Dr Mandisa Greene and Matthew Rendle invested into their new roles at virtual AGM.
The new president of RCVS Council, Dr Mandisa Greene, and the new chair of VN Council, Matthew Rendle, were formally welcomed into their new roles on Friday (10 July) during a virtual Annual General Meeting of the RCVS. Mandisa and Matthew take over from outgoing RCVS president Dr Niall Connell and outgoing VN Council chair, Racheal Marshall, respectively.
In her opening speech Mandisa, who was born in London, raised in Trinidad and now lives in Stoke-on-Trent, said she would use her position as President to act to encourage young black and other ethnic minority men and women to consider veterinary medicine as a career. She added that she also hoped to promote diversity, inclusion and widening access within the profession.
Outlining her priorities for her presidential year, Mandisa said that she also hopes to deliver the College’s new five-year Strategic Plan; demonstrate appreciation and recognition for the contribution of EU veterinary surgeons; and improve the College’s engagement with and recognition of general practitioner vets.
Mandisa graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2008 and has been an elected member of RCVS Council since 2014. She 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. 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.”
She continued: “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.”
Matthew Rendle was voted chair of VN Council by his peers in June and will be responsible for decisions relating to the regulation, education and registration of veterinary nurses. He will be joined by Belinda Andrews-Jones RVN who was elected as vice-chair of VN Council.
In his opening address Matthew Rendle, an elected member of VN Council since 2016, said: “In the position of chair, I will continue to keep my fellow nurses very much at heart, whatever the species, environment and role they are working in.
“Veterinary nursing is not an easy profession. When I talk to nurses, they often highlight their biggest frustration with the profession is the extensive lack of understanding about our role and what we can and are very capable of doing. Achieving more clarity on our role as veterinary nurses, at all levels is my priority, as I know resolving this could, in turn, improve several other chronic issues in our profession.”
The AGM also saw the successful RCVS Council candidates Dr Kate Richards, Dr Richard Stephenson and Dr Melissa Donald formally welcomed on to RCVS Council for four-year terms.
Images (C) RCVS.