NSW Chief Veterinary Officer appointment
Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty has today announced the appointment of Dr Joanne Coombe as the NSW Chief Veterinary Officer, within the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
“The NSW Chief Veterinary Officer is a critical part of our ongoing efforts to ensure the protection and prosperity of our livestock industry, our rural and regional economies and our environment,” Ms Moriarty said.
“All 5 of the most significant emergency animal diseases – including foot and mouth disease – have been detected in or near Australia in the past 5 years, meaning the Chief Veterinary Officer role has never been more important than it is right now.
"Dr Coombe brings significant experience and expertise to the role at a critical time.”
Dr Coombe moved to Australia from her country of birth, Wales, in 2001, completed undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral studies at Melbourne University and worked for several years as a dairy vet in rural Victoria.
She has held roles within Dairy Australia, has consulted to various universities and animal industries and is an invited member of the Australian Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on antimicrobial resistance.
Dr Coombe said she was looking forward to working with government, industry and the community to strengthen and protect NSW primary industries.
“I am honoured to accept the position of Chief Veterinary Officer for NSW and I’m looking forward to working with the team at NSW DPI and our stakeholders for the benefit of everyone in the state," she said.
Minister Moriarty also thanked outgoing Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Sarah Britton for her service over the past 5 years.
“Dr Britton has been a strong advocate for animal biosecurity in NSW, having led the state through a number of significant emergency animal disease responses, including outbreaks of salmonella enteritidis, Japanese encephalitis virus and white spot in prawns,” Ms Moriarty said.
“Alongside these responses, Dr Britton has also been instrumental in improving our preparedness for emergency animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.”
Dr Coombe commenced with NSW DPI on Wednesday 21 June 2023.