Home Featured News Warracknabeal Vet services back in action

Warracknabeal Vet services back in action

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• NEW TEAM: Joyce James, Dr Anthony James, Locom Vet Dr Fitzgerald, receptionist Kate Perkins with the resident cat Juliet.

YARRIAMBIACK residents can expect to see veterinarian services back in action after nearly two years in hiatus.
Veterinarian Dr Anthony (Tony) James is committing himself to the practice to serve the community in tending to animals when they need it most.
Dr James studied his Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences at Melbourne University where he received his veteninary degree with honours.
He also studied his masters of Reproductive Sciences at Monash University and Masters in International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law in Scotland at The University of Edinburgh.
The vet’s service will be a general practice for pets including dogs, cats birds and poultry.
The family vet will be renamed ‘Wimmera Mallee Veterinary Services’ where Dr James can conduct blood tests and micro chipping and other general practice services.
Dr James has an interest in greyhounds and livestock including sheep, goats, cattle and horses.
Dr James and his wife Joyce are settling in the quaint town of Rainbow in the Hindmarsh region.
He spent over 20 years all up in Hong Kong and the Middle East in Qatar and has worked in South East Asia.
Dr James said he had the chance to work with 200 primary school students in Cambodia along with another biologist teaching them about Aquaculture.
“Something I was particularly proud of was working with Hope House Charity Cambodia, supporting a primary school educating 200 children in the Buddhist Cambodia.” Dr James said.
He was responsible for advising on the prodution and health of a goat herd tof 100 that brought in funds to assist the school in being sustainable.
“We were educating the kids about aquaculture, some of those kids have now gone on to high school and even university.”
Joyce and Tony found each other at the Chinese Univesity of Hong Kong around late 1999 after Joyce moved to Hong Kong for work from her home in the Philippines.
Joyce was pet sitting cats and dogs for a colleague at the Hong Kong university and ultimately ran into Tony though his work with animals.
She stayed in Rainbow with their children Alanah and Jeremy while Dr James was in Hong Kong University of Technology.
He retired out of the university at age 65 and saw the opportunity to purchase the practice in Warracknabeal.
A change of pace for Dr James, he said he’s excited to start practicing.
Dr James said moving back out to the country to practice as a Veterinarian GP has been a longstanding dream of his.
“I reached 65, so they retired me out of university and I heard about the clinic,” he said.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work across many fields of veterinary sciences.”
He said biological sciences have always intrigued him, setting his sights on veterinary sciences from adolescence.
“Initially for me I enjoyed biology and working with the body and veterinary science was just something that fell naturally my way,” he said.
“In my younger days I was looking at forestry, agriculture and vet science.”
“I remember my physics teacher said to me “you’ll never get into the veterinary sciences”.
“When he said that, I said “well I’ll prove you wrong”.
He said country life and opening a practice has always been on the cards for him.
“It was more of a love of agriculture and a love of rural life and my vision was always going to be a rural practice and it’s just taken me 40 years to get there.”
“This became available, so I thought this wouldn’t be a bad way to spend the rest of my life,” Dr James said.
“I love the district, I’ve been coming to the district since 2005.
He said settling out in rural Victoria with his family is giving their children a more fulfilling education.
“In my heart it’s always been the plan, so it’s fortuitous.
“The kids are getting a better High School education up at Rainbow than like kids get in Melbourne.”
Keen scholar Dr James said he is excited to start practicing, working and learning more about animals.
“I’m a keen dog person, I’ve got three rescue greyhounds,” he said.
Wife Joyce will be helping Dr James out in the clinic.
Her background is education while at the moment she is working as a kindergarten assistant in Rainbow.
She said the country life is growing on her.
“The kids and I really became involved in the community and there’s some work to be done, so far so good,” Mrs James said.
“Everyone is welcoming, friendly and helpful and I couldn’t ask for more, the kids are really happy.”
Locom Vet Roslyn Fitzgerald has been assisting the service while Dr Clarke has been unable to practice.
She is assisting Dr James in his transition period, ensuring the practice is ready for when she leaves to the next practice in a week.
She said it’s important for the public to understand rural GP vets cannot do everything.
She said from her own experience operating solo practices, the hours of a GP and the expectation from the public can sometimes be unrealistic.
“I used to operate sole practices in Yorice Peninsula, Ballina, Charleville and so I’ve been in the situation many times where I’ve had to call it and say this is far beyond us,” Dr Fitzgerald said.
“The pressure of the clients can sometimes be unrealistic as they can expect the Vet to be able to do everything.”
“You’ve got to realise this is beyond the capability of the clinic.”
She said the clients need to realise as a solo vet practice, Dr James can only handle so much at any given times.
“People need to understand what this practice has the safety to do, and if you get for example a broken leg in, it’s not feasible in a practice like this to put a plate in a leg and people need to realise that.
“Once it gets into major intricate procedures, we can’t handle those sorts of situations.”
She said Dr James will be able to provide general veterinarian services to the town and more difficult emergencies can be referred to more suitable clinics.