A new senior academic position and a network for new veterinary graduates will benefit from a $600 000 financial commitment from the McCaughey Memorial Institute towards veterinary science programs at Charles Sturt University (CSU) over the next five years.
The funds will help create the first joint McCaughey Memorial Institute-CSU Chair in Animal Production, as well as a support network for the University’s new veterinary graduates, who are due to commence graduating in 2010.
“This is the largest financial contribution to date from a single supporter of CSU’s veterinary science program. We are overwhelmed by the generosity shown by the trustees of the Institute,” said CSU Director of Veterinary Science, Professor Kym Abbott.
As a result of the announcement, one of Australia’s leading research scientists in animal production, Dr Peter Wynn, has accepted the inaugural position, commencing in 2008.
A former Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and a senior CSIRO research scientist, Dr Wynn comes to CSU with an active research program in dairy cattle production and extension in Pakistan, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, and two research projects involving endocrinological and food conversion efficiency in pigs, funded by the national Pork Cooperative Research Centre.
“With his very strong record in research and education relevant to the livestock industries, Dr Wynn has identified strong alignment between his interests and those developing at CSU and we are delighted to have him on board in 2008,” said Professor Abbott.
The second project to receive MMI funding aims to develop a web-based support network for CSU graduates in veterinary science, to commence operating in the next three years.
“Many new graduates will require considerable support during their transition into busy clinical veterinary practices and this can be particularly challenging for rural veterinary practice, due to remote locations and reduced opportunity for case referral,” Professor Abbott said.
In preparation for the first CSU veterinary science graduates in 2010, CSU will develop an online postgraduate support service to provide timely, accurate and relevant information to its graduates.
The McCaughey Memorial Institute is an Australian philanthropic trust established by the McCaughey family in 1945 as a memorial to two family members killed in World War II - Samuel Michael McCaughey and David MacPherson. Its core asset was part of Coree Station, near Jerilderie in southern NSW.
The trust funds agricultural research and aids in the education of the future agriculturalists for Australia by supporting universities to start relevant, innovative agricultural courses. One project led directly to developing assisted reproduction techniques and many researchers involved in the project became world famous in the field of IVF in humans.
MMI also funds a number of undergraduate scholarships and in the past has funded postgraduate scholars and research into plant breeding and genetic markers.