The North West’s numerous Camp Drafts and Rodeos are a calendar highlight for locals, visitors, and competitors alike. However, for Veterinary Science students, like Joyce Anita these events are the perfect opportunity to gain invaluable experience.

Joyce has spent the last two weeks in Mount Isa and Cloncurry, assisting with the Mount Isa Campdraft and the Stockman’s Challenge.

Under the watchful eye of local vets and pastoralists, Joyce has been assisting with moving cattle, marshalling the events and caring for livestock.

“I’ve worked with Trevor, he is a local vet in Cloncurry and he has taught me a lot. Sharing information about some of the normal cases he gets in every day.”

Joyce also had the opportunity to stay at Corella Park Cattle Station with the McMillan Family.

“I helped with mustering, pregnancy testing and moving cattle through the yards. It was really good for me to understand all these things, because I had learnt about them but I hadn’t done them.”

“The McMillan Family were great. They were very accommodating and very nice.”

Joyce has always wanted to be a vet and her love for animals and drive to become a vet started at home.

“My dad is a vet. He is the only practicing vet back home on the Solomon Islands. That is what has led me to want to be a vet and take over, but my goal is to work in a rural setting. That is the main reason I wanted to come out here and see all this.”

“It is a good way to get the most out of your experience. You learn a lot and get more hands on experience in the outback.”

Like most students Joyce wasn’t expecting much when she arrived in Mount Isa, but was pleasantly surprised.

 “I was told it was in the outback. I thought there would be nothing, but there are a lot of things out here. Socially – I love it here!”

Whilst this experience has provided her with the necessary large animal hours she requires for her degree, the highlight of her outback adventure has been meeting the friendly locals!

“Meeting the people was really great. They were really courteous, respectful, and helpful.”

Upon completion of her degree with JCU in Townsville, Joyce would like to return to the outback and continue to work in rural and remote communities.

“I would like to own a mix practice out in a rural setting, where I could work with many difference species.”

 By Courtney Quast

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