2017 December - President’s Report

VPB NSW President Mark Simpson

One of the characteristics of my time on the Veterinary Practitioners Board has been the stability of personnel both on the Board and in the Board’s administrative office.  So it is with some sadness that I note that Clare Nathan has resigned from her role in the Board’s office to take on new challenges in IT.  I have valued Clare’s contribution to the Board, and I will miss her dearly.  As is the nature of things though, we now welcome Melanie Robson to the Board’s office and look forward to her contribution to the smooth functioning of the Board. 

This change has recently focussed my attention on the office of the Veterinary Practitioners Board, which is the interface most veterinarians and members of the public will access in dealing with the Board.  While each one of those interactions will focus on a small aspect of the regulatory role the Board carries out, it belies the range and volume of work that comprise the responsibilities of the administrative office of the Board. 

So the amount of work, and its importance, might give the impression to some that there is a vast army of workers who execute the work of the Board.  But it is in fact a small and tightknit team of professionals who are the face of the Board, and the cumulative work they have done administering veterinary legislation has made an enormous contribution to the standing of the veterinary profession in NSW.  I am constantly struck by their passion, and depth of understanding of our profession, and their commitment to its role and respect in the community.  I probably don’t do it nearly often enough but I would like to formally record my gratitude and respect for the efforts of the staff of the Board’s office.

One of those important officers of the Board’s administrative arm is the Hospital Inspector, Glenn Lynch, and I had the pleasure of accompanying him on one of his inspections recently.  This experience crystallised, in my mind, the importance of the Board’s hospital inspection program as a key mechanism in the maintenance of appropriate standards in our state’s registered veterinary hospitals.  

Glenn, in his role as Inspector, provides the “face” of the Board for the vast majority of veterinarians who own or supervise veterinary practices, and as such he is a critical conduit of information on current standards and the expectations of the Board.  Glenn also provides opportunity for the profession to provide direct feedback on the actions of the Board, and his role at the “coal-face” means the Board does not make decisions without consideration to how they affect veterinarians on the ground. 

There can be no doubt that his performance in this role is a major factor that has led to the overall outstanding standards of both the veterinary hospitals and the veterinary profession of New South Wales.

Each Christmas “holiday” season I am struck by the irony that this time of year is probably the busiest for those of us in practice, but I implore you if you can, to take some time to slow down, reflect, spend time with family, and do all those things away from your profession that replenish your reserves of well-being and allow you to return to work refreshed.

On behalf of the members and staff of the Board, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all registered veterinarians in NSW a very merry Christmas, and a happy and safe New Year.

Mark Simpson