Zoos SA

Dr David Schultz receives Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

Dr David John Schultz receives Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in Queen’s Birthday Honours for ‘Significant service to veterinary medicine, to zoological societies, and to philanthropy’. 

After 54 years of dedicated service to the veterinary care, wellbeing, conservation and research of wildlife, Dr David Schultz, former Zoos SA veterinarian, has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to veterinary medicine, to zoological societies, and to philanthropy.”

“I was surprised when I heard the news. It’s not the sort of thing you think about when you’re just doing your job,” said David Schultz.

“In fact, it’s a little embarrassing. Especially when I think about the standard that other veterinarians are currently achieving,” finished David.

David graduated in 1966 from the University of Sydney and quickly began his own practice in his hometown of Adelaide, rapidly developing a large avian and wildlife caseload.

In 1979, David was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study Avian Medicine and Surgery in the USA and UK. Soon after his return, he began working at Zoos SA and eventually becoming the Societies’ first full-time veterinarian in 1986. Working as Senior Veterinarian for over two decades, David semi-retired in 2006 but continued to work part-time at Zoos SA until as recently as 2018 where he regularly mentored up-and-coming veterinarians.

Actively involved in wildlife conservation and research, David Schultz has been published in both national and international journals and has led conservation programs that have seen the reintroduction of many native animals including Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies, Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies, Mainland Tamar wallabies, Black-flanked Rock Wallabies, Woma pythons and Western quoll.

One of David’s most significant contributions to wildlife conservation and research has been spearheading the active collaboration between veterinarians and biologists to work together in wildlife health and conservation programs.

A popular and much sought-after presenter on the conference circuit, David has coupled his great communication skills with being an excellent teacher, mentor and supervisor.

In his role as Director of the Schultz Foundation, David has overseen the disbursement of thousands of dollars support Honours and PhD research projects in wildlife conservation, marsupial reproductive biology, wildlife ecology and wildlife health and veterinary medicine as well as funding conservation projects for a number of threatened species.

The recognition as Member of the Order of Australia (AM) builds on David’s reputation as a true leader in the field. His previous awards include a Churchill Fellowship (1979), Life membership of Wildlife Disease Association (Australian Chapter, 2001) and Wildlife Disease Association (International) Emeritus Award (2015).

Speaking about the prestigious award, Elaine Bensted, CE of Zoos SA said: “I can’t think of a more worthy recipient than Dr David Schultz.”

“I’m so pleased that David’s passion and long-serving commitment to the conservation of wildlife through his veterinary work, programming and his role as an educator has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

“Zoos SA is extremely grateful to David for the time and energy he has given us both over the years as our Senior Veterinarian and beyond.

“Huge congratulations to David and his family,” finished Elaine.

Zoos SA would also like to extend its congratulations to long-term associates Mr Manfred Ernst Heide, who received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to native animal welfare and conservation and Mr Peter Ross Wadewitz, who received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the organic recycling industry.

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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction. Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging. We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.

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