Explore. Examine. Evolve

18th -19th November 2024

Rydges Hotel, Melbourne

Meet us face-to-face! Melbourne VETWorks, Australia’s first veterinary team-centred conference – for veterinary practitioners, veterinary students, specialists, and nurses.

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Melbourne Vet Event

Why you should attend

Melbourne Vetworks is Australia’s first veterinary team-centred conference. Explore cutting-edge advancements in animal health, connect with leading experts, and elevate your knowledge at this dynamic event.

At our Melbourne Veterinary Conference nurses and vets present side by side and discuss real world scenarios and strategies that help you to improve day to day activities and patient care. It offers a unique opportunity for professionals in the field to gain valuable insights, network with peers, and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in veterinary care. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to enhance your expertise in veterinary medicine and improve your team’s performance. Register now to be a part of this transformative experience!

The vision of Melbourne Vetworks is to bring the team to the fore. Do you want to explore new topics as a team? Do you want to examine the way that you do things in a scientific but practical manner? Do you want to continue to evolve the way that your team practice veterinary medicine? Then Vetworks is the conference for you and your team.

This 2-day conference combines nursing and veterinary streams, alongside industry experts to explore, examine and evolve clinical practice.


Our attendees in 2023

A collaborative approach to the patient. Bringing vets, nurses, and industry together: Explore · Examine · Evolve

Attendee 2023
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The sponsors were a fantastic addition to a collaboration conference because it really showed the dedication from these companies to better us in clinic practices, team improvement and client and patient wellbeing.
Attendee 2023
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Melbourne VETWorks has allowed me along with my peers in the vet nurse space to be able to absorb the same information and knowledge as the vets so we can work in collaboration. Thank you!!
Attendee 2023
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Thank you for bringing the Melbourne veterinary community to learn and network. I, along with everyone else who is here at VETWorks really appreciate the dedication to continuing education.
Attendee 2023
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It was amazing to see people who have worked indirectly within the veterinary space together and learn from them. All of the speakers were great and I took something away from every presentation I went to.
Attendee 2023
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A huge thank you for this conference. It was amazing to bring along one of the vet nurses so we can absorb and take away the same information and techniques from the 2 days and be a better team because of it!
Attendee 2023
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The flow of topics, speakers, sponsors and attendees made this first ever veterinary conference an amazing experience.
Attendee 2023
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Collaboration in the veterinary space is so important. VETWorks really helped me take things back to my team and implement and grow stronger and better.

Learn All About Our Founders

Meet The Founders

Dr. Irina Gramer


Dr. Ben Mielke



Discover VETWorks at the new Rydges Hotel this year November 18th and 19th.

For Nurses

Explore as a nurse

Nurses will explore new treatment ideas alongside their veterinary colleagues. Gain valuable insight into common conditions and discover how you can make a positive impact in patient outcomes. This year we are exploring anaesthesia, triage of patients in the emergency setting, supporting a dermatology clinic, as well as wellbeing and management.

Examine as a nurse

Nurses will examine current “best practice” industry standards and how we can incorporate those into the daily running of a busy practice. We’ll equip you with ways to ask the right questions, how to share your treatment approaches with your vet team, and how to implement them within your team back at the practice.

Evolve as a nurse

Nurses will leave Melbourne VetWorks conference with ideas and information on how to evolve the day-to-day running of practice. Challenge yourself to create a new protocol or develop and improve a pre-existing one. Take back the information you learn and teach others what is new in veterinary practice. We can improve as individuals, but it takes the entire hospital to evolve as cohesive team.

For Vets

Explore as a vet

Vets will explore current and new topics in veterinary medicine and treatment approaches through the perspective of utilising the entire veterinary team. Have you ever considered how your physiotherapist discusses management in spinal patients? Have you considered utilising nurses to help run a dermatology clinic? Are you interested in starting chemotherapy or discussing palliative care for patients but are unsure how to do this? If any of these questions excite you then you are the perfect vet to come to VetWorks.

Examine as a vet

Examine what some of Australia’s leading vets and nurses are doing and question them on the why and how. Vets will examine the current best practice approaches on several in-depth topics; skin, neurological disorders, skin management and wellbeing. We have created panel discussions allowing the team to examine real world examples, with fireside chat style question allowing audience members to dig deeper into the speakers’ knowledge.

Evolve as a vet

Vets should leave VetWorks with a fresh perspective and new ideas on how to utilise, respect and benefit from the knowledge of their colleagues. Our aim is for a vet-nurse team to leave inspired and develop real and positive change within their team.

For Practice Owners

We appreciate that training and development for clinic staff is hard to prioritize when the clinic is busy, and there are costs involved. But it’s often these events that can help reengage team members, retain staff and boost overall productivity.

