Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I must inform you of the passing of Dr. William “Bill” Hartley OAM, MVSc, DSc.


After qualifying from the Royal Veterinary College in England in 1945, Bill had a distinguished and diverse career in the field of animal disease investigation. In his 53 years as a veterinarian, Bill worked as a clinician, laboratory diagnostic officer, field disease investigator, researcher, and University of Sydney veterinary undergraduate and graduate lecturer. Bill’s professional interests and expertise were many and varied, including neuropathology, poisonous plants, perinatal mortality of large animals, protozoology and comparative pathology of wildlife.

Bill’s commitment to the advancement of comparative pathology is exemplified through the clinicians and pathologists he mentored and inspired, and his founding of comparative pathology registries in New Zealand and NSW agriculture departments, and the Australian Registry of Wildlife Health at Taronga Conservation Society Australia. Bill was also recognised as valued life member of the Australian Society for Veterinary Pathology.

Bill was not one to seek the spotlight, yet his achievements and encyclopaedic knowledge of investigative and comparative pathology were acknowledged through: Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathology, Master of Veterinary Science, Doctor of Science, Fellowship of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists, Peter Olafson Gold Medal (Cornell University, USA), and as a Member of the Order of Australia. Bill published more than 200 papers in national and international journals recording the results of his investigations and collaborations.

Bill is survived by his children Elizabeth, James, Alexandra, Sophia and Julian, and his grandchildren Adrien, Ben, Freya, Isabella and Sinclair, to whom we extend our sincere condolences.

We will miss him dearly.


Karrie Rose