Waroona Veterinary Clinic’s Frosina Duckin has been commended as Australia’s best vet, taking out the Vet Nurse of the Year Award at the recent Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia Awards Night.
Ms Duckin was nominated by Waroona vet Rebecca Flegg.
“Frosina’s vast knowledge comes from over 10 years in the practice, any tricky question or aggressive animal she expertly manages, she is the pet whisperer,” Dr Flegg said.
“Frosina is on first-name basis with most of the town and always goes out of her way to help a client from basic questions to really complex matters.
“She will research, order in something, answer questions and even responds to Facebook messages out of hours.”
One of Ms Duckin’s significant achievements was during the horrific Waroona bushfires in January, where two people lost their lives and approximately 700 square kilometres of bush and farmland was destroyed.
Ms Duckin worked tirelessly for weeks on end treating burnt wildlife and pets.
“She triaged calls for help, sending vets out into the fire affected areas to treat animals as well as coordinating vet nurses and volunteers,” Dr Flegg said.
“My role became clear very early on,” Ms Duckin said said.
“There was a need to organise a veterinary response to the emergency and we were the only veterinary clinic in the locked down exclusion zone.
“After the evacuation order I busied myself with welfare checks and feeding the cats in town that had been left behind.”
Amid the chaos, Ms Duckin social media to communicate to clients and post pictures and stories about the patients.
These posts provoked a huge response, including donations from all over the world.
“It made our joeys famous, making international news including NBC, BBC and Huffington Post.”
Frosina then helped coordinate the donations of pet food and supplies that came flooding in and organised the distribution of these donations.
“I’m very proud of the work my team did,” Ms Duckin said.
After the fire, she set up a ‘burns unit’ for several orphaned joeys in her home, where she monitored them throughout their recovery, administered medication as required and weekly bandage changes on their burnt paws, before a soft release about five months months after the fires.
In her ongoing commitment to professional development, Frosina wants to gain her Veterinary Nursing Diploma and a Certificate IV in Teaching so that she train Veterinary Nurses as well as lecture and expand the practice as practice manager.