We caught up with Alyse to hear about how her background in agriculture has influenced her ambitious career goals, and how she ultimately wants to give back to her community and industry.
Tell us a bit about your background and your passion for horses?
I was incredibly lucky to have the childhood I did. My family are commercial beef cattle farmers and growing up in that environment I learnt so many things about livestock, management, and general care of animals. If I wasn’t playing sports, or doing other extracurricular activities, you could find me riding my horse and mustering the cattle.
I have loved horses for as long as I can remember. Even before I had my first pony, I would set up pretend cattle yards with blocks and pretend I was riding my horse around the yards. I had my first Shetland pony when I was six years old and oh boy did I learn to hang on! I have learnt so many things from working horses over the years and hope that at some stage I can impact some of their lives as much as they have impacted mine.
Our property is at Darr Creek, in regional south west Queensland. I’d say my education was a little different to most people, I had a 30-minute bus ride to our tiny 13 student primary school (at one stage it was down to six students), then moved onto a 500 student high school, a further hour up the road. And now I’m amongst thousands of people at The University of Queensland.
Your love of horses and life on the land are obvious, and you are now well on your way to completing a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at The University of Queensland. What was it that drew you to pursue a career as a vet?
I think the things I am passionate about in life stem from growing up on the land and, in some way or another, they all interlink with the veterinary profession, so I guess you could say studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Science was always on the cards.
In the veterinary field my passions lie in reproduction and the equine athlete, but as a rural vet
I hope to continue to learn more about agriculture more generally, and pursue some of my other interests, which include cropping and sustainability.
I have been very fortunate throughout my education to be surrounded by many inspiring individuals and I am eager to learn and give back to my community. I think the best piece of advice I have received is to “take every opportunity that comes your way”.
My university studies have provided me with a range of opportunities to work on some really interesting research projects, volunteer for industry conferences, including the Australasian Veterinary Student Conference and UQVETS Equine Practitioners Conference and learn from some of the greatest specialists in the equine veterinary profession. I am also working as a veterinary nurse while studying full-time. This has given me hands on experience throughout my degree.