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Barraba part of scheme to boost rural vet numbers.



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Sandy Macdonald The Nationals Senator for NSW Deputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate 9 F e b r u a r y 2 0 0 5

Barraba part of scheme to boost rural vet numbers

The Barraba Veterinary Clinic will host a scholarship recipient under a program to increase the number of vets in rural Australia, NSW Nationals Senator Sandy Macdonald announced today.

The AQIS Rural Veterinary Bonded Scholarship Program provides a selection of Veterinary Science students with financial assistance in their final year of study, as well as initial employment after university.

“The Australian Government-funded program will help boost the number of vets in rural areas by providing graduates with paid work experience in regional Australia with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), where their skills and experience can make a dramatic difference,” Senator Macdonald said.

Dr Beth Stewart, a Veterinary Science graduate from the University of Queensland will undertake an 11-month AQIS-funded work experience program based at the Barraba Veterinary Clinic from late January 2005. Dr Stewart is one of six graduates to benefit from this scheme.

“Congratulations to Dr Stewart on her success and I am sure that both the experience and knowledge she gains from this program will provide a strong base to develop her veterinary career,” Senator Macdonald said.

“Dr Ben Gardiner and the team at the Barraba Veterinary Clinic are to be congratulated for taking part in this scheme, bringing new vets and their professional skills to rural Australia.”

As part of the 11-month work program, on-the-job development will include full employment with AQIS while working in the private veterinary practice. Scholarship holders will also take part in a comprehensive professional development program to enhance their grasp of animal health issues.

This Scholarship Project Team will ensure participants spend four to six weeks at a variety of government agencies, including at an AQIS-accredited export plant, working with a government veterinary officer and the opportunity to undertake exotic animal disease training at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong.

To assist the new vets to grow and develop in their chosen career, a mentoring program ensures regular contact with a senior veterinary officer to share professional skills and experience.

Further information on the AQIS Rural Veterinary Bonded Scholarship Program can be obtained by emailing VetsScholarship@aqis.gov.au.

Media Contact: Rachel Kingsford Smith 6277 3705