Remembering Brian Davey

We heard last week of the recent death of Brian Davey.

I had the good fortune to interview Brian as part of the centenary celebrations for New Zealand physiotherapists in 2013, and it was only here that I got to understand the full breadth of his work and his service to physiotherapy in New Zealand, Australia and with WCPT.

Brian was born in New Zealand and trained in Dunedin graduating in 1961.  He moved to Australia not long after qualifying and showed an early interest in professional politics, first becoming President of the NSW Branch of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) between 1979-80, and then National President of the APA 1980-81. Two years later he joined the WCPT Executive Council and served on the Executive for nine years from 1982-91, with the last three years as President.  He was awarded the Order of Australia in 1992 for his services to physiotherapy in Australia and became a life member of the APA.

You can hear Brian talk about his life in physiotherapy here, and read a tribute to him from WCPT here.

Posted by Dave Nicholls

Dr. Nicholls is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand. He is a physiotherapist, lecturer, researcher and writer, with a passion for critical thinking in and around the physical therapies. David is the founder of the Critical Physiotherapy Network, an organisation that promotes the use of cultural studies, education, history, philosophy, sociology, and a range of other disciplines in the study of the profession’s past, present and future. David’s own research work focuses on the critical history of physiotherapy and considers how physiotherapy might need to adapt to the changing economy of health care in the 21st century. He has published 35 peer-reviewed articles and 17 book chapters, many as first author. He is also very active on social media, writing more than 500 blogposts for in the last three years. David has taught in physiotherapy programmes in the UK and New Zealand for over 25 years and has presented his work all around the world. The End of Physiotherapy – the first book-length critical history of physiotherapy, and written by David – was published by Routledge in mid-2017.

  1. Joan McMeeken 02/09/2018 at 5:30 am

    Like many physiotherapists world wide I acknowledge the enormous contribution that Brian made to his profession. However the WCPT tribute inaccurately indicates that Brian was a key player in the decision of the Australian Physiotherapy Association to rescind its first ethic that required members to only treat patients who were referred by medical practitioners. The Federal Executive of the Association rescinded the ethic in 1976, before Brian held office in the Association. The Australians who attended WCPT in London in 1991 were proud to have an Australasian president of WCPT at that time!

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