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Industry Internships Off to a Good Start

by 5m Editor
5 April 2011, at 10:58am

AUSTRALIA - Two bright young vets are off to a flying start in developing their careers in poultry, assisted by an Internship from the Poultry CRC. Both will benefit from the financial assistance that an Internship will bring.


James Hannon

Nilhan Fernando

James Hannon was exposed to commercial poultry early in life when he spent time on his grandparents’ free-range farm at Box Hill, NSW. He first studied a Bachelor of Applied Science in Animal Studies at Gatton. “I’ve always cared about animals and their welfare”, he said, when asked what motivated his studies.

After graduating, James decided to continue on with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. He met Dr Rod Jenner (Manager of Veterinary Services for Golden Cockerel) during one practicum and stayed back after class to chat. Armed with an introduction from Rod, James began working part time vaccinating at Laidley farm. “I started with a two-week intensive experience. It was good because it counted toward my studies,” he said. “I enjoyed it because it was very hands on.”

James’ plans for his future include a move to part-time study to allow him to take on a more significant role at Laidley. He will be helping with farm management and performing some of the duties of a leading hand. James would like to specialize in bio-security and flock health. “I would really like to thank Rod for providing good advice over the past few years. Thanks also to the CRC for providing me with this opportunity,” he said.

Nilhan Fernando has two degrees in Vet Science, one from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and one from the University of Melbourne. Nilhan previously worked as a consultant veterinarian to a Poultry Breeder Farm for five years in Sri Lanka, and is also experienced in equine and small animal medicine.

“I believe poultry medicine is a broader discipline where preventive medicine and animal husbandry are a pivotal part of disease management. This makes the poultry industry more challenging than companion animal species,” said Nilhan.

Nilhan has commenced an Internship with Scolexia, under the watchful eye of Dr Peter Scott who will train him further in poultry husbandry and health as part of Scolexia’s plans to mentor more veterinarians into the Australian Poultry Industry.

“It is important to maintain an experienced base of professionals in the Australian Poultry Industry. With the decline of regional veterinary laboratories and other government based agricultural establishments it is necessary for organisations like the Poultry CRC to now take on the important role of facilitating the development and training of people within and entering the poultry industry”, said Dr Scott. “Australia cannot maintain its current high standard and internationally recognised poultry husbandry expertise without an ongoing supply of quality poultry professionals.”