Message from Chris Walton, CEO Professionals Australia
As 2018 draws to a close, I wanted to make a couple of observations about the veterinary industry and how Professionals Australia and vets might work together to improve the situation as it currently stands.
My first observation is the incredible commitment and skills of the people who have chosen veterinary science as their profession. You are uniformly committed to the quality of the service you provide and take pride in looking after not only the extraordinary array of animals you tend to in your day-to-day work but also the people that are just as much a part of these responsibilities. The vets I have met are determinedly passionate and diligent about the quality of services they provide.
I would also like to pay tribute to the vets who have joined Professionals Australia so far – their efforts are fundamental to establishing a base that we can work with to identify and progress the key issues that will help move the sector forward. It is one thing to be dissatisfied about the disorganised state and status of the veterinary industry but another to step up and work toward the betterment of your profession.
My second observation is a very serious one – while the skills and experience you bring to your work as individuals are broad and highly-developed, the future of the industry and the place of vets in it will rely on your capacity to unite and work together.
This is the only way to ensure your status as professionals is recognised and we can create a sustainable veterinary industry that ensures not only modern, practical and workable business models for the operation of the industry and veterinary practices but, just as crucially, ensures proper recognition and reward for vets.
For us to begin the process of industry reform and gain proper respect, recognition and reward for vets, the first step would be for us to conduct a survey of vets to establish the issues we need to focus on. This is not an empty exercise – it would allow us to identify the key issues, determine the priorities for lobbying around and provide the evidence base to shape a plan that would give voice to your concerns.
The level of commitment from the veterinary community to this first round of consultation will inform the next stage of our work where we look at the types of industry reforms needed to create a strong, vital, fair and sustainable veterinary industry. The level of commitment and engagement by vets in this survey, will make or break whether we can begin the journey toward making a real difference. Make no mistake – we will need a powerful voice to argue for the changes needed.
Along with the interests of the community, professional standards and quality of service, status and reward must clearly be a defining issue for the profession. These challenges can only be met effectively by a profession that is united in its purpose. We need to work with stakeholders across the sector in a collaborative and cooperative way to effect the changes needed.
Thank-you for the extraordinary work you do. I look forward to working with you to meet the challenges ahead. Start by signing up to complete our 2019 survey.
Chris Walton, Professionals Australia CEO