration provide. a lasting testimony to his important work in Queensland.

Mr. Chancellor, I present to you Neil William Briton, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Bachelor of Veterinary Science, Member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists, Fellow of the Australian College of Education, for the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.


Doctor of Laws honoris causa