Katherine Usher

Portrait of Katherine Usher

2017 Early Career Recipient, College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences

Dr Katherine Usher is a project manager of the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ non-tariff measures project team and is an excellent example of a veterinarian following a career path not often chosen by others with her qualification.

As a fourth-generation grazier raised on a historic beef cattle property in northern Queensland, Dr Usher developed a keen interest in animal biosecurity, animal exports, and trade negotiations. Since graduating in 2010, she has been involved with negotiating trade protocols with international authorities and been the veterinarian responsible for disease investigation on Cape York Peninsula and Western Queensland.

Dr Usher was a member of JCU’s first undergraduate veterinary class and subsequently completed a Master of Science (International Animal Health) with distinction at the University of Edinburgh.

She has worked for Biosecurity Queensland as a field officer, where her achievements include leading veterinary teams for Hendra virus occurrences and Johnes disease control in North Queensland; working as the veterinarian in charge of the National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP) sentinel herds in North Queensland, and constructing Queensland’s data submission for Animal Health Australia.

In 2015, Dr Usher moved to the federal sphere where she became a Veterinary Officer in the Export Standards Branch of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. During her time in this position, she was given a pivotal role in a variety of relevant negotiations with countries in Asia, the Americas and the Middle East, and contributed to the development of meat export standards. She also acted as veterinary advisor to Deputy Prime Minster Barnaby Joyce when he met with the German Agricultural Minister in 2016.

Dr Usher was appointed as the Department’s Public Information and Community Engagement Officer for the Australia Rapid Response Team, which was a key role in the handling of national outbreaks and disasters. She was appointed to her current position in the non-tariff measures project team in 2016, where her role includes briefing of SES staff, overseas entities and the Office of the Minister for Agriculture.

Dr Katherine Usher graduated from James Cook University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science.