Robert Johnson

Graduate Robert Johnson
  • Studied: Vet Science
  • Now works as: Official Veterinarian, Royal Agricultural Society and President of the Unusual and Exotic Pets Group

Robert Johnson has been a veterinarian "for longer than the Bondi Vet but not quite as long as Dr Harry" having graduated from the University of Sydney in 1977 where he saw Vietnam draft resistors arrested on campus, gay liberation campaigns and a Madam Lash concert on the front lawn.

These days he runs a small animal, wildlife and reptile practice in Penrith with his wife Jane who is also a veterinarian. While this would be enough work for most people, Robert also works as a clinical veterinarian at Taronga Zoo, treating everything from elephants to echidnas.

Robert’s relationship with the University of Sydney has remained close since his days as a student 35 years ago, hosting practical students at his clinic and acting as a mentor to third year students.

Robert is President of the Unusual and Exotic Pets Group and a Policy Advisory Council member as part of the Australian Veterinary Association. He is also Official Veterinarian for the Royal Agricultural Society and a lecturer in wildlife and reptile medicine at James Cook University. Relaxation from this hectic schedule involves listening to the blues, drawing cartoons and hanging out with his skink "Spike" and carpet python "Cecil".

At the time of writing, Robert is in Fiji relocating 100 critically endangered wild Fijian Crested Iguanas as part of a Taronga Conservation Society project. Given the incredible range of species Robert has worked with throughout his career, this sort of challenge could be seen as just another day in the office!