Vet Student, Callum Bennie

Callum Bennie, University of Sydney

Michelle Gray and Carl Hartnett, both of whom serve as the backbone of the EHF clinic, for their guidance during my 2 week stint in the Cook Islands. My exceptional experience was, in no small part, due to their dedication to the clinic and their local knowledge.

I am in awe of the work being accomplished by the EHF and the wide-reaching implications of this work for both animals and people alike in the Cook Islands. I relished the opportunity to be a part of the Esther Honey team, making a tangible difference on Rarotonga, albeit for such a brief period of time. My experience with the EHF has planted the desire to grasp as many volunteer opportunities as possible in the future and I hope to return to the EHF as a graduate.

As a vet student, this volunteership provided me with the ultimate opportunity to cement much of the theory learnt in the lecture theatre by putting it into practice. From day one I was involved with consults for animals brought to the clinic by locals, care of in-patients and resident animals, performing routine desex surgeries and monitoring anaesthesia for more complex procedures.

My time on Rarotonga would not have been the same were it not for my fellow volunteers – a more brilliant bunch I have never met! Working alongside my colleagues was an absolute pleasure and I, too, owe them many thanks for making my 2 weeks so memorable.

In summary, I cannot recommend volunteering with the EHF highly enough – please expect many more Sydney University vet students in the future!

~ Callum Bennie, University of Sydney