VBB Student Chapters
The University of Queensland VBB Student Chapter
The University of Queensland Vets Beyond Borders Student Chapter was created in 2010 to facilitate opportunities for veterinary students to volunteer in teams with Non Government Organizations (NGO‟s). Previously, as a student, obtaining a volunteering position on an overseas project prior to the completion of the veterinary science degree was challenging. The partnership with Vets Beyond Borders Incorporated (VBB) was forged so students could have guidance and involvement with a successfully established and well-respected animal welfare and public health organization. Additionally, the development of a framework for student volunteer trips will make opportunities easily accessible for students to volunteer overseas, network with experienced veterinarians in this field and collaborate with other vet schools in developing areas to improve public awareness and education.
The UQ VBB student chapter aims to be recognized as an effective and beneficial contributor to the running of VBB projects. It will also be seen by the UQ veterinary school as a valuable tool for forming links with international students and faculty. It will increase the scope for UQ to allow short term exchange experiences for local and international students and collaboration on research projects undertaken by UQ and its partner universities.
The UQ Student chapter will be the first of its kind in Australia. It will set the standard for future VBB Student Chapters by operating in a dynamic way and with a high level of professionalism and compassion. On the small scale it will assist in encouraging a culture of compassion, generosity and equality within the UQ veterinary school. It will allow students to use the skills they are developing within their degree for the benefit of others and for a cause they are passionate about. It will also create an effective link for networking with veterinary professionals locally and overseas so that knowledge, experience and guidance within the field of public health and development can be passed down to less experienced students and new graduate veterinarians.
The development and progression of the UQ student chapter will prompt other universities in Australia and in international veterinary schools to also form student chapters that will work towards similar goals. The UQ student chapter will be looked to as a guide to the effective running of a student chapter and for fresh and innovative ideas.
Participation on an annual student volunteer trip that the student chapter will organise will be highly sought after by many students from the veterinary and applied science degrees. Through the undertaking of student volunteer trips strong ties with international veterinary students and academics will be formed. This will create opportunities for employment after graduation and collaboration on research projects not only in the areas of public health, animal welfare and biosecurity but also in the study of conservation; the roles veterinarians can play in community development and small scale agricultural and animal control projects.
The student chapter will eventually expand to utilize the passions, abilities and skills of other students from agricultural and animal science based degrees. It will encourage like minded students from other faculties within UQ to collaborate to assist in the support of education, compassion and funding of projects like what VBB and associated NGO‟s are undertaking. It will also harness the knowledge of academics from across multiple fields, from veterinary science to community development and social science.
Student members will take part in board approved activities to raise awareness about the work of VBB and like minded NGO's. Membership also includes opportunities for students to gain experience and assist in the running of aid projects. Members will also be involved in public education provision of resources and forming partnerships with other veterinary schools.
Rebecca Traub BSc BVMS (Hons) PhD from the University of Queensland, will act as academic patron for 2010. VBB project manager Dr Helen Byrnes will be advisor and point of guidance in regards to all VBB issues.
More on the chapter can be found at UQ Student Chapter Information.
Sydney University's VBB Student Chapter
Sydney University’s Vets Beyond Borders Student Chapter (SUVBB) was founded on November 2010. Established by a small group of tenacious young vet students determined to get involved in outreach programs within Australia and beyond, we became the second VBB student chapter in Australia. Our aim is to represent the University through partnerships with other vet schools in developing communities to improve veterinary education in public health and animal welfare. We encourage and develop volunteer opportunities on veterinary health projects domestically and internationally and hope to make a tangible impact on the development of animal welfare and community health programmes.
In 2011, we were very happy with a successful inaugural year adding 30 new memberships! We were delighted to welcome visits from various members of VBB including Peter Howe, Catherine Schutze, Mandy Lamkin, and Luana Ferrara to talk to members of the chapter about VBB, their mission and volunteer opportunities. From our bake sales to our Trivia Night fundraiser events, SUVBB was able to donate support to VBB and several other non-for-profit organizations such as SPCA Fiji, Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), and RSPCA Australia. We are also proud to be an active participant in Sydney University’s 2011 Humanitarian Week, celebrating and raising awareness about global unity and raise money for VBB.
Although most of our work concentrates at the University of Sydney, our efforts reached beyond our campus. SUVBB’s voice was also heard at the annual Pet Fair, which took place in Camden in 2011. For the first time in 2011, we also collaborated on fundraising events with the student chapters of UQ and the University of Melbourne to raise funds and awareness for World Rabies Day 2011 for Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC).
We have high hopes for the future of SUVBB in years to come. We will continue our efforts to fundraise and create awareness of our cause and will remain working hard to recruit like-minded veterinary students with the passion for sharing and collaborating knowledge and skills to better the veterinary profession worldwide.