Crystal Hajj
A big portion of my childhood was spent in Lebanon catching (and releasing) frogs and crickets by the river, collecting snake skins and riding our beloved donkey on my grandparents' farm. Inevitably, I developed a deep appreciation for the natural world and all its fascinating inhabitants. After moving to Australia and discovering all the unique fauna here, my passion for animals only compounded. I grew to idolise Steve Irwin and David Attenborough. The idea of travelling the world, encountering exotic wildlife and aiding in conservation efforts was my ultimate dream. But the most I could do at the time was beg mum and dad for a dog or cat. A challenging pursuit nonetheless! Over the years I managed to adopt a little duckling, a rabbit, and a tiny mouse called Peanut. Coming home to them was always the best part of my day.
After graduating from UNSW with a double major in Film Studies and Anthropology, my sights were set on working for National Geographic. I was on track gaining experience in Photography and TV & Radio production until I discovered my new love of world travel, hiking and rock climbing. One thing lead to another and I found myself working in Taiwan as an English teacher and marketing coordinator before moving to Lord Howe Island to work in hospitality. I'd certainly derailed from my initial path and the one thing I missed the most while living abroad was the ability to have pets in my life.
Three years later, the crazy Covid wave washed me back up in Sydney and my desire to work with animals could be realised again. I began volunteering at Walkabout Wildlife Park before landing a job at Potts Point Veterinary Hospital where I get my furry fix everyday. It's incredibly rewarding to meet the beautiful community of animal lovers here and see the excitement of our patients as they burst through the clinic doors.
I may not be able to have pets of my own right now but coming to work feels like the best possible compromise. It's a privilege to work alongside the amazing team here while I build my knowledge and skillset. Outside of the clinic, I'm also pursuing my certifications through the Taronga Training Institute. Otherwise, you might find me pet sitting for friends, exploring new trails or modifying my campervan.