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Australian vet awarded 2018 WSAVA, Hill’s Next Generation honor

Dr. Guyan Weerasinghe works in small animal practice and as a state government veterinary officer

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Dr. Guyan Weerasinghe, an Australian veterinarian working in small animal practice and as a state government veterinary officer, has been honored by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and Hill’s Pet Nutrition as the winner of the 2018 Next Generation Veterinary Award. The award acknowledges the work of a veterinarian who graduated within the past 10 years and who has contributed significantly to the betterment of companion animals, the veterinary profession, and society at large.

He graduated from the University of Queensland in 2011, gaining experience in dairy practice in New Zealand and in shelter medicine in Sydney, Australia. In 2017, he achieved a master’s in veterinary public health and became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. In his current role at Greencross Caloundra, a companion animal practice on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, he maintains a small animal caseload and works alongside local animal rescue groups. Through his work for the Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, he is involved with animal disease surveillance and response and increasing the awareness of public health risks in veterinary practice, including small animal clinics. He also collaborates on a number of One Health projects across Australia, including an initiative to develop a tool to capture hotspots for tick paralysis on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Weerasinghe regularly gives talks on such topics as climate change, zoonoses, and clinical work health and safety. He has also served on several Australian Veterinary Association committees and is a past president of its Sunshine Coast branch. He is the designated veterinary spokesperson for the Climate Media Centre and engages regularly with broadcast, online, and print media on topics including the impact of climate change on animal health and welfare.

He will be presented with the award at WSAVA World Congress 2018 which takes place Sep. 25-28 in Singapore. He will also give a lecture titled, “Antimicrobial resistance: The ‘tragedy of the commons’ in companion animal practice.”

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“I’m honored to have been nominated for the WSAVA, Hill’s Next Generation Award, let alone to be the 2018 winner,” said Weerasinghe. “I’m hoping to use this opportunity to explore veterinary antimicrobial resistance in relation to the late Garrett Hardin’s ‘tragedy of the commons’ concept: where in a shared system, individuals make choices based on self-interest to the detriment of the common good. The imprudent use of antimicrobials, in both human and animal health, is a factor in the development of global antimicrobial resistance. Tackling this wicked problem requires joint stewardship by practitioners of animal, human and environmental health. We all have a role to play and by working together at the intersect of One Health, we can preserve this diminishing resource for future generations.”

Candidates for the WSAVA, Hill’s Next Generation Award can come from any country and must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduated within the past 10 years
  • Active in continuing education
  • Have a strong record in community service
  • Working to bridge the gap between their generation and others

For more information about the 2019 Next Generation Award, click here.

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