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All creatures great and small

Posted on : 13 November 2017

In the words of one of the most famous country veterinarians, James Herriot,
 “Animals are unpredictable things so our whole life is unpredictable. It’s a long tale of little triumphs and disasters and you’ve got to really like it to stick to it.”

With high hopes and aspirations, ten Rural Scholarship recipients will be enjoying the triumphs and experiencing the disasters of life as a veterinarian with thanks to the RAS Foundation (RASF). Universities offer 1029 students the opportunity to enrol to study Veterinary Science in New South Wales each year, with a total cost in excess of $250,000 for a degree with a starting salary of $44,053 upon graduation.

It is a massive commitment, financially and time-wise, and more often than not requires a shift from home (two universities in NSW offer the course – Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga and the University of Sydney).

The RASF is assisting students relocating from hometowns including Wollomombi (864 kms), Narooma (433 kms), Cobar (530 kms), Kandos (468 kms) and even Penrith (456 kms) to study at Charles Sturt University. Apart from distance, all have one other thing in common –the determination to contribute to rural NSW and regional communities as a country vet.

With fifteen percent of the RASF Rural Scholarships awarded to Veterinary Science students, and thirteen percent going to Medical Science students, it is fair to conclude that many did pay attention to Dr James Herriot when he advised,

“I hope to make people realise how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs.”