Dr Alison Wardman
Sentient Veterinary Member
I graduated in 2008 from The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science as a mature aged student (32 at graduation). Prior to this I had obtained a Bachelor of Arts straight out of High School. Before I was a Veterinarian, I worked as a Veterinary Nurse (equine and small animal), a racetrack strapper, and as a High School English Teacher, amongst many other jobs.
Upon graduation I went into mixed practice in NSW for 5 years, then moved to the Hawkesbury and worked as a small and mixed practice locum. I have recently commenced a casual position at The Sydney University Veterinary Teaching hospital working in the General Medicine department, which I really love. I find the enthusiasm of the students to be infectious and it is a great learning environment for myself as well, being exposed to so many specialists and residents in one clinic. I aim to be a positive and encouraging teacher, and I strive to improve my own knowledge so that I can foster excellence in the students, as well as provide the best care possible to my patients and clients. I am planning to sit my small animal medicine membership exams in the near future.
I am interested in all animals, having owned many different species myself. I currently have 7 dogs, 2 extra foster dogs, 2 cats, 5 ferrets, a horse and some poultry. I became interested in ferrets a few years ago when a stray ferret was brought in to the clinic. Since then I have started a rescue group (Ferret Rescue NSW) with some friends, and I now do the Veterinary work for this group. I am learning a lot about this species and look forward to gaining more expertise in the future. My other passion is small dogs - I have rescued a few neurological Chihuahuas over the years and this has been interesting and rewarding.
My interest in animal welfare started during my work as an occasional casual Vet for the NSW RSPCA over the last few years. I find the process of building a good thorough referenced case report for the court very interesting. It is extremely satisfying to feel that with my Veterinary Evidence I can improve the welfare of some animals. A visit with the RSPCA to a property is usually more about education than prosecution. I might discuss general husbandry and health care requirements with an animal owner, and then give some written directions and time to comply with them. If an owner fails to comply with my recommendations, then we build a case for prosecution. I have seen a rabbit hoarding case, a ferret breeder who was over-stocked, and various horse cases. I was once served dinner at a restaurant by a lady whom I had given evidence against in court – that was very confronting and I was worried that maybe I shouldn’t be eating my dinner, but luckily I remained well after consuming the food!
The two main welfare issues I would like to see addressed (amongst the multitudes to choose from in Australia) are the humane re-location of Brumbies and a ban on live animal export. I believe if Veterinarians work together as one voice we can be successful in lobbying local and federal government to enact change. This is the reason I am a member of Sentient – to give my voice to these issues and others.