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Corissa Miller

Wildlife Veterinarian and Business Director

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Corissa Miller is a Wildlife Veterinarian and Director of Ecotone Wildlife Veterinary Services. Ecotone’s focus is on wildlife management, providing support and advice for fauna research and management programs with large mammal species.

Corissa graduated from Stuartholme School in 2002, before moving into university studies which included a Masters in Conservation through Murdoch University. She is currently completing her thesis on tuberculosis in the elephants of Nepal, and the transfer of tuberculosis from elephants to others species, including the human population.

Read Corissa’s Transcript


Why did you choose to be a wildlife Veterinarian?

I’d always been leaning towards a career as a vet or in some sort of zoology or wildlife biology. That was always a passion of mine, particularly in conservation areas and wildlife management. So I did a veterinary degree through the University of Queensland and then I started a Master’s degree in conservation medicine through Murdoch University. I created Ecotone with a friend of mine, a colleague who had similar interests, forging our own niche in the area of wildlife management. There are people that are doing very good wildlife management work, but a limited number of veterinarians that are in that field. We did see an opportunity to investigate some professional areas of interest in our work, which is quite a luxury.

How has your time at Stuartholme helped in your career?

I felt very supported in everything that I did at Stuartholme. I was always made to feel that I was able to try at everything I wanted to do. That’s why I did such a broad range of subjects at school. I really enjoyed that. I didn’t feel pressure to go just down the science path or just down the history path. All of my teachers encouraged me to think for myself, and to question what I was learning. That’s a really important quality in my work now. There are old scientific papers or ways of doing things that are quite outdated and people still use them as the gold standard. If we don’t question and continually try to improve on these research techniques or just given protocols then we’re never going to improve and we’re never really going to find out how things work properly. A really influential part of my education was realising that I do have my own opinions and I should question what I’m told.

What do you enjoy most about what you do now?

My favourite part of my job is the opportunity to travel. I would often pay a lot of money in the past to travel, and now I get paid to travel! I really enjoy being able to experience other cultures and other countries, but also to learn a little bit more about the different cultures and communities within Australia. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to experience some of the more remote areas of Australia and the more remote communities.

Describe your time at Stuartholme…

I have so many wonderful memories from Stuartholme that I honestly couldn’t settle on one particular moment. Some of my favourite times at Stuartholme would definitely be the House events; the swimming carnivals and sports days, the choral competitions. They had a fantastic atmosphere! Everyone would have a lot of fun! It was a family-kind of spirit and I felt like a lot of my friends were sisters. There was a really fun, harmless rivalry that we would have between the different Houses. Stuartholme never really encouraged too much competitiveness. It was very much supportive of everyone having a fair go, which was the case in all of these events. There was also such a wide variety of events that everyone got a chance to display their talents, from arts shows to music concerts, to name a few.

Key influencers at school?

I would have to say that my art teacher had a very positive impact on me. She was a very mothering figure and she had an obvious passion for the arts. She really had a great way of bringing out the best in all the students. Everyone had a different style and she didn’t pressure anyone into using a specific medium. She never really criticised, she just supported. I just found her very inspirational and that she would always be there to give constructive criticism. She was an amazing mentor.

What advice do you have for families exploring Stuartholme for their daughter/s?

I would recommend Stuartholme without hesitation. I think that the environment of this School is pretty hard to beat. It’s just such a pretty place. I still look back at high school as being one of the best phases of my life. Stuartholme is like a little family – it’s supportive of whatever it is that you want to achieve with your education, and future. The ‘alumnae spirit’ here shows that. The school does follow up with people and does continue to support them through their lives.

How have you stayed connected?

Because of my travels, I don’t get to come up to Stuartholme very often, but they do contact me by email regularly. I’m always aware of events that are happening through the alumnae network. I keep contact with my friendship group on a regular basis, over the phone, on email or Facebook. They are genuine lifelong friends now and we chat all the time.

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