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During 2013, the WDA Australasian Section executive committee established a new award, to honour a long standing WDA-A member who has made an outstanding contribution to our Section. The award is named the Dave Spratt Award (fondly referred to as “The Spratty Award”) in recognition of one of the founding members of our Section, Dave Spratt. It’s anticipated that this award will only be presented occasionally, and will be reserved to show appreciation for exceptional members who have made a long term commitment to our Section. It will come as no surprise that the first recipient of the Award was none other than Dave Spratt himself.

On the final morning of the Grampians conference (Oct 2013), Spratty was taken by surprise as conference proceedings were hijacked and the whole WDA-A executive committee, accompanied by Ian Beveridge and David Jessup, announced and presented this new award to him. Ian Beveridge gave a short talk about Spratt’s career and contribution to the WDA-A – some of his words are captured below.

It was decided to make the award perpetual an
d at most annual. The award consists of a plaque mounted on a board of red cedar, Toona ciliata.

Applications for the 2024 David Spratt "Spratty" Award are now open. Please scroll down for more information on how to nominate. 

Nominations closing date: 20th June 2024

The Dave Spratt "Spratty" Award


Dr. Dave Spratt

Recipient of the 2021 Dave Spratt "Spratty" Award

The recipient of the 2021 Spratty Award is Jenny McLelland from Adelaide Zoo, nominated by Dr Alison Peel from Griffith University.

Jenny McLelland is a Veterinarian at Zoos South Australia and Monarto Safari park (administered by the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia) and is also associated with the University of Adelaide. Jenny studied a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne. From there she spent time in general practice, but always had a passion for zoo and wildlife species. This led Jenny to complete a Masters in Veterinary Science in wildlife and avian health at Massey University (2005-07), and then a Masters in Conservation Medicine through Murdoch University, helping set her up for her current position.

Jenny’s wildlife research during her Masters and professional work has focussed on lead exposure in New Zealand Kea, post-mortem examinations of Takahe, paralysis and paresis in Swamp Harriers, and infections in the critically endangered Orange-Bellied Parrot.

Jenny has made an exceptional and long-term commitment to WDAA. She has been on the WDAA executive for many years playing a number of important roles, including being the Executive Member. Jenny played a major role in organising the highly successful 2015 WDA international meeting in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. She has more recently made valiant efforts to try and hold a WDAA conference in Adelaide during the pandemic, and will be holding a WDAA South Australia regional event in November. Jenny has also spearheaded the WDAA History Subcommittee, which is no small task. Notably, Jenny is one of the initiators of the Dave Spratt Award.

Jenny, her husband David and their children are regular attendees at WDAA conferences and contribute to the family friendly atmosphere of meetings for the association. Jenny’s warm, friendly and helpful personality has made her a well-loved member of WDAA for many years. Jenny would be modest about it, but she has always been generous with her time and her insights, contributing significantly to the culture of WDA Australasia. She has helped foster the next generation of wildlife health scientists, creating an open environment where ideas are shared and everyone is able to contribute.

This award is a fitting recognition of the gratitude WDAA has to Jenny McLelland for her significant and long-standing contributions to WDA Australasia.

About Dave Spratt

Dave was a founding member of the Australasian section of the WDA and was the Australasian editor for JWD for many years. In addition, Dave has helped numerous members of the WDA with parasite identifications over the years. As a consequence, his contribution to the WDA and its individual members over 40 years has been enormous and unstinting.

Dave Spratt obtained his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and started his Master’s degree on the ecology of wolves in Algonquin Park. However, on a field trip to Algonquin Park, he encountered a group of parasitologists also engaged in field work there, and switched to parasitology - later completing his Master’s degree on the meningeal worm of deer, Parelaphostrongylus tenuis. He subsequently completed his PhD at the University of Queensland on the life-cycle of the sub-cutaneous filarioid kangaroo nematode Dirofilaria roemeri (now), showing that it is transmitted by tabanid flies and that its development varied in different species of kangaroos and wallabies. 

He went on to join the CSIRO Division of Wildlife Research in Canberra.    

How to Nominate

Applications for the Dave Spratt "Spratty" Award are requested, via email, each year around February - April.

This Award recognises exceptional members who have made a long term commitment to our Section. 

Nominations from a nominator and a seconder are to be submitted in electronic format to Brett Gartrell and should briefly (one A4 page) outline the contributions of the nominee. Mail to:

Nominations closing date: 20th June 2024

Previous Recipients of the WDA-A Dave Spratt Award

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