Former Zoo boss honoured by Uni of Adelaide

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Former Adelaide Zoo head Ed McAlister AO will be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Adelaide tomorrow for his contribution to animal conservation, the environment and the community and his distinguished scholarly achievement.

Mr McAlister was Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia for 15 years until his retirement earlier this year. He will be admitted to the degree of Doctor of the University honoris causa at a graduation ceremony beginning at 10am on Wednesday 20 December.

Mr McAlister oversaw the opening of Monarto Zoological Park in 1993 and its subsequent transformation into a significant conservation body and renowned zoological park.

He was responsible for improving zoo education and strong growth in the Society's membership and involvement of volunteers.

University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha said: "Mr McAlister has made a significant and material contribution to wildlife conservation and protection of endangered species, and the welfare of animals in captivity.

"His interest in conservation and research, with the establishment of a strong research department within the Royal Zoological Society, has been of great benefit and value to the University of Adelaide, and a strong relationship developed between the two institutions under his influence."

Mr McAlister said: "I feel greatly privileged and honoured to be receiving this award. However it would not have been possible without the support of staff, colleagues and family."

Mr McAlister has been President of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is still Chair of its Ethics Committee and author of the Association's Code of Ethics.

In 2003, Mr McAlister's service to conservation and education was recognised by his appointment as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia, and later that same year, he was awarded a Centenary Medal for his services to botanic and zoological gardens.


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