- Third year Veterinary Science students from Charles Sturt in Wagga Wagga pose for calendar
- The calendar raises money and awareness for the Black Dog Institute
- Pre-orders for the calendar are available now
The annual Off the Leash calendar has become an anticipated way for Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) Veterinary Science students in Wagga Wagga to bare it all for a good cause.
Students look forward to the rite of passage, which has become a major part of the Halfway Festival third year students host to mark the midway point of their six-year degree.
But there is also a very serious reason why two-thirds of the Class of 2020 have bared it all in the chilly Wagga Wagga temperatures.
The class is raising money and awareness for the Black Dog Institute, which advocates for mental health funding and support services.
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science students Miss Laura Wood and Miss Liesel Park are two third-year students who participated.
"All of the students involved were happy to get behind the cause, even if it means stripping down in the Wagga Wagga weather,” Miss Wood said.
"The veterinary industry has a large concern for mental health given vets are four times more likely than the general population to commit suicide, and two times more likely than other health professionals."
Miss Park said while the calendar might be a little bit cheeky, it sends a message that Charles Sturt students are about more than partying and studying.
“It shows we do care about the wider community and it’s definitely important for people to understand that because we are going to be a part of the Wagga Wagga community for the next three years,” Miss Park said.
Miss Park said shooting the calendar, which took place from May until July, was a bonding experience for those involved and all of the students are happy with how the photos turned out.
Organisers are finalising the images and the calendar will be sent to CSU Print for printing soon.
The official launch of the calendar will be at the 3rd Year Class of 2022 Halfway Festival at the end of September.
The calendar is expected to be sold in shops and businesses in Wagga Wagga.Pre-orders are now open and can be made by visiting the Veterinary Students Association shop, creating an account (if you are not a Charles Sturt staff member or student) and placing the order.
To donate without buying a calendar, visit the Off the Leash everyday hero page.
Charles Sturt offers a number of support services to help students with their health and wellbeing, including counselling. To find out more about these services, visit the Health and wellbeing page on the Charles Sturt website.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.