VetWorks is a 2-day conference designed to help develop high-performing clinical teams in veterinary hospitals, by championing the individuals and the role they can play in delivering patient care and customer experience. We believe teams that feel supported, enthusiastic about what they do, and have a shared common goal, are the key to successful practices.

We have designed this conference to focus on the “how” of bringing a team together. Send your nurses with your vets. Send your vets with your reception team. Send your nurses and get your vets to run reception for the day… (this may not be a wise idea)…! Challenge them to explore new treatment approaches, examine their current thinking and ideas, and evolve how to become a better team member for each other.

This year we are focusing on the team approach to chronic lameness, cancer management and brachycephalics. Imagine how a team-led approach to management of these common presentations will improve your outcomes, and ultimately improve the experience for patients and clients.

Irina Gramer

Irina Gramer, Dr med vet DipECVIM-CA (Oncology) MANZCVS (Oncology) PGCert VetEd FHEA MRCVS

Irina is excited to bring her expertise and unique experiences to Melbourne VETWorks where she can help many vet and nursing teams to become their best versions of themselves, in expertise, mental health and their team-centred approach to their patients.

Irina graduated from Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, in 2010. She undertook her doctoral thesis on molecular genetics in canine cancer patients. Irina completed an oncology internship at VRCC in the United Kingdom, followed by an oncology residency at the University of Liverpool. She achieved her Diploma status in 2017 and also became European (ECVS) specialist. Following some time in private practice Irina lead the Oncology service at the Royal Veterinary College, where she was responsible for a growing team of specialists and specialists in training. In 2022, Irina and her family took an even bigger leap and moved to Australia where she continued working as a veterinary oncologist.

Irina is also the founder of Oncology Camp which is an intense training course for residents and interns allowing them to prepare for upcoming examinations. She is the co-founder of Melbourne VETWorks representing the first Melbourne based conference covering specific and relevant small animal topics for general practitioners and nurses. Irina chairs the ECVIM education committee directly overseeing the training programmes of all ECVIM oncology residents worldwide. Irina has published in multiple peer-reviewed journals and written book chapters in her career as oncologist.

In her free-time Irina enjoys spending time with her growing family of three boys and taking them on adventures outdoors. When relaxing she will be found on the couch or in the spa.

Ben Mielke

Ben Mielke – BVSc. (Hons), MVetMed, MANZCVS (Surgery), Dip ECVS, MRCVS. ECVS and EBVS (r) Recognised Specialist Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

Ben completed his undergraduate degree in Veterinary Science at Melbourne University, before going on to complete his Masters in Veterinary Medicine at the Royal Veterinary College. He worked as a mixed animal vet in rural Australia for 2 years prior to moving to the UK to start the road to specialisation. He completed his residency training at the Royal Veterinary College and worked there as a Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery. Ben’s passion is in soft tissue surgery which has lead him to having a tremendous amount of experience with some extremely complex cases. Ben is enthusiastic about performing BOAS surgery in order to help breeds who suffer with Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome most commonly seen in French bulldogs, British Bulldogs, Boston terriers, Pekinese and Pugs. Surgical options such as shortening the soft palate, widening the nostrils and removing the laryngeal saccule can dramatically improve the health and quality of life for such breeds. His other surgical interests include oncological surgery and thoracic surgery. Alongside this Ben also performs orthopedic surgeries such as fracture repairs and also with neurosurgery including spinal surgery. He looks forward to offering a range of different surgical options at HSR for complex conditions, particularly in the area of minimally invasive surgery.

Dr Shelley Wiltshire

Dr. Shelley Wiltshire BVSc (Hons) MANZCVS (ECC) GCertSAUA

Upon completing her studies at the University of Melbourne in 2010, Shelley began her career working with all creatures great and small in central Victoria at a country practice. Her professional journey continued at a bustling veterinary hospital in Canberra. In 2013, Shelley began working at a leading 24-hour specialist referral hospital in Melbourne, where she worked in the ICU. In 2015, Shelley became a Member of the ANZCVS in Emergency and Critical Care. 

In 2017, Shelley founded Townsend Veterinary Clinic, witnessing remarkable growth over five years. Leading a team that expanded from five members to a robust 20 by the beginning of 2020, Shelley also successfully navigated the clinic through the challenges posed by the pandemic and undertook the Lincoln Institute Lead to Succeed program. Townsend Veterinary Clinic became an ASAV Accredited Veterinary Hospital of Excellence in 2020. Further studies saw Shelley achieve First Class Honours in a Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Abdominal Ultrasound from the University of Melbourne. Following year on year growth, Shelley sold the clinic in 2023.

