Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Established in March 1909, the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne was Australia’s first university veterinary school. The school’s first students transferred from the private Melbourne Veterinary College in Fitzroy, South Australia.
William Tyson Kendall, MRCVS1 is considered the founder of the veterinary profession in Australia. Dr. Kendall opened the Melbourne Veterinary College in 1888, and ran the school until it closed in 1909. Between 1888 and 1909, the college graduated 61 students. After his school closed, Dr. Kendal taught at the University of Melbourne until 1918.
In 1906, Belle (Isabelle) Bruce Reid, GMVC2 was the first and only woman to graduate from the Melbourne Veterinary College. Margaret Keats, MBE3, BVSc4 was Australia’s first woman to earn a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree, graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1923.
The University of Melbourne’s veterinary school graduated veterinarians until 1928. After that, students took only their first year at the University of Melbourne, completing their veterinary degree at the University of Sydney. In 1963, the Melbourne School of Veterinary Science reopened in response to requests from Victoria’s animal industries to the State Government for more locally-trained veterinarians. Douglas Blood, OBE5, BVSc4, MVSc6, FACVSc7 was appointed founding dean to reopen the veterinary school. Dr. Blood stepped down as dean after six years, but stayed on as a professor until he retired in 1985.
The first class of the Melbourne School of Veterinary Science graduated in 1967, with 38 students. Thirty-three were male. The Class of 2008 was the first to have more than 100 veterinary students. Of the 110 graduates, 95 were women.
1 Member, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
2 Graduate, Melbourne Veterinary College
3 Member of the Order of the British Empire
4 Bachelor of Veterinary Science
5 Order of the British Empire
6 Master of Veterinary Science
7 Fellow of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists