BLACKTOWN deputy mayor Russ Dickens OAM was recognised at the Faculty of Veterinary Science Alumni Awards of the University of Sydney in September.
Dr Dickens received a Community Achievement Award for his efforts to protect Australian wildlife, and his 50 years of service to the people of western Sydney as a veterinarian and local government representative.
In the 1970s he was one of the first vets in the country to study diseases of the koala systematically and provide advice on their clinical management.
His research laid the foundation for today's expanding discipline of wildlife medicine.
He is a founding member of the Australia Koala Foundation and was instrumental in setting up the Australasian section of the Wildlife Disease Association, now a thriving organisation.