In her opening address, Mandisa said: "When the College was founded in 1844, it would have been unthinkable that a woman, let alone a black woman, would become President of the institution one day. I am immensely proud of this achievement and, while it clearly demonstrates progress, there is still plenty to do in widening access to our professions.”
She said she hoped to use her position as President to act as a role model to young people from under-represented groups, to encourage them to consider careers in veterinary surgery, and to support those already in the profession.
Mandisa, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh in 2008 and an elected member of RCVS Council since 2014, added: “I also take the Presidential baton from Niall to champion a more diverse and inclusive profession with renewed intention, and look forward to playing my part in our upcoming Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan.
“As recent weeks and the Black Lives Matter movement have highlighted, there is more to be done, and we are committed to doing the work necessary. It is essential that we support all members of the veterinary team to work in an environment that is free from discrimination and racism.”
In another first at the RCVS AGM, Matthew Rendle became the first male veterinary nurse to chair VN Council.
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