WCPT pays tribute to Brian Davey

WCPT has learned of the death of Brian Davey, who served as the WCPT Executive Committee member for the Western Pacific Region (1982-88) and WCPT President (1988-91).

He trained as a physiotherapist in Dunedin, New Zealand, and graduated in 1961. He joined the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) in 1975. He served as President of the NSW Branch of the APA in 1979-80, and later served as National President of the APA in 1980-81. He was awarded the Order of Australia in 1992 for services to physiotherapy.

David Teager, WCPT Past President 1995-99, said: ‘Brian was a dynamic personality who brought forceful leadership to the WCPT. His forthright style was tempered by a sense of humour which helped him drive through the changes in the governance and outreach of WCPT which were effected during his term of office.

‘I remember the pleasure it gave him to personally accompany Prince Phillip at the reception attended by HM Queen Elizabeth, held as part of the 1991 WCPT Congress in London, and to introduce him to the delegates from many counties gathered for the occasion.

‘Brian and Joyce were generous hosts and he often spoke of the support he received from his family that supported him throughout his term of office. We fondly remember them in their loss.’

Marilyn Moffat, WCPT Past President 2007-15, said: ‘Brian was a major force in physiotherapy nationally and internationally for many years and his presence will be missed. His path to physiotherapy was through contact with a practitioner as a result of his rugby playing. He entered the programme at Dunedin and the rest was history.

‘While practicing in his first hospital experience, Brian met Robin McKenzie who asked Brian to work with him after the hospital stint. While ready to do that, Robin then told him of an opportunity to go into a practice for himself which Brian did. His continued interaction with Mckenzie and Mulligan for educational evenings led to further early interactions with Cyriax and Paris (who happened to be a third-year student at Dunedin when Brian was a first-year student) and others leading manual therapy at the time. He eventually wound up practicing in Sydney. It was there that he became involved with the politics of physiotherapy in Australia. That involvement led to his becoming President of the Australian Physiotherapy Association during which time physiotherapists became first contact practitoners.

‘From there he brought his skills to the World Confederation for Physical Therapy in 1988. Brian recognized the need as President to support those countries with the least resources, a philosophy that I strongly embraced twenty years later. He also oversaw a process to enable stronger member organizations to support member organizations geographically near them with lesser resources. Brian was also a major influence in Africa as a result of his WCPT presidency.

‘The physiotherapy world will miss his wonderful presence.’