FULFILLING CAREER: Keen Street Vet Clinic veterinarian Daryl Deeley started working in Lismore in December 1983.
FULFILLING CAREER: Keen Street Vet Clinic veterinarian Daryl Deeley started working in Lismore in December 1983. Marc Stapelberg

Celebrating huge milestone

"NOT everybody wakes up everyday being able to say that it's a pleasure to go to work, but that's how its been for 35 years.”

Local veterinarian Daryl Deeley has recently celebrated a huge career milestone, celebrating his 35 year anniversary of practicing veterinary medicine last week, and said he still loves his job.

The Murdoch University graduate took a job at Keen Street Veterinary Clinic under then-owner Jack Frogley, with the plan to work at the clinic for only a year before travelling overseas.

Mr Deeley said his international plans changed six months into the year, when he met the the woman who would become his wife, and he decided to stay in Lismore, something he said was the "best move of my entire life”.

He said he was "very lucky to work with such a good mentor in Jack Frogley, and to learn his ways of practicing and dealing with people.”

"The most important focus of being a vet should be the animals,” Mr Deeley said.

"But there is also the whole aspect of dealing with the families. These animals are more than just pets, they're important parts of people's lives.”

Over 35 years, Mr Deeley said there have been plenty of changes in veterinary medicine, but he said the biggest change has certainly been technology.

Mr Deeley said his clinic has been fortunate to have access to the most up-to-date technologies, such as x-ray and ultrasound machines, as well as surgical equipment.

"Surgical techniques especially, have been refined. We can now do much more intricate surgeries now than we were able to 35 years ago,” he said.

Now co-owner of the clinic, Mr Deeley said hopes he has maintained the family-oriented nature of the practice which Jack had taught him.

He said the hardest part of his job is witnessing families saying goodbye to their pets.

"When these important family members come to the end of their life and you have to be there to support the families in one of the hardest moments of their lives. It's a very emotional job,” he said.

"That's the thing about being a vet. Although 99 per cent of the time you are helping animals, there's that small percentage of time that you can't.”

While it may be difficult to watch owners say goodbye to their beloved pets, he said on the flip side, the best part of the job is the "fantastic relationships you build with our clients and their animals”, with Mr Deeley caring for many generations of families' pets over the decades.

He credits his staff for helping to keep the job so enjoyable.

"I've been spoilt with the staff I have had, and continue to have. Most of my staff are long-standing staff members and they help keep it a pleasure to come to work,” he said.

"Everyone here is like an extension of my family.”

He said the Keen Street job was his first job, and he is glad he never left.

"I consider myself one of the lucky people in the world, to be able to come to work for 35 years in a job that I genuinely love,” he said.

"It's a challenging job, but it's such a fulfilling job. There's lots of good moments.”

Mr Deeley said he plans to try to start winding back next year, but is unsure of what the future holds.

"I daresay that veterinary life will be too hard to walk away from, so it may not suit me. It's been such a big part of my life, it will be hard to move on,” he said.

"Hopefully there will be a few more games of golf, a bit more travelling around Australia and some more time to enjoy with my family.”

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