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North West District Vets are Tops

North West Local Land Services district vet Bob McKinnon and his Tamworth team have been awarded the 2015 Educational Partner of the Year by the University of Sydney's Veterinary School for their contribution to the training of veterinary interns during their extramural rotation in rural public practice.

 The award was presented last week at the NSW District Veterinarians Conference in Sydney. It is bestowed annually on a district vet and their team and is based upon student feedback regarding the value of students' learning experience during their rural public practice rotation. 

"North West LLS hosts a number of final year veterinary students from the University of Sydney, Charles Sturt University and the University of Queensland. Bob and his team really do go the extra mile to mentor and expose students to the duties undertaken by a district vet. It is great to see that Bob's generosity, goodwill and effort is being recognised, said Dr Shaun Slattery, Manager of Biosecurity and Emergency services at North West Local Land Services.

 "The aim of our participation in the University Partner programs is to give students an understanding of the role of Local Land Services district veterinarians within the NSW Government's Animal Biosecurity Service, Dr Slattery explained.

 "As a district vet, my role is different to that of a private practice veterinarian, it's a great opportunity to expose students to what we do and hopefully inspire them to think about becoming a district vet. "Personally, as a student, it was exposure to programs such as TB and Brucellosis eradication and Cattle Tick in Queensland that first stimulated my interest in this field.

 "We know this is a recipe that works, we have eight new district veterinarians now working for the Local Lands Services across the state who had been inspired after having spent time with district veterinarians as final year veterinary science interns.

 "It is always a challenge to attract quality professional staff to regional and rural areas. The hosting of final year students is a great way to expose metropolitan and international students to the North West and all it has to offer," said Dr Slattery.

 This is not the first time North West LLS veterinarians have been recipients of the award; Ted Irwin, district vet at Warialda and Judy Ellem, district vet from Narrabri have also been recognised in the previous two years.

 Media Contact Fiona Cutler 0427662856