COMMUNITY CHAMPION: Dr. Caitlyn Mittelstadt

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In Clermont, a town enriched by its coal mining heritage, Dr. Caitlyn Mittelstadt stands out not only for her veterinary expertise but also for her deep engagement with the community.

“I began volunteering from a young age, starting with small charities, shaving my head twice for cancer and relay for life; working alongside my generous family and friends who have been touched by cancer,” said Caitlyn.

“When I moved to Townsville to study Veterinary Science at JCU I became secretary for a local skateboarding club Sk8m8s. We supported young members to find a place in their community and built pathways for all ages to learn how to skate together.”

Since her arrival in Clermont over two years ago, Caitlyn has extended her influence far beyond the walls of her veterinary clinic. Her engagement in the community was inspired by her mentors at Clermont Veterinary Surgery.

“Seeing the way they support and give back made me excited to build my own identity and relationship to this great little town,” she said.

Caitlyn is also an avid hiker and her involvement with the Central Queensland Hike and Explore group has not only been a personal journey of confidence and leadership but also a way to bring people together.

“There’s only one thing that makes you feel more alive than standing on top of a mountain, and that’s having people around to experience it with you.”

A memorable achievement was leading her first hike up Lords Table Mountain with a large group, an experience she found deeply rewarding.

She is also dedicated to enhancing her equestrian skills, inspired by cherished memories of riding in her childhood. Currently, she is working on her instructor’s course to better support and mentor young equestrians in the community.

Caitlyn’s everyday encounters through her work and interests significantly contribute to the heart of Clermont.

“Those are the moments I feel I’ve made an impact. It would be very romanticising to say a sparkle started from one specific event, but the reality is many small, unremarkable everyday stories and encounters are what make me feel most connected and impactful to this community.

“When I’m hundreds of kilometers from town out on farm discussing vaccine protocols and herd health management over a cup of tea and hear the benefits become a talking point between neighbours. When I’m giving the good news that a beloved dog has recovered and see the relief in their family’s eyes as they get to go home. When I treat disease in a horse’s mouth through preventative dentistry and then see that horse succeed in local events. Those are the moments I feel I’ve made a ripple and an impact.”

Caitlyn also emphasises the importance of community involvement in supporting local initiatives, especially in areas crucial to the coal mining town, like the annual show and local sports teams.

“Everyone is busy in life but just showing up and giving things a crack pays a long way to opening doors and friendships in the community. No matter if you’re new to a sport, unorganised, tired or nervous, show up anyway; you’ll be surprised how much fun you can have.”

Through her compassionate care for both animals and people, Dr. Mittelstadt not only heals but also heartens the soul of Clermont, weaving her love for veterinary science and outdoor pursuits into the very fabric of the community.

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