Mr John Stewart AM

30 November 2009

Award of Doctor of Veterinary Science honoris causa
Mr John Stewart AM


Mr John Stewart has been a champion for animal health programs and a strong supporter of the Australian veterinary industry for the past 40 years.

He draws on more than 50 years worth of experience in the cattle industry spent in the Kimberleys, Northern Territory and Queensland including 20 years with Queensland Stations Limited – the last five of which he was General Manager – overseeing nine properties and 210,000 head of cattle.

He has made a major contribution to Australia’s reputation in the area of disease control in beef cattle, serving as the industry member on State and Commonwealth animal health committees including the National Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Eradication Committee and the subsequent Tuberculosis Freedom Assurance Program Committee. BTEC as it was known, eradicated Bovine Tuberculosis from the Australian cattle and buffalo herds with no TB recorded since 2002. Eradication cost $1.2 billion with costs shared by the Commonwealth, States and the cattle industry.

He was a Director and Deputy Chairman of Animal Health Australia from 1996–1999. He has served as the industry member of the Strategic Policy Group of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), one of the pre-eminent veterinary diagnostic and research laboratories in the world.

He has headed or been a member of many international delegations to countries including Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, China, The Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia advising in areas such as disease prevention, export development and trade and quarantine.

In 2001, Mr Stewart was a member of a cattle industry delegation to England and Ireland to investigate the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak which resulted in the eventual euthanasing of seven million sheep and cattle and a cost to British industry of the equivalent of AUD$16 billion.

Mr Stewart was a Director of the Cattle Disease Contingency Fund from its inception in 2002 until 2004. The Fund was established by the Cattle Council of Australia and the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association with the monies held by Animal Health Australia to support various animal health related activities that benefit the Australian cattle industry.

Mr Stewart represented non-affected industries on the Consultative Committee of Exotic Animal Disease during the recent Equine Influenza outbreak in Australia.

He was part of the establishment of the North Australia Beef Research Council and was its first Chairman for seven years. He also chaired the Steering Committee which set up Rangelands Australia which now operates within the University of Queensland. He has been instrumental in not only establishing research links between the CSIRO and the University but in strengthening these.

He was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to the beef cattle industry in 2004.

Mr Stewart is currently a consultant on animal health and welfare issues, a consultant to the Cattle Council of Australia on bovine tuberculosis, a pastoral supervisor for Newmont Mining Ltd and a Senior Native Title Officer for AgForce Queensland.

Chancellor, in recognition of his distinguished career and contribution to The University of Queensland, I present to you Mr John Stewart, for the award of Doctor of Veterinary Science honoris causa bestowed by the Senate of The University of Queensland.


Doctor of Veterinary Science honoris causa