Work experience and tertiary placements
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Learn more about Veterinary work placement

Do I need to wear a uniform?

Please wear neat, practical, weather-appropriate clothing, with enclosed footwear at all times. If you have a clinic coat or scrub top, please also bring this. You may also want to bring a rain jacket, especially if your placement is during the winter months. Students should adequately protect themselves against UV exposure, in keeping with Zoos Victoria's Sun Smart policy.

Students must wear a name badge, which they are expected to wear at all times while at the zoo. We would prefer for you to wear your university name badge if you have one. If not, we will provide a temporary name badge when you arrive. 

What sort of footwear should I wear?

Students are asked to bring enclosed footwear, such as boots, which can be left at the zoo during their externship, and worn only at the zoo.  Students are asked to bring an extra pair of shoes for daily travel to and from the zoo.  At the end of the externship the soles of the boots/shoes must be cleaned and disinfected; this is to comply with the ZV Quarantine policy.

Do I need insurance?

For Australian students this is covered, but we do need to see evidence that international students have medical insurance.

Where can I stay?

Students are responsible for organising their own accommodation and transport. Once you have secured your vet placement, contacts at individual properties will be able to offer suggestions of possible accommodation options.

How do I get to my placement – do I need a car?

Students are responsible for organising their own transport.

Plan your route to Melbourne Zoo

Plan your route to Werribee Open Range Zoo

Plan your route to Healesville Sanctuary 

What time do I start, and what should I bring?

The Vets' operating hours are from 8am to 5pm each day. Some placements may require working over some weekend days to build up enough hours to satisfy your university requirements, however this will all be discussed and agreed upon with you on your first day.

There are several breaks through the working day, including a one hour lunch break, typically from 12-1pm. You can bring a packed lunch, plus morning and afternoon tea. We have a refrigerator to store cold items. There are also cafés onsite at each property where you can buy your lunch if needed.

How long does each placement go for?

We ask for a minimum three to four week placement block.

What should I write in my cover letter?

We want to hear about you, your previous experiences with wildlife, why you would like to undertake a placement within the Veterinary Department at one of our three zoos, and what sets you apart from other applicants.

Is there anything else I need to organise before attending my placement?

Students must supply proof if they have been Q fever vaccinated (card from the Q fever registry). If a student has not been Q fever vaccinated, or cannot supply proof of vaccination, the student will not be permitted to do macropod or wombat necropsies, or have any contact with bodily fluids from these species.

Students must be double vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide a valid Vaccination Certificate.