Dr. Shelley is deeply committed to supporting and sharing knowledge with her peers in the veterinary field and contributing to the growth and development of the profession. She has mentored veterinarians undergoing examinations for membership with the ANZCVS, has played an active role with the AVA New Graduate Mentor Program, and is a Hospital of Excellence Inspector for the ASAV. Her current position is Business Development and Relationships Manager for a group of privately-owned veterinary clinics on the Gold Coast. 

James Simcock

BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (Internal Medicine)
Registered Specialist of Small Animal Surgery, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons

James graduated from the University of Melbourne with Honors in 2005. Following graduation, he worked for 12 months in a busy small animal general practice. He has completed two internships in both Small Animal Oncology and Small Animal Surgery along with a residency through the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. In 2010 James achieved membership to the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists Internal Medicine Chapter. In 2013 he became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and in 2015 became a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. James is a registered specialist in small animal surgery in Victoria and is an internship director and surgical residency program director for the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. James has published on gastrointestinal, urogenital and orthopaedic and oncologic surgery and has presented many times at the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists, Science Week. He is passionate about teaching and helping vets learn skills that they can implement in their practice. He is an instructor and lecturer for a variety of post-graduate education courses in surgery. James has been an examiner for the Australian College Fellowship examinations in Small Animal Surgery. He is particularly interested in orthopaedic and neurologic surgery and is the director and owner of Southpaws and co-founder of the continuing eduction platform VetDojo. 

Michelle Monk

Michelle Monk

Animal Physiotherapist

BPhysio(Hons), DipMyoTher, MAnSt(Animal Physiotherapy), MAPA

Michelle graduated with a human physiotherapy degree with honors in 1996 from LaTrobe University, Melbourne. She worked as a human physiotherapist in both the acute and rehabilitation settings, with a special interest in rehabilitation of multi-trauma.  She began working as an animal physiotherapist in 2002 and opened ‘Dogs In Motion Canine Rehabilitation’, the first physiotherapy and hydrotherapy centre for dogs in Australia, and designed and had built the first underwater treadmill for dogs in Australia. In 2004 Michelle completed her Master of Animal Studies (Animal Physiotherapy) through the University of Queensland, with her research demonstrating the benefits of early post-operative physiotherapy following cruciate surgery, being published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research. She has authored several scientific articles and book chapters on canine physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. She is actively involved in continuing education in the canine rehabilitation field and in 2017 she founded the Canine Health & Wellbeing Academy, teaching certificate programs in Canine Hydrotherapy and Remedial Massage. Michelle is particularly interested in physiotherapy management of complex orthopaedic and neurological cases.

Dr Charles Kuntz


Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Registered Specialist of Small Animal Surgery, Fellow of Surgical Oncology.

Southpaws founder, Dr Charles Kuntz, graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. He did an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City and completed a residency and Masters degree in surgery at Virginia Tech in 1994. He achieved specialty board certification in surgery in 1996. Charles then did a one-year fellowship in cardiovascular research and surgery. He completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at Colorado State University and was later a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery there before moving to northern Virginia where he started one of the busiest surgical referral practices in the Washington DC area. He was the program chair and a member of the Board of Directors of the District of Columbia Academy of Veterinary Medicine. Charles moved to Australia in 2004 and is the Founder of Southpaws Specialty Surgery for Animals in Melbourne. Charles has published many scientific articles, abstracts, patents, proceedings and book chapters on topics of surgical oncology.

At Southpaws Charles started Australias first deep radiation therapy unit for animals, one of only three in Australia today. Charles has won numerous awards and appeared on national TV and radio and in newspapers and magazines. He receives referrals from all over Australia as well as consultations by phone and email worldwide. Charles received the honour of being accepted as a Founding Fellow in Surgical Oncology by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons for his Exemplary training, experience and practice in the multidisciplinary approach to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of cancer patients and his devotion to cancer research.” He is one of the first people worldwide to receive this honour. At Southpaws, Charles focuses primarily on soft-tissue surgery including cancer care, spinal surgery, cardiothoracic and brain surgery. Charles is passionate about innovation for the betterment of veterinary science and about providing extraordinary levels of patient care. Charles points out that in veterinary medicine owners have a choice of treatment options, and so he invests significant time in helping owners make the best decisions for their pets and themselves. Charles also loves veterinary education, often hosting free lectures and live streaming videos of surgeries and he enjoys the questions and interest from veterinary professionals all over the world. In his spare time, Charles enjoys spending time with his family, woodworking, photography and playing the guitar. Of his pets, Charles remembers the time when a friend took his black Labradors for a walk, they walked 10 m in front of him and turned around and barked at him, Charles says he admires that kind of simplicity in the world.

