2013 Distinguished Past Student Award winner 

Animal welfare and health policy lies at the heart of Peter Thornber’s illustrious career which all began with his graduation from UQ Gatton in 1973 with a Degree in Applied Science – Rural Technology.

Peter went on to study Veterinary Science at UQ Brisbane, graduating in 1977, followed by five years working overseas in the Soloman Islands and the United Kingdom.

On his return he completed a Diploma of Teaching and then accepted an instructors position at Ithaca College of TAFE for the next six years, specialising in veterinary nursing

This led to the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service in Canberra, followed by postings to various areas of Animal Health Australia and the Australian Government Dept. of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Peter has extensive animal health and welfare policy experience and has worked closely with international governments and organisations – he is currently the Director, Australian Animal Welfare Strategy and Communications, Biosecurity Animal Division.

He is a specialist animal welfare member of the Australia and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, and the AVAs special interest group on welfare and ethics.

Peter is the animal welfare expert representative for the Asia/Oceania on the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Permanent Animal Welfare Working Group which develops international welfare standards.

He was responsible for the drafting and finalisation of the Australian Welfare Strategy, aimed at all Australians and all uses of animals.
Under this Strategy, he is providing leadership and funding to develop new Australian Standards and Guidelines for land transport of livestock, zoo animals, cattle and sheep.

Peter is seen by the profession as an expert, mentor and leader as recognised by the Australian Veterinary Association’s President’s Award in May 2013.