Dr Paul Gill passed away on 28 July 2012 after a courageous and inspiring battle with motor neurone disease during the past two years. He was 56. Paul graduated with first class honours from the University of Sydney in January 1979. He spent all of his working life within the NSW Department of Primary Industries (and its various other titles), having joined it as a Departmental trainee upon entry to Veterinary School. Following graduation, Paul was appointed as a Veterinary Research Officer, briefly at the Veterinary Research Station, Glenfield, and then at the Regional Veterinary Laboratory, Wagga Wagga. In 1982, he undertook a PhD on copper poisoning in sheep at Murdoch University, where he also worked part-time as a pathology tutor. In 1986 he joined the Regional Veterinary Laboratory at Wollongbar, and for the next 25 years he worked mainly as a diagnostic pathologist. After the closure of the veterinary laboratory in 2009, Paul continued working at the Wollongbar Agricultural Institute (including through the first 18 months of his progressive illness with MND) as Strategy Leader of Residue Management with NSW DPI.
In 1994, Paul was instrumental in establishing (and naming) NORSEQ, an informal gathering of veterinary pathologists in northern NSW and southeast Queensland. NORSEQ pathologists meet, usually at least once a year, to present cases of interest and hear a keynote speaker (including visiting international scholars such as Don McGavin and Gerald Wells). NORSEQ continues to fulfill Paul's vision of a flexible, regional forum for networking and education amongst the veterinary pathology fraternity (government, university and private) and it is one of his enduring legacies.
Paul's encyclopaedic knowledge made him an extremely effective diagnostic pathologist and he was also a very competent bacteriologist. He achieved Membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Pathobiology in 1993. He derived great satisfaction from his work as a pathologist in a regional laboratory embedded in a rural community.
Paul was actively involved in his community in many other ways including as a volunteer with various school and church groups and with the Army Reserve. He was a very precise and organized person, disciplined and very fit, with a legendary sense of humour and a joke for every occasion. He took admirable pleasure in the simple things in life and cared deeply about others.
Paul is survived by his wife Margaret, and children Bethlyn, Andrew, Damian and Kathryn, to whom we extend our sincere condolences. We will miss him dearly.