by Dr. Raffaella Commitante
Well, the sixth annual OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop has officially begun!
Our collaboration with the University of Gadjah Mada led to the first Orangutan Symposium. The symposium featured OVAG vets that are alumni speaking at the same venue as their past instructors.
The day was dramatically started by a beautiful Javanese dancer performance.
The Vice Dean then opened the symposium assisted by two junior students who read out the day’s agenda and line-up of speakers. I was first up as Steve Unwin and I were given the honor of opening and closing the day’s events. I gave a talk on the importance of working together toward orangutan conservation. I was followed by drh. Siska (an OVAG vet as well as one of our Steering Committee members) who gave a great overview of orangutans in general. She was then followed by a faculty member Dr. drh. Wishnu, a vet instructor in parasitology who talked about – yes, you guessed it – parasites.
Our session was moderated by faculty member and OVAG member Dr. drh. Hery who read out each and every line of our cvs! Including my birth date and year – so the entire audience of 160 people knew how old I was – and let me tell you – hitting 60 is not necessarily something you want announced at a conference! But my reaction did get a few laughs. The next session moderated by the Vice Dean himself, Dr. drh. Indar consisted of OVAG vets giving a series of case studies. The last session moderated by faculty member and OVAG member (and wife of Dr. Hery), Dr. drh. Esti. That session included a talk by Citra about the joys (yes, and pains) of being a wildlife vet. Siska then spoke again about the benefits of having OVAG. Steve Unwin then closed with an overview of PASA and European perspectives on conservation. It was a very rewarding and full day. Watching the OVAG vets speak so confidently and intelligently brought tears to my eyes. They were wonderful and I am confident that the students and faculty that attended were equally impressed.
Stay tuned for more from the Workshop as our sessions begin.
The OC/OVAG update is written by Dr. Raffaella Commitante, OC Board Member and facilitator of the annual OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop, which is being held at our new permanent workshop home in Jogjakarta, Indonesia.