Veterinary Resident

Healesville Sanctuary

Job Details

  • Exciting opportunity to commence in January 2020
  • Wildlife Medicine and Research Residency Program - Master of Veterinary Science / Clinical residency position
  • 2 year Full time Master's degree

Applications are invited for a two-year Residency program based at the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, Healesville Sanctuary and the Melbourne Veterinary School, The University of Melbourne.  This residency offers the successful candidate the chance to make a positive contribution to the health and conservation of Australia's unique wildlife.

The Resident will be enrolled in a two year, post-graduate MVSc research degree, involving a wildlife health research project, outlined below, which will be examined via a written thesis completed by the end of the two-year program; and a clinical training component, during which the resident will participate as a clinical member of the veterinary team of the AWHC. The resident will work with threatened species programs, captive wildlife and wildlife in rehabilitation. Training will be provided in clinical medicine and surgery, clinical pathology, necropsy examination, preventative medicine, reproductive management, nutrition, animal husbandry and wildlife rehabilitation.  The veterinary hospital at Healesville Sanctuary is open to the public and the successful candidate will be expected to interact with visitors on a daily basis. 

Applicants must have a veterinary degree eligible for registration in Victoria, a minimum of two years' experience in clinical practice, a strong academic background and good written and verbal communication skills.  An ability to work effectively in a team, strong time management skills and a commitment to pursuing a career in the field of zoo and wildlife medicine also need to be demonstrated.  A stipend of $32,500 pa (tax-exempt) will be offered in the form of a University of Melbourne postgraduate research scholarship. 

Research project outline:

The Helmeted honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops cassidix) is a critically endangered, native Australian songbird endemic to eastern Victoria. Once widespread, the species is now confined to a single wild population within the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve, with a successful captive breed-for-release program based at Healesville Sanctuary.  While concerted conservation efforts have led to population growth in recent years to the current level of approximately 200 wild individuals, genetic evaluation highlighted a concerning level of lost genetic diversity in both wild and captive populations.  Zoos Victoria is now collaborating with a range of partners to implement a genetic rescue program for the Helmeted honeyeater by the carefully managed introduction of the closely related Yellow tufted honeyeater. Recovery priorities now include the identification of additional wild release sites to establish new sustainable wild populations, ongoing development of the genetic rescue breed for release program at Healesville Sanctuary, and supplementation of wild populations by the captive to wild translocation of honeyeaters.   

Given the significant focus on translocation of birds between captivity and both existing and new wild sites, a Disease Risk Analysis for the translocation of Helmeted honeyeaters was implemented in 2019.  Areas highlighted for future focus and research included improvements in the collection and management of veterinary health data to better understand health trends within the overall population over time, investigation of the relative risk of translocation of eggs, chicks, subadults and adults between populations, and development of a practical, long term monitoring program to better understand health trends in both captive and wild populations into the future.  

The successful applicant will work with supervisors from both Healesville Sanctuary (Zoos Victoria) and The Melbourne Veterinary School to develop a research program based on the gaps highlighted by the DRA process, and consider how the risks identified during the DRA can best be mitigated against, and monitored for, in the overall population over the long term.   This project will act as a case study to help develop better health management methods for species recovery programs

For more information on this role, please refer to the position description available on our current vacancies webpage at 

To Apply: Please apply via Zoos Victoria recruitment system by clicking on the 'Apply' link for the relevant vacancy.

The application should include following documents in one PDF or word document:

  • 1-2 page cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Academic transcript
  • Names and contact details of 2 referees


For further enquiries, please contact Gerry Ross (Life Sciences Manager - Animal Health, Healesville Sanctuary) on (03) 5957 2830 or Leanne Wicker (Senior Veterinarian, Healesville Sanctuary) on (03) 5957 2864.

Applications close 30th October 2019

Location Healesville Sanctuary
Category Vet Residency
Work Type Fixed Term Full Time
Contact Name Leanne Wicker
Contact Phone 03 5759 2864
Contact Email

Applications Close On 30/10/2019 at 11:00 PM