Joining a club or student society is a great way to continue some of the extracurricular activities you already love, find a new interest or meet like-minded friends from within or outside of your degree.
As well as university-wide student groups, such as the Graduate Student Association, and the list of clubs you can find via the University of Melbourne Student Union, there are also these interest groups specific to veterinary and agricultural sciences.
Melbourne University Agricultural & Food Sciences Society (AFSS)
AFSS is a student body for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne. You can meet new students, hear from industry guest speakers and get involved in the society's organised events. Our purpose is to encourage student engagement, share experiences and make future connections.
Who can join:
Bachelor of Agriculture students or Bachelor of Science students who are majoring in agriculture or food science at the University of Melbourne
How to join:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your student number – membership is $10.
Graduate Agriculture & Food Society (GAFS)
GAFS represents FVAS graduate coursework students. We aim to foster social and academic interaction between students and staff and to assist in connecting students to industry.
Who can join:
All graduate coursework students studying with FVAS.
How to join:
Veterinary Students' Society of Victoria (VSSV)
Graduate Coursework (DVM)
VSSV represents FVAS Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students. We’re run by a committee of third and fourth-year students at Werribee and a sub-committee of second-year students at Parkville. The club is responsible for organising a range of social and industry-related events throughout the year. For first years, this process begins with a calendar of O Week activities. You’re then invited throughout the year to join us at the Vet Ball, Kendall Hall sports and other social events that allow you to interact with upper year levels to broaden your network.
VSSV members can also join one of the many special interest groups outlined below.
Who can join:
All students enrolled in the DVM, and third year Bachelor of Science students taking the Veterinary Biosciences major.
How to join:
All new DVM students will be emailed and invited to join the VSSV
VSSV Special Interest Groups
SWAG – Student Welfare Appreciation Group
The Student Welfare Appreciation Group (SWAG) is the newest SIG and focuses on student welfare and mental wellbeing. The overall goal of SWAG is to promote and encourage mental health within the veterinary profession and to provide information on available resources and services to support mental health issues.
The group has previously run yoga sessions, lunchtime seminars, movie nights, a pool competition and informative talks by students on what to expect in the next year of study. SWAG initiated and will continue to run a Mental Health Awareness Day, which included free yoga, massages, food and giveaways.
Join us for free access to talks and events and much more!
SVECCS – Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society
SVECCS is the University of Melbourne’s chapter of the US-based non-profit organisation, the National Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. We aim to promote the education and involvement of veterinary students in emergency and critical care medicine specialisation. We provide opportunities for students of all year levels to learn theoretical and practical skills relevant to an emergency scenario, including practicing suturing techniques, performing CPR, calculating fluid rates, animal restraint, and more.
SVECCS is independent from the VSSV and requires a small annual membership fee at the beginning of each academic year to help pay for material used in each of our sessions. For first-year members, however, membership is free! Discounts apply for continuing members.
Though many of our sessions are for members only, SVECCS also organises ECC lectures for all veterinary students to attend, free of charge. Keep your eyes and ears open for membership sign-ups for your year level – spaces run out quick!
WAG – Wildlife Appreciation Group
The Wildlife Appreciation focuses on the care, management, and conservation of wildlife. Our aim is to nurture students’ interest in wildlife, in addition to providing helpful insight to those interested in becoming general practitioners on how to approach and manage injured wildlife presenting to your clinic.
Some of the fun events you can look forward to in include our wildlife trivia night, speakers night, guest lecturers, and our annual tour of the Healesville Sanctuary Wildlife Hospital.
We’re looking forward to meeting more wildlife enthusiasts and having you join us to learn about all things wild! Please feel free to get in touch with your year levels WAG representative if you have any suggestions or ideas on how to support any wildlife charities and we will do our best to assist you!
