President’s update – August 2022

02 Aug 2022

Image (L - R): ASAV president Dr David Lee and AVA president Dr Bronwyn Orr


It’s been a busy couple of months since I took up the presidency in late May 2022. With the threat of several Emergency Animal Diseases (EADs) on our doorstep, the AVA has been working hard to ensure veterinarians are involved in every step of the process, including planning, surveillance, and response. We have written to all state, territory and national CVOs requesting updated funding agreements based on the National Guidelines, to ensure private veterinarians engaged in any EAD response are fairly compensated. We have also been attending joint industry-government meetings on Lumpy Skin Disease and Foot and Mouth Disease in Canberra to ensure any revisions of these AUSVETPLAN chapters are evidence-based and include veterinarians. Additionally, we have been working alongside the ACV and SCGV SIGs to request funding for an EAD symposium for veterinarians to take place in late-November, to ensure veterinarians have the most up-to-date information and training.

With plenty of media interest in EADs and Australia’s veterinary response, we have been advocating for longer term investment in the profession from government, including incentives for rural veterinarians and veterinary practices. A series of bilateral meetings between the AVA and industry groups like the NFF and AMA, government departments like DAFF, and MPs including crossbench senators are taking place the week commencing 1st August in Canberra. We are unapologetic about advocating for AVA members and will be seeking funding commitments for the profession ahead of federal budget in October 2022, to attempt to correct the decades of underinvestment in the profession by government.

Face-to-face conferences are back and proving to be a hit among delegates. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several conferences in Australia and New Zealand over the last couple of months, and it’s been wonderful seeing colleagues again after a two- to three-year hiatus. While COVID still remains a threat to manage during these events, the benefits of in-person networking and learning are more valuable than ever.

Image (L - R): New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) president Dr Kate Hill, NZVA immediate past president Dr Grant McCullough and AVA president Dr Bronwyn Orr

The AVA has several large projects underway currently. An update of our organisation’s constitution is overdue, and we will be seeking member feedback on proposed areas for update in the coming months. Our constitution acts as the primary agreement between members and the organisation, so it’s important the document remains current, valid and fit-for-purpose. We will also see an increase in resources for both the THRIVE initiative and Chartered Veterinary Practitioner (CVP) program in August, with both projects set to deliver real value for AVA members.

It's been a privilege to serve as president over the last couple of months and I look forward to continuing to help drive the AVA forward as we advocate, educate, support, and enrich our member’s professional lives.