Raised on a cattle farm in Cumnock near Orange, Amy showed an early interest in all things farming and particularly, animal welfare.
“I loved growing up on our farm and I gained a real appreciation for the whole farming cycle from production through to dealing with the consumer at our family butcher shop in Orange,” said Amy.
“It gave me insight into the importance of animal welfare and it’s where I could see myself making a difference.”
Amy’s unfiltered exposure to farming life ignited a fire within, leading Amy out the family’s farm gate to Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, where she started studying a Veterinary Science degree.
Amy has funded her own studies, working in a variety of roles within agriculture and farming. She has travelled internationally to further her experience and has visited India with fellow veterinarian students to volunteer in a two-week Spey Clinic program. Amy also undertook a six-week placement in Norway working on a large farm and in a small animal clinic.
In 2013, Amy received the Angus Youth Matthew George Citizenship Award and in 2015 she was awarded an AgriFutures Australia Horizon Scholarship, then known as the RIRDC Horizon Scholarship.
Belinda Allitt, General Manager, Communications and Capacity Building at Award sponsor AgriFutures Australia, said Amy was an outstanding recipient for this Award, and that her zest for agriculture was infectious.
“We are thrilled to see that Amy continues to shine and excel within our great agriculture sector. To support Amy in 2015, and to now see her with the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural Student of the Year Award demonstrates that Amy is grabbing every opportunity with both hands,” said Belinda.
“The opportunities and learnings that Amy has received from the projects she has been part of, including the international travel to further her education and understanding of animal welfare, will ensure continued success for this young leader.”
Ben White, General Manager of Research at Kondinin Group, said Amy was a fantastic role model for other rural and regionally-based teenagers soon to make a decision about their future.
“Amy has shown how growing up on a farm can lead to an exciting, ag-based career,” said Ben.
“Vet science is a vital area of expertise in our industry and I am confident that Amy will have a very successful career working with farmers in her region.”
As part of her degree, Amy’s honours project explored negative gender experiences for Australian veterinarians—male, female and gender diverse.
This is a significant focus for Amy, who is a Board Member and Vice President of Australian Women in Agriculture (AWiA), where she has been fundamental in the creation of the inaugural AWiA Youth Committee and in addition to being Vice President, is now the Youth Coordinator.
“Gender diversity and equality are extremely important issues within Australian agriculture,”said Amy.
“I see considerable changes happening in this space in the foreseeable future and I am excited about the oportunities ahead.”
At the end of 2020, and after the Award judging had been finalised, Amy successfully completed her Veterinary Science degree and is looking forward to a bright future in the industry as a fully qualified veterinarian.