Margie Bale’s career has taken some unexpected turns. Turns which have led her to being one of Australia’s only camel veterinarians.
From working as a mixed practice vet north of Brisbane, to a stint in rural England, to working in Emerald and becoming a cattle vet, Margie found her calling when she started working for producers and farmers.
“I realised that agriculture is where it’s at for me – these are my people! The industry is progressive, driven by doing the best for the animals and improving the bottom line. Producers want good information that can help their animals and I’ve always felt supported working as a woman in agriculture,” said Margie.
Margie made the very unique transition from cattle to camels. She was working at the University of Queensland clinic and was contracted to be an on-call vet at the Brisbane Ekka – looking after everything from turkeys to goats and cows – when she was asked by someone starting a camel milk dairy if she had any experience with camels.
“I’d worked with alpacas, who are camelids too, and the odd camel plus my main interest then was in dairy medicine and surgery so I thought to myself, ‘I can make this work’. It was a matter of taking the best practice I’d learned working with cattle and applying it to camels. It’s not where I imagined ending up, but here I am working full-time with camels!”