FINE FELLOW: Dr David Johnson has received his profession's top award.
FINE FELLOW: Dr David Johnson has received his profession's top award. Contributed

For David's a jolly good fellow

VETERINARIAN Dr David Johnson had no idea an investigation was going on behind his back.

For weeks, the Australian Veterinarian Association (AVA) had been working in secret with his wife, compiling data on his life's work caring for all creatures great and small.

So it was a shock when word arrived he had been appointed a Fellow of the AVA.

"Somebody in the association made the nomination and they contacted Mandy to collect all the information,” David revealed.

"She never said a word and I had no idea what was happening as the committee works in secret so that if you get knocked back, it doesn't become embarrassing.

"When the notice came I was blown away as they don't make you a Fellow unless you have been able to make a contribution to the industry.

"It's very satisfying personally and professionally to know somebody feels you have achieved something good.”

After so many years as a vet, David gets as much pleasure from attending to the needs of family cats and dogs as he does mentoring student who spend time at Pacific Vetcare.

A large part of his job concerns working with horses.

The club vet with Coffs Harbour Racing Club works closely with international equine surgeon Dr Nick Kannegieter and the pair were busy with this week with operations on horses at the purpose built surgery at Coffs Jetty.

David was head veterinarian with the Australian Equestrian team at the Sydney, London and Beijing Olympics.

He was prominent figure searching for the cause and cure during the 2007 equine influenza crisis and was a consultant in Britain during the foot and mouth disease outbreak.

"As well, I have been involved with a variety of industry associations over the years,” he added.

"It means a fair bit of travel but I have always enjoyed seeing different things.”

Despite receiving the Fellowship, David's huge band of friends and clients can be satisfied he shows no signs of slowing down.

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