Edwin Devereaux

Edwin Phillip Devereaux


Edwin Devereaux was a normal, everyday Australian who became a leader, a statesman and arrived at legendary status. It was in his retirement years that he, Brian O’Reilly and John Cice 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).

In his early working life, Ed was engaged as an organiser for one of the largest trade unions in Australia. Politics was his interest, and so made many connections with political leaders and contemporaries, both state and federal. Ed in 1969 whilst still a student, assisted in the preparation of the motion to recommend 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 was initiated.

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. 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 UCAA from 1975 to 1990. He guided the Australian trained chiropractors through the ropes of standardisation, legislation, and recognition. 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’.

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 became an honorary Life Member of the CAA and the Chiropractic and Osteopathic Association of Australia. He saw the big picture and had the foresight to see what the profession needed for the benefit of the public to better access its services.

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. The ‘Edwin Devereaux Award’ was struck by the Sydney College of Chiropractic in 2004 in his honour. Sadly, Ed passed away in June 2022.

Edwin Devereaux was particularly keen to place on record the journey of chiropractic education in Australia, its origins, development and the ensuing recognition of the profession.