Dr Aisha Young

Dr Aisha Young, DVM, DACVR, GCCT

Originally from the US, Aisha completed a veterinary degree at the University of California: Davis. Following an internship, she commenced on a path to specialization in radiology. This led to a residency program at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada, where she acquired her certification as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology (DACVR). Aisha worked as a radiologist in the US and Canada, as well as at the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne prior to co-founding Vet Waves with Jennifer Kan. Aisha enjoys teaching, particularly in small groups, and has completed a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Teaching (GCCT) to deepen her understanding of teaching and learning. Aisha enjoys all aspects of radiology, but has a particular interest in ultrasound. She has published imaging research to help sea turtles and monkeys, and was drawn to Australia because of its many unique native species and access to the ocean.

Demi Noble

Demi Noble Bsc (Hons) RVN

I completed my degree in Veterinary Nursing at Edinburgh Napier University in 2013. I worked in a small GP clinic in Scotland for a year, before moving to a specialist orthopaedic clinic on the coast of Scotland. This move cemented my passion for working alongside specialists and providing gold standard patient care.

After almost 2 years I made the move to Australia, where I spent 18 months travelling before settling in Melbourne. I started at Southpaws in 2018, as a surgical nurse – progressing to a role as senior surgical nurse. I have a particular interest in anaesthesia, more specifically critical anaesthesia; nursing of thoracic patients; nursing of brachycephalic patients and providing gold standard patient care.

Jennine Dunne

I Graduated Athlone Institute, Ireland with a BSc in Veterinary Nursing & Moved to Melbourne in 2014.
I worked small animal GP before starting with Southpaws in 2017 where I have worked in IM, ECC, Surgery & now manage Mornington.
I enjoy Continual education especially pain management & OA pain management. My work interests are exceptional patient care, nursing orthopaedic patients & maintaining a positive work environment.
Outside work I volunteer, foster & fundraise with Beagle Freedom Australia + Beagle Rescue Victoria.

Olivia Oginska

Since 2010, Liv has been immersed in a global veterinary

community, completing multiple externships in the UK, North America and Australia. In 2016, when she graduated as a veterinarian from the university of Poland, she pursued a veterinary career in the UK. That is also where Liv gained experience and credentials in positive psychology, emotional intelligence and conflict mediation, so that her passion for human wellbeing and interpersonal dynamics could be fully developed.

For the last 3 years, Liv devoted her veterinary career to supporting both individuals and the veterinary teams (especially leaders) in becoming more human-savvy.

Kathryn Duncan

Kathryn completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Melbourne. After graduating, Kathryn commenced a rotating internship at Southpaws where she developed a strong interest in surgery. She became a Member of the the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in Small Animal Surgery and has completed a residency program in Small Animal Surgery. Kathryn is a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS). As part of her training, she has published research on a novel transorbital surgical approach for removal of brain tumours in dogs, and also published reference ranges for antebrachial joint angles in dogs to aid in surgical planning for correction of limb deformities. She has previously presented research at the International Conference of Animal Neurology and also the Conference of Small Animal Oncology and Radiotherapy. Kathryn has experience in various aspects of veterinary surgery, and has a particular passion for soft tissue surgery, surgical oncology and neurosurgery.

Alex Santamaria

Alex completed her veterinary degree from The University of Melbourne in 2010.

Following graduation, Alex spent 12 months in general practice before moving into referral practice where she completed an internship followed by surgical residency. Alex has remained in specialist practice for 9 years now.

While training to be a specialist Alex achieved membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientist in Small Animal Surgery by examination.

She then went on to pass her American board examinations to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and a Registered Small Animal Surgical Specialist.

Alex has a strong interest in soft tissue and reconstructive surgery with advanced training in interventional radiology and minimally invasive procedures, including laparoscopy and thoracoscopy.

In addition, Alex also has extensive training and experience in orthopaedic and neurosurgery both of which she thoroughly enjoys.

In her spare time, Alex enjoys hiking, running and horse riding. When relaxing she can be found cuddling up to her two whippets (Odin and Loki) and cat (Szeth).

Dr Meaghan O’Brien

Dr Meaghan O’Brien BVSc(hons) MANZCVS (SA Med)

Meaghan has been in the veterinary industry for over 20 years, initially working as a veterinary nurse to gain hands on experience while studying to become a veterinarian. She has been working in small animal practice since obtaining her Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree with Honours from the University of Melbourne in 2010. Meaghan has a special interest in medicine, clinical pathology and soft tissue surgery, and she particularly enjoys performing laparoscopic procedures. Meaghan enjoys continuing education and has completed additional studies in Small Animal Dentistry through the University of Illinois, and minimally invasive procedures including endoscopy and laparoscopy through the University of Tennessee. In 2016 she successfully obtained membership to the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in the Medicine Chapter. Meaghan completed the Certificate IV in Leadership and Management in 2022 and she is currently working toward the UK Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons: Certificate of Advanced Veterinary Practitioner and a postgraduate certificate in Veterinary Professional Studies through the University of Liverpool. Family life with her husband and two young children keep her very busy, and she has been lucky enough to complete several of her bucket list items including seeing the Northern Lights in Norway, and watching the baby turtles hatching in the wild in Queensland.

