Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First JCU Vet Class graduates

ABC news report on first crop of Townsville JCU vets


This weekend the first generation of James Cook University veterinary science students will graduate.

The university introduced the course in 2005 in response to the Frawley Review finding that rural Australia was struggling to find vets.

Director of veterinary practices Margaret Reilly says they designed the course to produce the kind of vets regional practices were calling for.

"When we first did design the course we actually listened to what the practitioners out there who are employing these vets actually wanted them to come out with the skills they wanted them to have when they hit the ground on day one".

Ms Reilly says most of the students that apply for the course are from rural regions and most hope to work in a regional practice after graduation.

David Woolaston was offered positions in the vet science courses at both James Cook University and Sydney University but chose Townsville as the lifestyle was more "affordable".

Mr Woolaston thought it was fantastic to have the vet hospital for their practical rotations.

"And we can come any time of day and ask the vets questions and the resources here are great".

Graduate Nicole Rowley found the course even more enjoyable and hands-on than she had imagined.

"It's so rewarding to be able to treat an animal and see it get better or fix problems for farmers, it's been really rewarding".

Most of the graduating class already have job offers, both within Australia and overseas, Ms Reilly says that's partly due to the way the course was designed.

"The fact that these students do want to go to rural areas they are being snapped up very quickly..."

The veterinary science class of 2010 will graduate on Saturday, the ceremony will be held at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre.

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