From bringing home creatures found on her family farm to operating on people's pets in the clinic, recent Charles Sturt University graduate Emme Williams has always had a passion for animals.
Growing up in the Hilltops region, the 25-year-old knew she was destined for a career where she would help animals.
Emme completed a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and Bachelor of Veterinary Science celebrating her graduation at a ceremony in Rosehill, Sydney, on Monday 11 September.
"Ever since I was little, I was obsessed with animals and I'd even bring lizards, birds and bunnies into the house," Emme said.
"I remember once when I was really young, there was one day that my grandma lost me for a few minutes at a carnival and I had climbed into the petting zoo enclosure to play with the animals."
It was this love for animals which drove her studies.
"It's given me the opportunity to make a difference in not only an animal's life, but an owner's life, too," Emme said.
While the everyday work with companion animals and on farms is a rewarding experience, Emme has found her true passion exploring the more exotic side of being a vet.
From working with snakes and meerkats to turtles and dolphins, Emme's adventures across Australia's sprawling coastlines and remote First Nations communities are captured and shared with her 14 thousand-plus Instagram followers.
"I am a little different to most people in my year group because I like animals that are notthe typical cats, dogs, horses and cows," she said.
"I love wildlife and exotics and tailored my placements so I could go to amazing and unique areas." Her achievements to date, while exciting and successful, haven't been without hurdles.
"In the middle of my HSC year, I had to have a large abdominal surgery during my exams," Emme said.
"It was a long recovery, but I stuck my head down and studied hard to get the marks I needed to study vet science.
"I was lucky because I am super organised and had lots of notes prepared. Anything is possible when you set your mind to it."
Emme said her family proved to be an invaluable source of support during her studies.
"I wouldn't have been able to complete the degree without the support of my family, they are the most important people in my life," she said.
"We live on a sheep and cropping property, so I was so lucky to go home and have study breaks on the farm with the whole family."
With her degree in hand, Emme said the future is an exciting prospect.
"I want to get good at the basics before I focus on the wildlife and exotics that I love, so getting confident at surgery, using an ultrasound and such," she said.
"Eventually I want to work with wildlife and exotics, specifically marine life."
Emme said completing a degree doesn't come about without learning a lesson or two along the way.
"I'd say the biggest piece of advice I can give is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable," Emme said.
"That's when all the growth happens."
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