Dr Chris Brown
Lifestyle | Health & Happiness, Media, Hosts/MC's
It’s probably fitting that a day in the life of Dr Chris Brown begins with a 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 to the wildest of wildlife!
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 Honours, Chris took up 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 and islands of the Northern Territory and Queensland 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 that can contract diseases from the dogs.
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 new presenter and vet on 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.
2008 saw no let up in Chris’ schedule. Chris appeared regularly 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.
In 2009 “Bondi Vet” landed on Channel Ten with Chris as host and star of the prime time program. The fast-paced animal series showcases the crises and the characters that emerge at all hours on and beyond Australia’s most famous piece of coastline show, and has been a big hit with its audience; regularly winning its 8pm timeslot nationwide, as well as being nominated for a Logie for Most Popular Factual Program. The book, “Tales from a Bondi Vet”, has also been recently released.
Despite all these commitments however, he remains true to his love of veterinary science, still practicing as a vet in that beachside suburb of Bondi.
Chris is an ambassador for Optimum as well as Assistance Dogs Australia, a charity that aims to increase the independence of people with physical disabilities.
Also part of the Brown family are “Rusty” the failed farm dog, “Houdini” a cat saved from the Bondi surf as well as “Milky” the albino Budgerigar.