In an important step forward for rural and regional Australia, Charles Sturt University (CSU) in NSW is set to become the only provider of veterinary science graduates outside the metropolitan centres.
Approval for the inclusion of Veterinary Science to CSU’s course profile in 2005 has been granted by the Federal Minister for Education Dr Brendan Nelson after lengthy exploration of the proposal between the University, government and other stakeholders including industry and professional bodies.
“The decision to proceed with Veterinary Science is about ensuring there is into the future, a regular supply of veterinary science graduates trained to meet the specific needs of rural practice with particular emphasis on livestock medicine,” said CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Goulter.
“CSU demonstrates that those trained in the country are retained as professionals in the country. This decision, giving us the green light on Veterinary Science, is credit to our success in this area, as seen in physiotherapy, pharmacy and speech pathology,” he said.
It is vital that there is an adequate provision of veterinarians outside metropolitan Australia. With the National Herd Protection a Commonwealth priority, Australia must have the ability to respond to any exotic disease outbreak in the livestock industry and wildlife population.
Professor Goulter stated the Federal Member for Riverina Kay Hull, Dr Nelson and the Federal Minister for Agriculture Warren Truss must be praised for their hard work to ensure that the University will have the opportunity to train veterinary science graduates.
He also cited the NSW Minister for Agriculture Ian Macdonald for being extremely supportive of CSU in its application for this program.
The new Veterinary Science program at CSU will draw on staff and resources from the existing Faculty of Science and Agriculture and the Faculty of Health Studies. CSU is also looking forward to working with regional veterinarians to ensure the students have extensive professional experience.
Based on CSU’s Wagga Wagga Campus, the six year Veterinary Medicine degree will have strengths in livestock medicine, health and production as well as small companion animal medicine, wildlife health, equine medicine, surgery and exercise physiology.