Madeleine (Maddi) Taper

Madeleine (Maddi) Taper – RVN VNCertECC

I am a UK trained veterinary nurse with 10 years’ experience in the industry. I completed my bachelor’s degree in veterinary nursing at the University of the West of England in 2016 and hold a certificate in small animal emergency and critical care. I moved to Australia in 2017 after a short period of travelling and locum nursing and have been nursing in Melbourne since. I made the move into specialist surgery after a significant period in a lead surgical nurse position in GP practice and am now a hospital co-ordinator at Southpaws Specialist, Emergency and Referral Hospital. I live with my partner and our two hand-reared rescue cats named Chewie and Sergio.

My main professional interests are in surgery and anaesthesia. I enjoy the challenge and problem-solving involved in small animal anaesthesia, and truly feel that it is an area where you never stop learning and growing. There is also nothing more rewarding than seeing a patient be discharged after supporting them through life changing or lifesaving interventions. Outside of work I love to travel and will never be found too far from the ocean (and probably with a G&T in hand). 

Stewart Ryan

Dr Stewart Ryan, Specialist Surgeon, BVSc(Hons), MS, Diplomate ACVS and ECVS, Founding Fellow ACVS (Surgical Oncology); Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

A graduate of the Melbourne Veterinary School (1989), Stewart is an Associate Professor (Small Animal Surgery) in the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne and also works in private specialty practice at Southpaws Specialty Surgery and Referral Hospital in Melbourne.

After several years in mixed dairy cattle and small animal practice in Victoria, he moved to Hong Kong and worked there for the next 10 years. During this time, he developed a broad range of surgical experience and completed the ANZCVSC Membership examination in small animal surgery.

He moved to Fort Collins, CO, USA in 2003 and completed an ACVS Residency training program in Small Animal Surgery and a Fellowship in Surgical Oncology at Colorado State University (CSU). Stewart became a Diplomate of The American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) in 2007 and was an Assistant Professor faculty member at CSU.

He returned to Melbourne and joined the University of Melbourne in 2012. He is a registered specialist in small animal surgery and the author of over 40 peer-reviewed scientific publications and several book chapters.

Stewarts primary clinical interests are in the fields of surgical oncology, minimally invasive surgery and interventional radiology as well as orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery. He enjoys teaching surgery to DVM students and residents and regularly presents continuing education lectures and workshops to veterinarians.

Clint Yudelman

Clint graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2009 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours). In his first year as a qualified Veterinarian, Clint performed a rotating internship at Queensland Veterinary Specialists in Brisbane in 2010, before returning home to Melbourne in 2011. Over the next five years, Clint completed a 12-month small animal internal medicine internship followed by a four-year residency training program at a multi-disciplinary specialist hospital in Melbourne. In 2015 Clint passed his specialist examinations through the ANZCVS and has been practicing as a medical specialist since.

Clint has been active in providing continuing education to the veterinary community, speaking at conferences Australia, and attending overseas conferences. 

Clint is the director of Insight Mobile Veterinary Diagnostics, providing specialist inhouse internal medicine diagnostics to the Victorian veterinary community since 2018. Clint has a strong passion and interest in gastroenterology. 

Emily De Mather

Emily De Mather RVN

A qualified nurse of twenty years, I discovered a love of anaesthesia seven years ago when I took a chance on a job in the anaesthesia department at U-Vet. Under the guidance of three rock-star anaesthesia specialists and the team of uniquely talented nurses, I developed a knowledge base, and honed a skill set I never expected to. I also gained a love of teaching, as, a major part of that job was teaching the fourth year DVM students in the practical aspects of anaesthesia.

Since then, I have written and presented multiple educational sessions on veterinary anaesthesia for nurses, because I wish to inspire ALL nurses to develop a deep love and respect for the art of anaesthesia.


A fierce ally for Inclusion and Diversity, Dr Channy spent 10 collaborative years in metropolitan clinical practice, including as a Lead Veterinarian in an ISFM-accredited hospital, before making the leap into industry.
After 2+ years with Royal Canin, major achievements include leading the Take Your Cat To The Vet initiative in 2020-2021, and representing Royal Canin ANZ in I&D to the greater Mars business through a global podcast.
In 2022, Dr Channy also stepped forward to assist Australian Rainbow Vets and Allies incorporate into an organisation as Treasurer & Sponsorship Officer. Additionally, through their role at ARVA, Dr Channy helped secure support & organise the first I&D conference for veterinarians in the southern hemisphere, The 2023 Veterinary Kaleidoscope Summit.

