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University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary Science


The University of Melbourne was established in 1853 and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2003. Veterinary education first started in Melbourne in 1888 at a private Veterinary College in Fitzroy following the passing of the Veterinary Surgeons Act in December 1887. This was the first Act passed in Australia to regulate the standards of veterinary education. The course established in 1888 was one of the first in the English speaking world to be given over four years. The first GMVC certificates were awarded in 1891. The first female, Belle Bruce Reid, qualified in 1906.

The course was transferred to the University of Melbourne after an Act of the Parliament of Victoria (no. 2174, 2 March 1909), which enabled the University Veterinary School and Veterinary Research Institute to be established in Parkville. The first BVSc degrees were awarded in 1909.

The School operated until 1928, but the Veterinary Research Institute continued to become the key veterinary diagnostic laboratory in Victoria until 1991. In 1963, the Veterinary School re-opened in response to requests from Victoria's animal industries to the State Government for more locally trained veterinarians. This current School has a Preclinical Centre in Parkville, and a Clinical Centre at Werribee that has been operational since 1966. The first class graduated in 1967 and the fortieth graduated in 2006.

A fine record and tradition in veterinary research followed the establishment of the Melbourne Veterinary College in 1888, and the University Veterinary School and Veterinary Research Institute. This research provided practical solutions to many of the animal health problems in Australia. The first DVSc degrees were awarded in 1909, MVSc degrees from 1919, PhD's from 1967, and MVS degrees from 1973.


The mission of the Faculty of Veterinary Science is to serve Victorian, Australian and international communities by;

  • educating world class veterinary science graduates able to solve health, welfare and management problems with a variety of domestic species including food animal, equine and companion animal,
  • advancing knowledge through high quality research, graduate training and professional continuing education, and
  • engaging with industry and community groups to advance animal, human and environmental well being.

Roll of Honour

The World War I Roll of Honour board from the original University Veterinary School reminds us of the rich history of the Faculty of Veterinary Science at The University of Melbourne and its predecessor, W.T. Kendall's Melbourne Veterinary College, the first provider of veterinary education in Australia. Names on this board include many illustrious figures in veterinary science, both nationally and internationally, who taught or who started their veterinary careers as undergraduates here. Brief biographical profiles and published obituaries, where available, provide us, and particularly today's students, with further appreciation of the history of the profession and the achievements of our alumni.

The Belle Bruce Reid Medal

Belle (Isabelle) Bruce Reid GMVC was the first and only woman to qualify from the Melbourne Veterinary College established by William Tyson Kendall in January 1888 following the passing of the Veterinary Surgeons Act of Victoria in December 1887.

To celebrate this centenary and the contributions made by female veterinarians to the veterinary profession, The University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary Science has established this Belle Bruce Reid Honour Roll on the 28 November 2006. Those 100 female veterinarians named on this roll include women who graduated overseas and made their contributions in Australia, and women who graduated from Veterinary Schools in Australia and made their contributions anywhere in the world.

The Faculty of Veterinary Science is located on two separate sites or campuses: Parkville and Werribee.

Corner Park Drive and Flemington Road

Parkville Victoria 3010

The Veterinary Preclinical Centre at Parkville was established in 1965. The first two years of the Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree course are spent here. Teaching and research are conducted in the disciplines of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, pathology, parasitology, microbiology and animal biotechnology.

It is also the home of two research centres, the Centre for Equine Virology and the Centre for Animal Biotechnology

250 Princes Highway

Werribee VIC 3030

The Veterinary Clinical Centre at Werribee was established in 1966. Clinical instruction is provided to 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students and veterinary services to the community through the Veterinary Clinic and Hospital.

More information about the history of the Faculty and its Departments and Centres

Contact details

The Veterinary Science Faculty Office
Corner Park Drive and Flemington Road
Parkville, Victoria 3010

(+61 3) 8344 7357
(+61 3) 8344 7374

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