Qualifications: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) & Bachelor of Science {BSc (Vet)}

Virginia grew up in Sydney and spent most of her childhood in the horse paddock at the end of her street and looking at things in the garden. She commenced a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at The University of Sydney in 1990. After finishing her third year, the possibility of a research career interested her. To test this out (and take a break from relentless exams), she spent a year away from veterinary science and completed a Bachelor of Science (Vet). This involved a collaborative research project into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (otherwise known as SIDS or cot death) between the Veterinary Physiology Department and the Neonatal Department at King George V Hospital for Mothers and Babies. This valuable year (involving many hours of observing sleeping piglets) gave her a permanent appreciation of how veterinary science can inform and progress human medicine.

Upon graduating from Veterinary Science in 1995, Virginia worked in metropolitan Sydney for several years before relocating to rural northwest NSW with her husband and two small boys. As their family grew, she decided to take an extended break from veterinary work to raise their five children before returning to a part-time job at a mixed rural veterinary practice concentrating on small animal medicine and surgery. In 2015 her family drove across the Nullabor to start a new chapter of life in regional coastal Western Australia. She spent six years working in a small animal practice that also maintained a dedicated focus on birds and wildlife. She was privileged to spend the last three months in WA working as a locum in a bustling small animal emergency clinic before joining the High Street family in February 2021.

“I love being a veterinary surgeon because it brings together many things that I deeply value. Most importantly, being a vet allows me to do my best to alleviate suffering for pets and owners alike on a daily basis. What this looks like in practice is highly varied, which is another wonderful aspect of veterinary life. The scientist in me also loves to be challenged by the truth that no matter how complex or puzzling an illness is, the answer is right there in front of me, held entirely within that little furry (or feathered, or scaled) patient – and all I have to do is figure it out!”

Interest/Hobbies: A great day off for Virginia would involve spending time with her husband, dreaming about home improvements, and buying just one more exciting plant. Away from work, she enjoys bike riding and long-distant running, being part of the music team at her local church, and being involved in kids’ community sport, particularly cricket.

Pets: Traversing Australia twice has sadly meant saying goodbye to various sheep, goats, koi, axolotls, yabbies, and aquarium fish. However, Virginia’s family’s constant travelling companions include, Dug the labrador and Stanley the beagle, who love life in Rockhampton and can’t believe their luck in coming to another beautiful part of Australia.