WRML.2014-03-27. WormBoss and sibs under Paraboss umbrella

To WormMail (WRML) mailing list

‘WormBoss unites with sister sites under ParaBoss’

‘The Sheep CRC has achieved the ambitious targets of providing current, accessible and practical information for effective sheep parasite control through WormBoss, FlyBoss and LiceBoss.

The next phase is a 3-year transition period, supported by Australian Wool Innovation and Meat and Livestock Australia, to establish ParaBoss (Parasite Boss), which will unite the three Bosses.

The CRC has licensed the University of New England (UNE) to manage and develop ParaBoss, which will strengthen connections with industry. ParaBoss will continue to provide information, tools and training on parasite management to sheep producers and industry professionals in the long term.

ParaBoss has recently commenced with the employment of an Executive Officer, Lewis Kahn and an Operations Manager, Deb Maxwell, through UNE.

A steering committee with one representative from each of AWI, MLA, Sheep CRC and UNE as well as an independent parasitologist and the ParaBoss Executive Officer will guide the project. Technical input and guidance will come from a committee of parasitologists and there will be good opportunity for industry involvement.

The three separate web sites will continue, but from next month the newsletter will be renamed ParaBoss News and will cover worms, flies and lice.

Further information on the development of ParaBoss will be provided and the team looks forward to building on the achievements of the Sheep CRC.”


Those who have already subscribed to WormBoss News (because it makes good sense and/or haranguing from the editor of WRML), will have seen the above when the latest issue of WormBoss hit your inbox yesterday.

Congratulations to Lewis Kahn (the current leader of the WormBoss team) and Deb Maxwell (also a WormBoss team member) who have been employed to work for ParaBoss. Doubtless there were other players (my apologies if I haven’t given you due credit), but it would seem that the fact that ParaBoss is now up and running has a lot to do with Lewis.

Also pleasing to hear is that Arthur Le Feuvre, who has done a sterling job of coordinating the monthly WormBoss News, will continue as the coordinator of ParaBoss News which takes over from WormBoss News.

As mentioned above, ParaBoss covers worms, flies and lice, the top three health issues – from an economic viewpoint- of sheep in Australia.

Getting back to Arthur: he was one of a small group (including Maxine Lyndal-Murphy, Deb Maxwell and others), that kicked around the ideas that led to WormBoss. But it was Arthur in particular who drove and championed the idea – and indeed was the first leader (circa 2003?) of the WormBoss team (followed by Rob Woodgate then Lewis) – until WormBoss became a reality (initially in 2005, then again (revamped) in 2011)). I covered some of this history this in a previous WormMail ( ).

WormBoss, as the first-born, paved the way for younger sibs, FlyBoss and LiceBoss.

Others were involved of course, including the various team members, but WormBoss wouldn’t have got a guernsey and on-going support, despite even Arthur’s irresistible championing, if it wasn’t for then Sheep CRC Parasitology Program Manager, Brown Besier, from WA Agriculture. So, as with most worthwhile achievements, there are usually a few people involved (and even solo achievers had mothers ;-).

So, Arthur continues as coordinator of the News, now to become ParaBoss News. That’s good news. 🙂 And now to be a little parochial, the NSW segment (sic) of WormBoss News has been particularly strong and, apart from Arthur’s persuasion and persistence, I put that down to my District Veterinarian colleagues in what is now Local Lands Services, and also to others such as Dr Rad Nielsen, from Veterinary Health Research.

As satisfying as the WormBoss I and II eras were, I am looking forward to the new ParaBoss era. If you like it, please tell those who might influence future funding decisions.

As to the name:

the para part obviously refers to parasite, but I think by accident/serendipitously it could also refer to ‘umbrella’ (an umbrella site for WormBoss, FlyBoss and LiceBoss) – from parasol. (Parasol: a light umbrella. C17, from French; from Italian: parasole: para: ‘protecting against’ + sole: ‘sun’. Oxford Dictionary). Hmm … ParaBoss? – protecting against the boss??


SL, 2014-03-27

I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

( Puns are seldom really funny: but the thought of the groaning at the other end is most gratifying).