Outback's one-of-a-kind vet

The Flying Vet Ameliah Scott servicing outback stations from ground and air

Life & Style
When she is not driving around the state's far west, Ameliah Scott can be found in the sky where she is known as The Flying Vet.

When she is not driving around the state's far west, Ameliah Scott can be found in the sky where she is known as The Flying Vet.

Aa

Known as The Flying Vet, Ameliah Scott is the only one of her kind in NSW where her beat is the size of a small country.

Aa

It's 7.30pm and Ameliah Scott has just finished dinner at Tibooburra.

It's been a long day having left home at 4am to treat cats and dogs and the odd horse along the way.

Today she has driven 455km to town via Wanaaring, which is the first stop on her monthly road trip, that starts on the first week of every month.

On her Facebook page, she has posted a map of where she will be travelling this week so her clients know where she will be, with stops at Cameron's Corner and Wilcannia.

Come August 10 she will be in Ivanhoe where she will finish the week having travelled thousands of kilometres and treating many patients.

But when she is not driving around the state's far west, Ameliah can be found in the sky where she is known as The Flying Vet - the only one of her kind in NSW.

"I'm the only one in NSW that is doing it and the only one that services stations out here," Ameliah said.

"It's been offered before by other vets but not as consistently or they didn't do everything."

Ameliah Scott grew up on a station in the White Cliffs area and always wanted to come home to be a vet. Photos: Ameliah Scott

Ameliah Scott grew up on a station in the White Cliffs area and always wanted to come home to be a vet. Photos: Ameliah Scott

Ameliah, a fifth generation pastoralist, grew up on a station in the White Cliffs area. As a little girl, the 30-year-old always wanted to be a veterinarian as she was interested in veterinary science.

"I always like anatomy and was scientifically minded," Ameliah said.

"There aren't many careers that let you be outside most of the time while using the skills you have learned and vet science gave it all to me."

She went to university and came back home seven years ago to start practicing as a vet.

Ameliah got her pilots licence four years ago and began her career as a flying vet around the same time.

But 12 months ago she went out on her own and is now known as The Flying Vet.

"My grandfather flew and my father flies, I always wanted to fly and always wanted to be a vet, it combined it all for me and came together organically," Ameliah said.

When it comes to veterinarian work, she is a jack-of-all-trades. She deals with all animals, both small and large, from cattle to horses, sheep, dogs and cats.

"For large animal work and horses I'm it out here,' she said.

"You have to be able to deal with all animals in this area, you can't pick and choose, as people out here need a good service with a vet that offers everything."

You have to be able to deal with all animals in this area...as people out here need a good service with a vet that offers everything

In recent years there has been more demand for veterinarian services for goats as they are a valuable commodity especially when prices hit $10/kilogram over the hooks.

"Farmers want advice on how best to feed them or if there are worm issues. Treating parasites is just the same as sheep and cattle," she said.

Her patch covers everywhere west of Cobar to the South Australian border and sometimes she finds work just over the border as there are no vets that service that area.

She travels to Tibooburra in the north and south to Ivanhoe and Balranald. For the large runs, she travels by car as she needs to carry all of her equipment to be prepared for anything.

The only time she flies is usually for pre-booked clinics including preg testing or emergency situations where they have appropriate facilities for her to land the plane. Emergencies include everything from horse colic to calving problems - and while she's there she might have to vaccinate a dog or cat.

"Cows are worth a bit of money at the moment, especially when you have a $2000 cow and possibly a $1500 calf so spending $2000 on fly in fly out job isn't bad," she said.

When asked what has been the most interesting thing in the job, Ameliah said 'there had been a lot of interesting things'.

"But it's nothing unusual because I see it all the time, maybe if I was a green vet straight out of university then I might find it interesting but to me it's normal every day stuff," she said.

She did say that someone tried to convert her to religion while she had her arm inside one of their cows.

"You can't argue with them because you are too busy, so it was pretty funny," she said.

But being a vet in her district was what she lived for.

"It's a different world out here, we know most people in the district pretty well and we look after our own," she said.

"If someone has come back home after being educated then people want to make sure they keep them out here and support what they are doing so I'm really fortunate."

Back on the road, she says nothing beats working in her backyard - even if it is the size of a small country.

Aa

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