After launching the Calm diet and collaborating with Drs Kersti, Jacqui and Trepheena for the promotion, Dr Channy felt the pull of clinical practice too strongly to remain on the sidelines. Founding the Calm Pet Vet, Dr Channy is committed to education about Fear Free handling, both for veterinary professionals and pet owners alike, obtaining their Elite Fear Free Certification and Fear Free Coach status.
Passionate about animal behaviour and wellbeing, Dr Channy is studying to sit for their MANZCVS in Behaviour for 2023.

Dr Channy’s two cats Mittens & Smudge are constantly teaching them something new about Feline Medicine and Behaviour

Courtney Scales

Courtney Scales
DipVN, NCert (Anaesth), RVN

Courtney is originally from New Zealand where she trained and qualified. She has been working as a veterinary nurse since 2007 and after working in several clinics in New Zealand, an anaesthesia passion took her to Australia in 2015.

In 2016, she moved to the United Kingdom where she most recently worked as an Anaesthesia Registered Veterinary Nurse at the Royal Veterinary College. Courtney is now a Clinical Educator in Anaesthesia for Burtons Medical Equipment.

Courtney started Veterinary Anursethesia on various social media platforms throughout her studies and career to share anaesthesia tips with the veterinary community. She has written several journal articles and textbook chapters, and enjoys face-to-face speaking about the practical side of anaesthesia monitoring at CPD events and National Congresses.

Dr Abbie Tipler

Dr Abbie Tipler ATCL BVSc MANZCVS, FANZCVS (Surgery)

Dr Abbie Tipler is a Small Animal Surgical Specialist at Veterinary Specialist Services. 

Soon after her 2005 graduation as a Vet, she discovered her passion for small animal surgery. This took her to London where she worked for several years in a combined general practice/orthopaedic referral practice. In 2010 she moved to Sydney and sat her ANZCVS Memberships in Small Animal Surgery and in 2016 was chosen as head examiner for Memberships in Surgery. She is an active member of the surgical chapter and a regular attendee at surgical conferences world-wide including ACVS, ANZCVS Science Week and BVOA. She is a member of AO VET and is a published author in several veterinary journals. She lectures for the University of Queensland and is a regular speaker at conferences and for educational podcasts. 

Abbie has spent time seeing practice or completing externships at some of the top veterinary universities including UC Davis and Bristol University. In 2017 she founded the Small Animal Surgery Discussion Page for world-wide surgical discussion which has thousands of veterinarian members. In 2018 she was the recipient of the ANZCVS travel grant for services to the Surgery Chapter. 

In 2022 she was the only candidate to pass ANZCVS Fellowship examinations in Small Animal Surgery, making her the only new ANZCVS Surgery Specialist that year. 

Dr Tipler has special interests in spinal surgery, orthopaedic surgery and surgery for brachycephalic breeds such as the French Bulldog. 

She has been actively involved in charities such as Pets in the Park, Elephants Rhinos People, Greyhound Rescue and Cantoo. She lives in Saint Lucia, Brisbane with her husband, two young children and three ragdoll cats. She aims to inspire young female veterinarians into the field of surgery, and her journey and surgery tips can be found on her instagram @drabbietipler and website

Victoria Millington

Vic currently works as lead oncology nurse at Southpaws referral and emergency hospital in Melbourne.

Vic grew up in Derbyshire in the north of England and graduated as an RVN with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2012. Following her qualification, she worked in a multidisciplinary hospital for 7 years before making the move to Australia in 2019.

Over the years, Vic has developed an interest in cardiology, medicine, and oncology. Within oncological nursing, Vic finds it especially rewarding to nurse senior furry citizens and cater to their individual needs. She prides herself in providing safe, patient specific anaesthesia for sick and geriatric patients and creating low-stress environments to optimise their experience.

As well as providing high level care to pets and their owners, she is passionate about veterinary nursing training. Vic is an RVN under the AVNAT register and is motivated to contribute to the ongoing advancement of the veterinary nursing profession in Australia.

When she’s not at work she enjoys cycling, hiking, and travelling with her partner and their Labrador, Patrick.

Barry Hedgespeth

Barry Hedgespeth BVSc, DACVIM (SAIM), PhD

Barry grew up in Germany and the U.S. before attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he received a Bachelor of Science with a focus on Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2010. He then attended Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand, and received his veterinary degree in 2014.

After completing a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Massey University, he travelled to Coral Springs, Florida, to complete a specialty internship in small animal internal medicine. Thereafter he was accepted into the Clinician Investigator program at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine to undertake an internal medicine residency followed by a PhD. He completed his board examinations in 2021 to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and received his PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences with a focus on Immunology in 2023. His dissertation research focused on the manipulation of mast cells to treat a variety of diseases such as allergy, anaphylaxis, and mast cell cancer.

