Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- The modern Melbourne Veterinary School is part of the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne. The veterinary school’s heritage dates back to 1909 when it opened as Australia’s first university veterinary school. The school’s first students transferred from the private Melbourne Veterinary College in Fitzroy, South Australia.
Dr. William Tyson Kendall is considered the founder of the veterinary profession in Australia. Dr. Kendall opened the private 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. Kendall taught at the University of Melbourne until 1918.
In 1906, Belle (Isabelle) Bruce Reid, was the first and only woman to graduate from the Melbourne Veterinary College. Margaret Keats was Australia’s first woman to earn a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree, graduating from the University of Melbourne's veterinary school 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 the early 1960s, the University of Melbourne's veterinary school reopened in response to requests from Victoria’s animal industries to the State Government for more locally-trained veterinarians. Dr. Douglas Blood was tasked with re-establishing the school and was appointed founding dean in 1962. He stepped down as dean after six years, but stayed on as a professor until he retired in 1985. Dr. Blood passed away in June 2013 at the age of 93.
The Class of 1967 was the first class of veterinarians to graduate from the newly reopened University of Melbourne’s veterinary school. Of the 33 graduates in 1967, five were women. The Class of 2008 was the first to have more than 100 veterinary students. Of the 110 graduates in 2008, 95 were women. Today, each class has 130 students.