I am grateful to have grown up in an era where as a young girl I was told I can be and do anything. For me, there was never any doubt. The environment, the welfare of its animal inhabitants and the conservation of our natural resources were deep passions that shaped my future direction. Today I am immensely proud to be a Taronga Conservation Society Australia veterinarian: a role that provides me with fulfilling challenges and the opportunity to make a difference.
My workplace, like many others, is rich with strong, interesting and capable women who all have a story to tell. When I recount the early chapters of my career, when my dreams were still in their infancy, I am struck by the importance of mentorship. I witnessed a band of progressive women tenaciously forging careers and ambitious lives with humour and a thirst for continual growth. They unknowingly encouraged this student of theirs to reach for the stars and were instrumental in shaping my perspective.
As all women and men can appreciate, we are multifaceted beings and so much more than a single label or a hard-earned job title. So yes, I am a wildlife veterinarian but I am also a conservationist, a scientist, a mother, a wife, a bread winner, a citizen, a carer, a writer, an explorer, a trier....
So this International Women’s Day I encourage everyone to celebrate the diverse and dynamic contribution of all women: at work, at home and out in our communities.
By Michelle Campbell, Veterinarian at Taronga Western Plains Zoo