New research project asks veterinarians to share data on unpaid work

08 Mar 2024


In collaboration with the University of Melbourne, the AVA launched a survey this week to collect data around the amount of unpaid work being done by veterinarians. This important research forms part of a PhD being carried out by Dr Kristen Steele, AVA Senior Advocacy Officer who hopes to demonstrate and quantify the amount of public good and personal investment that veterinarians do that isn’t compensated.

“Veterinarians are essential for the health and well-being of both animals and humans.  I hope this allows us to demonstrate our important role in the community and assists us in gaining the support we need to be sustainable,” said Dr Steele.

Some examples of this unpaid work might be treatment of wildlife, stray and lost animals, discounted services, school talks, the time spent volunteering on ethics committees, advisory boards, AVA committees or boards, biosecurity, veterinary or nurse student training in private facilities and responding in disaster situations.

The survey can be accessed via this AVA webpage and is broken up into 2 parts – one for individual vets (in any aspect of the profession, not only clinical practice) and one for workplaces such as practices, charities, etc. with vital practice data to put the finances around it.

Please take the time to complete the survey and to forward it on to colleagues who may not be members of the AVA. As an individual vet it will take you 15-20 minutes to complete. The crucial workplace component will take longer to plug in the data or realistic estimates, so make a cup of tea and enjoy making a difference.

All responses are anonymous, and if you need you can keep returning to the survey on the same computer rather than completing it all in one sitting. The data collected will be invaluable in our ongoing advocacy for the profession and lobbying of government for funding towards aspects of this unpaid work.