The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) has announced that Dr Kate Hill has been appointed as its new President.

Qualified as a veterinarian from the University of Queensland, Dr Hill worked in the United States for seven years before moving to New Zealand in 2005 to work at Massey University. She has a PhD from Massey University and is a registered specialist in small animal internal medicine.

Dr Hill has been involved with the NZVA since 2006, serving on the Companion Animal Veterinarians (CAV) continuing education advisory committee, the CAV Committee (2007-2014), and the Companion Animal Health Foundation (now Healthy Pets) as a trustee (2012-2018). In 2016, she was awarded the CAV Annual Service Award.

She has been on the NZVA Board since 2018 and was elected president by her fellow Board members at the May 2022 meeting.

Dr Hill will take over from outgoing NZVA President, Dr Grant McCulloch, who over his three-year tenure, has helped NZVA to embed the changes from the Change project, has guided the association through a global pandemic, and a world veterinary labour shortage.

“It’s been a turbulent time in the world and in the veterinary space, so it’s more important than ever that we work together and talk over issues to get the solutions we need,” Dr Hill told Pet Industry News.

“There is a huge shortage of veterinarians worldwide, so all veterinarians are overworked. Pet owners can help through understanding that veterinarians are trying their hardest.”

Dr Hill highlighted the ‘Your Vet Cares’ campaign, which is an online platform designed as a place for Australians and New Zealanders to show love and support for all the valued veterinarians out there.

When it comes to offering up advice to aspiring veterinarians, Dr Hill said they should speak to as many people as they can from within the industry.

“Spend time in your local veterinary practice. Spend time working with people and the public as much as you can to help your communication skills,” she said.

“Good communication and collaboration is key. Now is the time to work together in a collegial manner, with open two-way communication to continue to benefit all NZVA members and ultimately the entire veterinary profession. We are stronger together.”

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