We are deeply saddened by the death of ASKs founder, father and mentor Dr. John Auty who passed away on December 6 2013, age 87.
Veterinarian and historian Dr John Auty was committed to animal and wildlife welfare and most notably served as Assistant Director and Chief Health Inspector of the Commonwealth Bureau of Animal Health in the 1980s.
He was the first to bring the Australian public’s attention to the cruelty of live export in the mid 1970s.
John was indeed a man ahead of his time; witty, intelligent, didn't suffer fools and called a spade a spade, a man with big ideas and visions of a better world for all animals.
But he was always very passionate about kangaroos and extremely concerned about the commercial kangaroo industry and the inherent welfare issues involved in their slaughter and in particular the cruelty inflicted on pouch young.
Over the years he produced many papers on the kangaroo issue from both a welfare and historical aspect.
John started ASK primarily as a letter head in the late 90s when corresponding with other NGOs and government agencies over kangaroo issues, and in 2007 Nikki Sutterby approached John about becoming more involved and as he was in his retirement he was very happy for Nikki to take over the reins.
John was extremely proud of what ASK had achieved over the past few years in its effort to gain wider public attention and awareness of the kangaroo industry and of the slaughter of kangaroos for environmental and damage mitigation for non commercial purposes. John has been one of our guiding lights in everything we do from front line action to lobbying.
Earlier this year we advised John that we would be honoured if he would be ASKs patron, of which he accepted and was rather chuffed, and at our AGM in November his patronage was made official.
We were just about to announce this to our members.
Several months ago John donated his entire library of kangaroo books, together with his notes and references to ASK, of which we hope to recreate online in his honour and memory.
His passing is an incredible loss and a great sadness for ASK, but the knowledge and spirit he has passed on will continue to fuel our fight to save the lives of our iconic marsupials in his memory, and his unique expressions and wise advice for overcoming the pitfalls and hurdles in this battle, we will remember in ours.
With the deepest admiration and respect to a great 'kangaroo' man.
ASK would like to thank the following organisations and people:
Voiceless for for funding the ASK SaveAJoey Community Service Announcement and for their dedication, committment and ongoing contribution towards saving the lives of millions of kangaroos.
Brett Clifton for his dedication, time and brilliance in his work for kangaroos and the ASK website. Thanks to Brett we have a fresh new website to show the world what is happening to kangaroos. For more of Brett's work and kangaroo photos visit: www.brettclifton.com or join his "Kanga-a-Day" mailing list.
All the Kangaroo carers, rescuers and activists who have dedicated their lives to save our kangaroos.