It’s probably fitting that a day in the life of Dr Chris Brown begins with riding the surf at one of Sydney’s beaches. The unpredictability of the waves is matched only by the day that lies ahead. For once he hits the sand and swaps the surfboard for the stethoscope, Chris could be tending to anything and everything in the animal world from the smallest of city-slicker pets to the biggest of bovines.
Chris’s knowledge of animals is as much instinctive as it is taught. Growing up in the suburbs of Newcastle with his father as the local vet, it’s easy to see why Chris’s four legged brothers and sisters far outnumbered the human variety. The backyard played home and ‘hospital ward’ to everything from chickens to ducks, koalas, kangaroos, horses, cows and a donkey as well as the more standard dogs, cats and birds. Chris even had a pet penguin for six months! However, it was the sudden decline of his dog and best mate, “Claude”, that convinced him he had to become a vet. “I was 17 at the time and it really shook me up. I wanted to know everything about the heart condition that killed him. It showed me that I not only cared immensely for them but that I was also fascinated by how they work and how to keep them healthy.”
After graduating from Sydney University with First Class Honors, Chris accepted an offer to work in a clinic on Sydney’s north shore. Yet, despite a busy schedule, he still managed to find time to travel to remote Aboriginal communities in the deserts of the Northern Territory to improve the health of animals that had never seen, let alone been treated by a vet. Despite the extreme temperatures and basic conditions, Chris still regularly visits and conducts research in these areas, drastically improving the health of the animals as well as the local Aboriginal people.
Three years into his veterinary life, Chris was spotted by an agent in a pub telling stories over a few beers in a pub in Mosman, Sydney. A screen test with Seven Network was the result and two weeks later, Chris began filming as the new vet on “Harry’s Practice”. His impact was immediate and soon found nominated for a Logie award for “Most Popular New Talent” at the 2004 TV Week Logie Awards.
In March, 2004, Chris accepted an exciting offer to become the host vet on Australia’s Channel Nine’s ‘Burke’s Backyard’ program where he worked alongside the pioneer of lifestyle television Don Burke.
In October 2005 Chris released his first book, “The Family Guide to Pets”, through Murdoch Books. The book which has sold over 25,000 copies was written to help people make the right decision when choosing a pet; while showing them how to have some fun along the way.
In 2010, Chris became a regular guest panelist on Network Ten’s talk show The Project and he is also a fill in host for Charlie Pickering.
Chris continues to serve as a regular on Channel Nine’s “Today” show as well as a presenter on Nine’s “Talk to the Animals” and was part of “Burke’s Backyard” comeback specials. Chris also writes the very popular Pet Page in Woman’s Day; Australia’s number one weekly magazine and finds time to appear on radio stations such as Triple M and Vega. Chris also works extensively in the corporate world most particularly as a corporate ambassador for the well known “Purina” pet care brand.
Despite all these commitments however, he remains true to his love of veterinary science, still practicing as a vet in the beachside suburb of Bondi.
Chris is an ambassador for Assistance Dogs Australia, a charity that aims to increase the independence of people with physical disabilities.