Now in her third year of study in the Bachelor of Veterinary Science, Christine has put her knowledge and skills to the test with several diverse placements.
“My first placement was at a family-owned dairy operation just outside of Auckland, New Zealand,” Christine says. “It was a great first placement because we got to do and see so much. We saw a vasectomy, we did a lot of foot care, and there were a couple cases of mastitis. They even had some workers there from the Philippines who told us about dairy work in the Philippines as well as Dubai, since they had worked there, too. It was really interesting to hear about the work of veterinarians in other countries.”
From there, Christine took on the monumental task of sheep vaccination in Limestone Downs, New Zealand. “It was a huge operation,” she says. “A couple of girls from our cohort and I drench vaccinated around 4,000 sheep. We were very good at it by the end!”
Being from a city, Christine didn’t have very much prior experience with handling livestock and was quite nervous at the thought of working with cows and sheep. But the staff at each of her placements gave her the guidance she needed to work confidently.
“Everyone was so understanding, especially in the first couple of days when you’re nervous,” Christine says. “Plus, the training that you get at JCU kicks in and you gain that confidence pretty quickly.”
Christine’s most recent placement was with the Cherbon Waters Equestrian Centre. Although she was excited about the experience, she was also nervous about getting back on the horse — literally.
“I was really honest with the people at Cherbon Waters about not really knowing how to ride horses or how to handle them,” Christine says. “I hadn’t been on a horse in ten years, I hadn’t owned a horse before, and I was quite nervous! We do get handling training and experience in our first and second years, which really helps and was super valuable to me because I could go back over my notes beforehand to make sure I was prepared.”
The staff at the Cherbon Waters Equestrian Centre helped Christine find her confidence and made the placement a fun and rewarding experience. “When I got there, they were so accommodating,” she says. “They took the time to give me lessons and were really, really helpful. It was really hot there and they would give us ice blocks and stuff like that after we finished working. They were so lovely! It felt like working with family.”