When I was 10, I wrote a list of life goals. These included becoming a doctor, climbing Everest, completing an Ironman triathlon, and even going to the moon.

While I initially wanted to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps and become a human doctor, I became a veterinarian. I’m so grateful that I made that decision. Now, I get to help animals every day.

I’m currently a Surgical Specialist at Southpaws Vet Clinic in Melbourne. I manage and perform surgery on a range of cases, from routine orthopaedic and trauma cases to complex oncological referrals. Over the years though, I’ve held various roles, including mixed animal veterinarian and rotating internship, locum vet, surgical resident, and lecturer in small animal surgery, all in the UK.

When I left Australia, I was an inexperienced veterinarian seeking direction and advice from others. Ten years later, I returned as an experienced surgeon, and people now ask for my opinion. It’s surprising how quickly the shift from a novice to the experienced person in the room happens. Still, I know it’s due to the hard work and dedication I’ve put into my career, which has ultimately brought me a nice sense of fulfilment in my work.

If I were to offer one piece of advice to my younger self or someone interested in a similar role, it would be to never give up. I encourage individuals to think of their career aspirations as five to ten-year goals rather than something they can achieve quickly. Instant success is often portrayed on social media, but in my experience, it takes due diligence and hard work.

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