Barry’s other professional interests include immune-mediated, infectious, gastroenterological, and endocrinological disease, as well as endoscopic procedures. He has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and presented his research at various conferences in the U.S. and Europe; he has also served as a reviewer for veterinary internal medicine and immunology journals.

Rebecca Gäng

Rebecca graduated from the University of Melbourne with a BVSc in 2010. After a few years in mixed practice in regional Victoria she spent a year working in the UK and travelling around Europe before returning to Melbourne and working in small animal practice for several years.
Her interest in One Health led her to complete a Master of Public Health at the University of Sydney in 2019. While studying and immediately after graduation, she continued to work in clinical practice as well as working as a research assistant on One Health and vet epidemiology projects and teaching at a university.
In early February 2020, Rebecca started working at the (then) Victorian Department of Health and Human Services as an epidemiologist for the COVID-19 response. The rapidly expanding response soon saw her managing the Data and Reporting team who were responsible for COVID surveillance data and reporting processes for the state. Later in the response she became Principal Epidemiologist for Data and Reporting before taking a few months off to travel around Australia (and sleep!) in 2021.
Rebecca now works as an epidemiologist at the Victorian Department of Health in the Immunisation Unit where she is responsible for analysis and monitoring of (human) immunisation programs as well as data processes for operational support of government funded vaccine logistics.
She is the outgoing president of the Australian Vets in Public Health special interest group of the Australian Vet Association and remains an active member of the vet community. Her passions are One Health and infectious disease. In her free time she enjoys hiking, crocheting and puddling around in her large garden with the dog and chickens.

Dr Anupam Sharma

Dr Anupam Sharma is the founder of Animal Comfort Care Centre, an in-home palliative medicine and hospice care service. Dr Anupam Sharma graduated from University of Sydney in December 2006 with a Bachelors Degree in Veterinary Science. Thereafter, she worked as a qualified veterinarian in general practice as well as emergency hospitals in Sydney, Melbourne and London. Having worked as a relief veterinarian world-wide, Dr Sharma then underwent further studies in Small Animal Medicine, soon becoming a member of Australia and NZ College of Veterinary Scientists (MANZCVS). More recently Dr Sharma acquired a Diploma of Management in 2016. In 2023 Dr Sharma became a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian (CHPV) via the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC). The IAAHPC certification is the first of its kind and presently it is the highest academic achievement in Veterinary Palliative Care. Dr Sharma is a strong believer in physical therapy as a means of providing pain relief, calming the nervous system, and also strengthening the human-animal bond between patients and their caregivers. As a certified Canine Myo-Manipulative Functional Therapist (CMFT) she is able to provide demonstrative physical therapy advice to caregivers and veterinary staff alike. Dr Sharma is a certified Mental Health First Aid Provider which allows her to be able to assist colleagues as well as clients with much needed emotional and psychological support in times of distress. Dr Sharma’s qualifications and extensive experience help her provide a more comprehensive and holistic approach to her patients. 

Olivia Oginska

Liv Oginska is a veterinarian, keynote speaker, positive psychology coach, a certified workplace conflict mediator and an emotional intelligence specialist who’ ‘speaks Human’. For the last 4 years, Liv devoted her veterinary career to supporting both individuals and teams (especially leaders) in becoming more human-savvy. The human-savvy work focuses on helping veterinary and medical professionals create psychologically safe organisations, as well as sustainable and thriving careers. Liv graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Poland in 2010, worked as a veterinarian in multiple countries in Europe, Australia and North America, and she gained experience and credentials in positive psychology, emotional intelligence and conflict mediation in Cambridge, UK. Currently, she teaches emotional intelligence at Murdoch University Vet School in Perth, Australia, and she pursues PhD in the topic of emotional competencies among veterinary teams and leaders.

Elizabeth Crone

Liz is a specialist cancer nurse with over a decade of experience in surgical oncology and perioperative nursing. Graduating from The University of Melbourne with a Master of Nursing Science in 2011 and a Bachelor of Science in 2008, Liz has always held a passion for working in healthcare.

Since 2012, Liz has been an integral part of the Operative Department at the renowned Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where she specialises in anaesthetic and post-operative patient care. Holding certification in Advanced Life Support from the Australian Resuscitation Council, Liz adeptly handles a range of critical responsibilities. As an anaesthetic nurse, Liz plays a pivotal role in various aspects of patient care, including assisting regional anaesthetic implementation and airway management, peri-operative chemotherapy administration, neurovascular observations, and providing comprehensive discharge education.

Beyond her clinical duties, Liz has actively contributed to anaesthetic and nurse-led research endeavours. Working as a trial coordinator in large multi-site anaesthetic research studies, Liz was responsible for patient recruitment, collection of research specimens and data management.

