Dr Treve Williams OAM
On Australia Day, Sunday 26 January 2020 Dr Treve Williams was awarded the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division. His late father (see below) was awarded the CBE in Great Britain making two successive generations of the Williams family to be recognised in this way.
Treve Williams is a good friend and professional colleague who has both brushed and embraced the heady space of ‘stardom’. Treve lived and worked in Scone about two moves before me for both Murray Bain and the Sykes Bain partnership in the early 1960s. He had ‘seen practice’ with Murray as an undergraduate student.
His background and early life are fascinating and very accurately redolent of a certain genre of young ‘colonial’ Englishman. Treve was born in Burma. His father John Howard Williams CBE was the famous Lt Colonel ‘Elephant Bill’ Williams of the XIVth Army commanded by Sir William Slim. Treve was educated at Blundells School in Devon, England before eventually finding his way to Australia; firstly as a jackaroo and then veterinary science at Sydney University. I believe Treve’s inaugural sponsoring family were Smiths of St Aubins Stud in Scone. W J ‘Knockout’ Smith was the leviathan patriarch. Treve played Rugby for the University 1st XV also winning a premiership. He enjoyed a stellar veterinary career firstly in Scone and then later in Sydney and throughout the globe. His acme of achievement in racing administration came when elected as Chairman of the Australian Jockey Club in May 2003. I think he may have been the first erstwhile Scone resident to do so? (I managed plebeian President of Scone Race Club; also the Newcastle Hunter and Central Coast racing Association!).
Dr Treve Williams, BVSc MRCVS is a co-founder of Vet24seven, Inc. and serves as its Vice President and General Manager of Vet24seven International. Dr Williams has been associated with the horse, it’s breeding and racing throughout most of his life and as a veterinarian qualified to practice in both Australia and Europe for more than 35 years. His understanding of veterinary science, of the effects of climate, local disease problems and feeding together with his contacts have helped to enhance the formidable expertise that L&O to the development of any project.
He is retired from clinical practice and is a senior partner and consultant to Randwick Equine Centre, offshoot of the original practice in Sydney. Dr Williams’ consultancies are Stud, Transmedia Stud, The Cojuanco family farms in the Philippines, Private farms in Thailand and India, William Inglis and Son ( large equine auction house), RANVET(drug and feed company of which also part owner).
Australian Feed Company (consultant and part owner), Consultant and advisor to the Beijing jockey club in China (including 3000 horses and breeding to sustain bi-weekly racing), Consultant part owner and board member Equine Diagnostic Laboratories and later Veterinary Pathology services, also in conjunction with ASB director Australian blood testing laboratory and genetic parentage testing laboratory, Leigh & Orange (L&O) architects on the design and fit out of Al Shaqab, Qatar.
Others include Waratah Thoroughbreds and the development of a World class Breeding and training farm in Australia with racing and breeding interests in the US ; Europe (France & UK) and Japan plus Aus, L&O on remodelling of Al Shahandria hospital and laboratories in Saudi Arabia, Consultant and part owner to Genetraks (venture capital research company) and Equine Underwriters in London – Amlin and QBE. He served as president of Australian Jockey Club. He served as Board Member RANVET of Australian Feed Company and Genetraks. He was a NSW representative AEVA
AJC Media Release May 30, 2003
Dr Treve Williams was today elected chairman of the Australian Jockey Club, with Mr Noel Bracks elected vice chairman.
Dr Williams replaces Mr Bill Rutledge, who today stood down from the post as his maximum allowable tenure of 15 years with the AJC Committee draws to a close.
Mr Rutledge was elected honorary treasurer in 1996, a position he resigned from when appointed chairman of the NSW Thoroughbred Racing Board in 1998. He was elected AJC vice chairman in 2000 and chairman in March, 2001.
A practising solicitor in Gosford, Mr Rutledge is also a former treasurer of the Gosford Race Club and former chairman of the Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast Racing Association.
AJC chief executive Tony King said the contribution of Mr Rutledge, who will stand down from the Committee in coming months, could not be underestimated.
“During Bill’s tenure, the club has undergone considerable building works and upgrades, including the Randwick Pavilion, vehicular and pedestrian tunnels, course proper, Kensington track and infield development,” Mr King said. “This has been possible, in no small part, due to the vision and diligence of the chairman.
“Bill is one of the most professional, level-headed and friendly administrators I have ever had the pleasure of working with and I know he leaves the post with the gratitude and best wishes of the Committee and all AJC members. His contribution to the AJC has been immense.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Treve to the chair in what promises to be a smooth and popular transition. We look forward to a new era under his guidance.”
Dr Williams, a veterinary surgeon, was elected to the Committee in 1990. He was elected honorary treasurer in 2000, until appointed vice chairman in February, 2002. The managing director of the Randwick Equine Centre, he is a racehorse owner and former breeder.
Mr Bracks, a practising Sydney solicitor with his own firm Noel Bracks and Company, was elected to the Committee in 1998. He is a former president of the NSW Racehorse Owners’ Association.
The Ultimate Election of Treve!
English speakers of recent Asian origin might pronounce it slightly differently but the title encompasses the essential thrust of my message!
Treve Williams is to be heartily and sincerely congratulated by all his cohort professionals of the equine veterinary fraternity and sorority on accession to the highest office of one of Australia’s oldest and most venerable institutions. The Committee of the Australian Jockey Club has appointed Treve as its next Chairman to succeed Bill Routledge. I enjoy the honour and privilege of knowing both men very well. Treve is a most worthy heir to Bill.
Treve is not the first veterinarian to achieve high office in the administration of racing in Australia. The late Peter Irwin and also Dick Morton both served extended terms with the SAJC. Joe McDermott and John Yovich contributed with distinction on the WATC. There may well be others. My own deliberations have been much more modest at local club and provincial level! I have firmly believed for a long time it behoves every veterinarian to become intimately involved in community affairs at whatever altitude. If we seek to bring about effective change we must gain access to the ‘corridors of power’. In this sense Treve has excelled.
Emanating from an exotic ‘British Raj of Burma’ background Treve Williams has forged an outstanding career in equine veterinary science. He was my penultimate peer as assistant and associate with the late Murray Bain in Scone in the early and mid-sixties. With John Bryden he elected to stay with Percy Sykes following the inevitable demise of the Sykes/Bain partnership at that time. He has remained with Percy ever since culminating in his present hegemonic position with the Randwick Equine Centre. Treve developed eclectic surgical skills in keeping with his social eclat and personal panache. He served for a time a NSW delegate on the Executive of the AEVA. Miss Audrey Best considered the urbane ‘Dr. Williams would be ideal for meeting and greeting visiting foreign dignitaries at Kingsford Smith Airport’! Treve and his Randwick cabal have also excelled in intimate international equine veterinary relations especially with Asian countries.
We all wish Treve every success during his tenure in high office. It is a daunting task. He will represent us very well. God speed et bon chance grand blanc!
W. P. Howey
Executive Officer AEVA
‘Elephant’ Bill Williams of Burma
James Howard Williams was born on the 15th November 1897 at St. Just in Cornwall. He was the son of a Cornish mining engineer who had once worked in South Africa and much like his elder brother, James studied at Queen’s College, Taunton and the Camborne School of Mines and went on to serve as an officer in the Devonshire Regiment of the British Army in the Middle East during the First World War and later on in Afghanistan. During this time he served with the Camel Corps and as transport officer in charge of mules. After demobilisation he decided to join the Bombay-Burmah Trading Corporation as a forester working with trained elephants to extract teak logs.
See also: James Howard Williams – Wikipedia