Smallies – Small Animal Appreciation Group
In Smallies, our interest is in dogs, cats and pocket pets. Our committee consists of Werribee and Parkville students to ensure that all year levels are represented. We are a very active committee, organising many social and educational events throughout the year for students with an interest in small animal medicine and surgery. Some of our previous events include:
- Annual Speakers Night: Special guest small animal veterinarians are invited to give enlightening and inspirational talks, with finger food and cocktails served between each speaker
- Southpaws Tour: Specialist surgeon and oncologist Dr Charles Kuntz hosted an entertaining evening at his new practice in Moorabbin discussing interesting surgical cases
- Advanced Vet Care Tour: Surgery and internal medicine specialists share insight on their chosen fields and the path they took to get there
- Evening lecture by Dr Chris Preston from Pet Emergency & Specialist Centre: Dr Preston discussed the path to specialisation, practice ownership and some interesting surgical cases
- Online Dentistry Course: Reinforce small animal dentistry knowledge and skills
- Lunchtime seminars: Held at Werribee and Parkville campuses.
Each year we have Smallies merchandise for sale such as the Small Animal Veterinary Nerdbook by Dr Sophia Yin, Mini Vet Guide by Dr. Geraldo Poli, nurses’ pouches and personal IV clippers. VSSV Members are automatically members of the Smallies SIG. You will need to show your VSSV membership in order to receive the discounted event prices. Some events and merchandise are not available to non-VSSV members
Two representatives will be elected from your year level, so if you are interested in working with small animals, we’d love to have you on our team!
HAG – Horse Appreciation Group
HAG brings together students who have a passion for all things equine. Our aim is to expand the veterinary repertoire of students interested in equine medicine, surgery, dentistry, podiatry and horsemanship in general. It also offers an opportunity for students from all year levels with an interest in horses to get to know one another.
The group is for everyone – whether you own one, many or zero horses or whether you’ve never ridden or were born in the saddle! We want to ensure that you are confident in handling and being around horses and provide opportunities to gain further knowledge in equine medicine and care.
We organise events such as:
- Lunch-time seminars featuring lecturers on cases and interesting topics
- Weekly horse grooming, which gives the school horses that teach us so much some love, care and attention and provides students with an opportunity to learn more about catching, rugging (during winter), grooming equipment and feed types
- Vet checking opportunities for students at Horse Trials, which are a great way to gain confidence around horses and a fantastic opportunity to master taking heart rates, respiratory rates and evaluating lame/sound horses
- The annual HAG Dinner, a fabulous opportunity to meet and chat to veterinarians about their experience and a great way to make connections for future placements.
Whether you want to brush up on veterinary skills or simply learn some bizarre horse dialogue, HAG is a great way to do it. It is a forum for all vet students with an interest in horses to meet new people, learn and have fun in the process.
BAG – Bovine Appreciation Group
BAG, as it is affectionately known, is for students who have an interest in cattle and rural practice. BAG organises two main events each year: the end-of-exams B&S – a chance for students to get together over a BBQ and get involved in competitions including the iron gut – and the Cattle Dinner – a chance to share a three-course meal with cattle vets from across Victoria, hear about life as a cattle vet and make industry connections.
BAG has a Facebook group where members can discuss all things bovine. Make sure you join us for what will be a fantastic year!
MAG – Marine Appreciation Group
Formed in 2014, MAG is the interest group for anyone interested in aquatic species. The group aims to cover both fresh and saltwater species, including fish, aquatic mammals, aquatic reptiles, and other aquatic animals. The mission of MAG is to develop the understanding of veterinary students in aquatic animal medicine, biology and to assist in networking for students interested in undertaking a placement or career in a related field.
So far, activities have included lunchtime lectures with guests from the Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Aquarium and CSIRO, covering a range of topics such as seal and shark research and fish health.
As we are a fairly new club we are always looking for more members that are enthusiastic about aquatic life or would just like to learn more about some interesting animals. We are also always open to hearing suggestions about what people would like to have as activities or talks.
VSAW – Veterinary Students for Animal Welfare
Veterinary Students for Animal Welfare (VSAW) is a special interest group of the VSSV which aims to nurture an enthusiasm for the welfare of all animals. VSAW strives to inform and involve students in the science, ethics, law and practice of animal welfare and to assist them in developing their own ethical framework to take into their veterinary careers. We also work towards helping to improve the welfare of animals in our community and beyond.
Throughout the year, VSAW offers students the chance to participate in a number of activities including lunchtime lectures, documentary screenings, discussion groups, the opportunity to visit/volunteer at animal shelters and fundraising events for animal welfare organisations.