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Biographical entry Swan, Ralph Alexander (1936 - 2016)

22 August 1936
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
14 October 2016
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Veterinary scientist


Ralph Swan was a veterinary whose research interests and expertise included parasitology, epidemiology, virology and preventive medicine and whose practice encompassed the diseases and management of farm animals, horses, ostriches, emus and wildlife. He was founding Director of the Pastoral Veterinary Centre, University of Queensland at Goondiwindi where his role included the planning and construction of facilities, curriculum development and staff appointments. The Centre provided a model for remote teaching for other institutions. Swan developed herd and flock health programs which had a wide impact in the profession. In 1976 Swan became founding Professor of Veterinary Clinical Studies at Murdoch University where once again he established the faculty from scratch. Swan was highly regarded as a teacher in Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka to which he made numerous visits under the auspices of the FAO and the Australian Universities International Development Program. In 1994 he was awarded the Kesteven Medal for distinguished contribution to scientific and technical development in developing countries.



Education - BVSc (Hons), University of Sydney
1961 - 1964
Award - Australian Wool Board Research Fellowship, University of Queensland
1965 - 1976
Career position - Founding Director, Pastoral Veterinary Centre, University of Queensland at Goondiwindi
Education - PhD, University of Queensland
Award - Fulbright Travel Fellowship
Education - Master of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, University of California, Davis, U.S.A.
1974 - 1985
Career position - Consultant, Plant and Animal Sciences International Development Program, Indonesia
1976 - 2002
Career position - Foundation Professor of Veterinary Clinical Studies, Murdoch University
1987 - 2016?
Career position - Member, Epidemiology Chapter, Australian College of Veterinary Scientists
Career position - Consultant, Faculty of Very Medicine, University of Peradinya, Sri Lanka
Career position - Chairman, Lice Eradication Review Committee, Department of Agriculture
Award - Kesteven Medal, Australian Veterinary Association and Australian College of Veterinary Scientists
Life event - Retired
2003 - 2016
Career position - Emeritus Professor, Murdoch University

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Chapman, H. M., 'Emeritus Professor Ralph A. Swan', Australian Veterinary Journal, 95 (1/2) (2017), 8-9. Details

Helen Cohn