A young vet who loves working with dairy cows is the new district veterinary officer based at Tatura.
Hannah Delahunty, 29, has replaced Chris Werner in the Agriculture Victoria job, and is learning a lot in her new role.
‘‘This job is very exciting to be a part of because it’s about Victoria and protecting Victoria’s agricultural trade, animals and animal products,’’ Dr Delahunty said.
Although her primary role is to look after the wellbeing of animals in the region, Dr Delahunty will also work to protect market accessibility and trade through disease surveillance and studying human health.
After growing up on her parents’ beef cattle farm in Colac, Dr Delahunty said ‘‘mucking around with animals’’ was one of the reasons she wanted to pursue a career as a veterinarian.
Dr Delahunty has experience with a variety of animals, from cats and dogs to pigs and sheep, however, she is especially fond of dairy cattle.
‘‘I really like production animals, mostly the cows.
‘‘I like the dairy cows because there’s much more veterinary involvement ... they have more requirements for veterinary care.’’
Dr Delahunty’s background is in mixed veterinary practice with an emphasis on production animals, which she preferred.
‘‘Production animals have a job to do ... it’s farmers’ livelihoods, so you’re protecting their income and assets.’’
Dr Delahunty studied veterinary science at Murdoch University in Perth.
While she has worked in different roles, spending her graduate years in mixed practice in Mount Gambier before moving back to Perth to work on her fiancé’s family dairy farm, it was her time in New Zealand which remains a career highlight for Dr Delahunty.
‘‘I went for a three-month locum job but ended up staying for a year-and-a-half.
‘‘I moved there when it was sky-high dairy prices. Then when I left, prices were on the decline. I really feel for the guys there at the moment.’’
Dr Delahunty said the experience was ‘‘amazing’’.
‘‘They were screaming out for vets. Milk was valuable so farmers wanted to get the most production.
‘‘It was great to be in an industry that had a lot of money, optimism and enthusiasm.’’
After enduring the snow, sleet and cold weather for long enough, it was time to move to the warm and sunny pastures of northern Victoria.
Dr Delahunty spent a short period in the Goulburn Valley during her university years when she completed some placement work in Shepparton.
She is now settled on a dairy farm just outside Tatura with her fiancé and is looking forward to the future challenges of working as a district veterinary officer.