The Rebecca Palmer Trust

The Rebecca Palmer Trust

The Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Group proudly announces the Rebecca Palmer Trust Fund Student Award.

The Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Group (AVAG), at its recent AGM, announced the Rebecca Palmer Trust Fund Student Award. This prize will be awarded to the winning entry of an essay competition on any topic relating to Veterinary Acupuncture. The award is open to all Australian Undergraduate Veterinary Students.

Further information is available by contacting Dr Carl Muller at


You are invited to submit an essay on any topic relating to Veterinary Acupuncture.
You should be an undergraduate Veterinary student at an Australian university.
Please supply 5,000-10,000 words in printed form, two copies, by 31st of December. The prize is a textbook to the value of $300 on Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Please contact Dr Carl Muller for further details:
c/- Prahran Veterinary Hospital
682 Malvern Road
03 95101335

Thanks go to Dr Ulrike Wurth, who regarded Dr Rebecca Palmer as a special friend and who has given us a detailed historical perspective of Dr Rebecca Palmer, which is included below.


When the Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Association (AVAA) became a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) in 1986, Rebecca Palmer became its first President, a position she held for five years.

Rebecca was a remarkable person, serene, gentle, caring, deeply religious, interested in many different things as well as having a wacky sense of humour.  Every one who met her felt enveloped by her sense of caring and need to make the world a better place. 

After graduating as a veterinarian in Missouri, she worked as a veterinarian in the USA, then took on missionary work in New Guinea for several years before moving to Australia.  She loved living in Australia and settled in Canberra.  It was during this time that her interest in acupuncture, homeopathy and herbs developed.  Rebecca’s other interest was Australian wildlife.  She became a wildlife carer and was particularly devoted to raising and rehabilitating wombats.

Rebecca was a graduate of the first IVAS Course and was instrumental in educating the vets in Canberra of the benefits of acupuncture and other complimentary medicines. A number of these went on to do later IVAS Courses.

In 1991 Rebecca established the first completely holistic veterinary practice in Canberra.  This was the realisation of a long held dream. At last she could concentrate fully on using the therapies that she was so passionate about.  She practiced successfully until 1996 when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer and died on 15th October 1996. 

When she died her family and friends wanted to establish a memorial trust fund that would benefit the two things that she was really passionate about, complimentary therapies (particularly acupuncture) and wildlife (particularly wombats).  Money from the trust was donated to the AVAA (now the Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Group AVAG) to use to educate and spread the word to veterinarians and the general public on the benefits of acupuncture for animals.