It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Edwin Devereaux on the 11thJune at Brian King Gardens, Castle Hill at the age 89.
Edwin Devereaux was a normal, everyday Australian who became a leader, a statesman and arrived at legend status. It was in his retirement years that he, Brian O’Reilly and I recorded the history of Chiropractic education in Australia in a book titled Pathway to a Profession Chiropractic in Australia, from Sydney College of Chiropractic (SCC) to Macquarie University (MU). It was here that I had the fortune to learn a great deal of insight into this man.
In his early working life, Ed was engaged as an organiser for one of the largest trade unions in Australia, which he represented at the NSW Trades and Labour Council and at conferences of the NSW Branch of the Australian Labour Party. Politics was his interest, having made many connections with political leaders at the time, both state and federal. Ed in 1969 whilst still a student, assisted in the preparation and support of the motion recommending the establishment of an inquiry into chiropractic to the NSW branch of the Australian Labor Party. The motion was carried and The Teece Inquiry was initiated. Furthermore, on the establishment of the Whitlam Labor Government, Ed obtained support from leading members of the Federal Labor Government for a motion to be put to the Annual Conference of the Federal Labour Party for an inquiry into chiropractic and osteopathy. The motion was carried and the Federal Webb Inquiry initiated.
Ed’s interest in physical therapy came from his athleticism which led him to the study of natural therapies at the Academy of Natural Healing under Simon Schott, and later at the Sydney College of Chiropractic and Osteopathy, Ashfield. Upon graduation in 1971, Ed established a very successful practice attending to numerous patients, young and old and a myriad of sports men and women of the various sporting codes, including the Paramatta Eels. At that time, he started teaching at the Sydney College of Chiropractic. From 1977 he became a director of the Sydney College of Chiropractic Council and soon after its chairman. He also was a member of the NSW Chiropractors and Osteopaths Registration Board since its inception in May 1979 and President of that Board from 1991 to December 2000.
In the history of Chiropractic profession in Australia, Ed Devereaux was integral in unifying state associations into one federal body, namely the Australian Federation of Chiropractors which soon after amalgamated with the United Chiropractors Association of Australasia (UCAA). Dr Devereaux went on to become the President of the United Chiropractors Association of Australasia since 1975 to 1990. He guided the Australian trained chiropractors through the ropes of standardisation, legislation, and recognition.
It was in 1990 that the great amalgamation of the UCAA and the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) occurred to become known as the Chiropractors Association of Australia (CAA). Dr Devereaux was the founding Co-President and held many positions within the CAA Board. He saw the big picture and had the foresight to see what the profession needed for the benefit of the public to better access their services.
Dr Devereaux was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 1983 for ‘his services to medicine, especially in the field of chiropractic health care’ on Australia Day 26 January 1983. He was an honorary Life Member of the Chiropractors Association of Australia and Chiropractic and Osteopath Association of Australia. In 1997 he was awarded Chiropractor of The Year by CAA (NSW) and was also awarded a Fellow of the International College of Chiropractors (FICC). In 1999 he was awarded the United States of America Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards highest award: The Dr George Ardvison Award for services to chiropractic licensure and in 2001 he was awarded the Knox Medallion from the Sydney College of Chiropractic. The ‘Edwin Devereaux Award’ was struck by the Sydney College of Chiropractic in 2004 in his honour.
Dr Edwin Devereaux AM was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from Macquarie University on Friday 13 April 2012.
Ed is survived by his wife Val, his children Phillip, Karen and Linda, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
We thank you Ed, for your guidance and your service.