GAF Story

Josette Fretton

Murdoch University
Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Biology & Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Josette Fretton, Murdoch University scholar. Young woman smiling with her arm wrapped around a brown and white horse.

Josette shares how her work experience in the beef cattle industry will translate to her future career as a vet.

How did you feel when you were awarded a George Alexander Foundation scholarship?

Initially I was extremely surprised! I received The George Alexander Foundation scholarship after taking a gap year, and so I knew was competing against a large number of strong contenders from both my year of school graduation, and the following year’s cohort. I am very grateful to GAF for allowing me to apply for this scholarship after taking a year off from study, which allowed me to work in the veterinary industry and ensure that I was embarking on the right course of study.

What has it meant to you? What has it made possible?

The rent assistance of the GAF scholarship has provided me with a level of independence not often available for rural students who move to the city, and has allowed me to channel my focus into my studies and extra-curricular activities. During 2015, I was able to save money to travel to a cattle Central Queensland to stay for a month of work experience, a truly phenomenal experience that would not have been possible without the assistance of the George Alexander Foundation Scholarship. This trip was not only enjoyable, but very educational as I was introduced to many aspects of the beef cattle industry that will be applicable to me in the future as a vet.

Where are you hoping your course will take you?

My aim at the current point in my degree is to become a practising veterinarian in the field of Equine Medicine/Surgery or Production Animal Medicine. I would also like to undertake further study and research in these fields over the course of my career, but it is important to me to gain the 'hands-on' experience initially. I appreciate that there are many possible pathways between my current position and my goals, and I am excited to see how the future unfolds. 

Do you do any community/volunteer work? Why is this important to you?

I am a Student Ambassador of the Murdoch Veterinary Trust, who support the Murdoch Veterinary College through fundraising and events, and as an ambassador I am involved with the organisation and running of these events. The Ambassador position gives me the opportunity to interact with the students of the Murdoch Veterinary College and the wider university, as well as assisting the Vet Trust leadership team with administration tasks. Throughout my childhood I have been involved with horses, and while at university, I have maintained an active role in the WA equestrian community, volunteering at competitions in the Perth and Albany regions.

If you could say anything to George Alexander, what would it be?

At Murdoch University, the GAF scholarship is a rural relocation scholarship, and personally this addresses one of the most critical factors affecting my university education, the distance between my home and university. It is a brilliant vision to support rural and remote students: in my opinion, some of the most dedicated and passionate students are located in remote areas of the country, and The George Alexander Foundation scholarship allows them to be on a level playing field with students from major cities. I am extremely grateful to the Foundation for the support I personally receive, and intend to represent the Foundation academically and in the wider community through my degree and beyond.  

Gaze into the crystal ball… what do you see for yourself 10 years from now?

It’s quite possible that I will (literally) have my arm up a horse or cow’s bottom, involved in reproductive work with horses or cattle! While this might not sound like the most enticing job prospect, being able to be directly involved animals is something I see as being part of my future in 10 years. Ideally, I would like to work in a rural area, and my experience with the George Alexander Foundation has demonstrated the value of support of rural students, so I will definitely aim to become involved with local community and students.