Liz is an emerging health service researcher with a passion for health outcomes research and equity in cancer care and has presented study findings at esteemed conferences. Driven to improve patient outcomes and experiences, Liz remains committed to excellence in anaesthetic nursing, leveraging her expertise to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those she cares for.

Dr Sarah Haldane


Sarah is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and has extensive experience working in both university and private practice ICUs.  She has also completed a Masters degree in veterinary education.  She has published articles on diverse topics, including pain assessment, analgesia, toxicology, transfusion medicine, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and veterinary education.   Her current menagerie consists of two golden retrievers, two cats, three horses and various chickens. 

Dr Arthur House

Dr Arthur House BSc BVMS PhD Cert SAS DECVS (Small Animal Surgery) is an internationally recognized specialist small animal surgeon in both Australia and Europe with over 20 years of experience in specialist small animal surgery. Arthur is a partner of a large veterinary group and provides specialist surgical referral services to his patients. Arthur has an extensive range of specialist surgical experience and skills and strives to maximise patient outcomes by application of best practice and evidence based medicine and surgery. In addition to clinical work, Arthur continues to be active in veterinary postgraduate training through provision of continuing education lectures and supervision of clinical training scholars. Arthur is involved in collaborative research with colleagues who work in university hospitals and has a broad range of publications.

Jessica Hill

Cert IV VN, RVN, AVN, Head Nurse of Surgery

Jessica is the Head Nurse of Surgery and is one of three Theatre Coordinator’s at Lort Smith, Melbourne’s Animal Hospital. 

Jessica worked in specialty practice for 12 of her 18 years as a veterinary nurse. Prior to referral nursing Jess worked overseas in Vancouver for 12 months as a Veterinary Technician. Before Canada, Jess worked at a General Practice hospital in Melbourne for almost 4 years. 

Jess completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing through Box Hill Institute of TAFE and has since become AVNAT (Australian Vet Nurse and Technician) registered as well as an Accredited Veterinary Nurse. 

Jessica joined the VNCA (Vet Nurse Council of Australia) committee in 2021 and has since become Vice Chair of the Victorian Division. Jess underwent additional leadership training through the veterinary specific Lincoln Institute and is a team leader who enjoys the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital. 

Jess presented at the National Scientific Conference in Kuala Lumpur in 2023, which was a career highlight. Jessica loves encouraging Veterinary Nurse education and is eager to promote the same high standard worldwide within our profession.

In 2023, Jess attained her Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, which will allow her to officially train student veterinary nurses. 

Jessica is particularly interested in nursing and monitoring brachycephalic patients in hospital. 

Jess is fur-Mum to a 13 year old Boston Terrier, named Maple, who is a well loved staff member.

Dr Courtney Prue

Dr. Courtney Prue, Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian (CHPV)

Dr. Courtney Prue is not only a compassionate palliative care veterinarian but also the founder of one of Australia’s largest end-of-life care services.
Courtney’s passion is to enhance the lives of senior pets and those battling terminal illness, ensuring they experience improved comfort and quality of life. When the time comes to say goodbye, she supports families with decision making and guides them through the delicate process of helping their beloved pets peacefully transition in the familiar surroundings of home.

At Rest Your Paws, she leads a multidisciplinary team comprising CAETA certified veterinarians, veterinary nurses and pet loss support grief counsellors. Together, they offer comprehensive support to families during their difficult time of loss and bereavement.
Courtney is a passionate advocate for raising the standards of palliative care throughout Australia. She dedicates her time to educating veterinary teams and student veterinarians on how to enhance the euthanasia experience within veterinary clinics nationwide, actively working towards a more compassionate and empathetic approach.
Driven by a profound dedication to the well-being of geriatric pets and the families who care for them, Courtney is committed to making a positive impact in the end of life care space within Australia.
Dr. Courtney is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian (CHPV) and a member of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. She is also proud to be CAETA certified in best practice euthanasia.

Tess Nolan

My name is Tess! Im a previous practice manager and Veterinary Nurse of 10 years on the sunny Gold Coast! I launched Vet Nurse School” online in 2022 with the goal to help junior vet nurses excel into their new career paths. It has only grown since then, from reference guides to a Social Media Management Course, the possibilities are endless for the online platform and they will continue to grow. 

I strive to recognise the significance that Social Media is making on the Veterinary Industry and the many ways it can be utilised. Not only for GP clinic growth.

But attracting new staff members and achieving overall job satisfaction for your current employees! Working together to build a better industry for every party involved. I love Vet Nursing and I felt my ability to share this online inspired many others, which is what this industry really needs. 

Dr Elias Gumpel

Dr Elias Gumpel is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina but spent most of his life in Texas. He graduated with a DVM degree from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004 and went to small animal general practice for the next 4 years. Cancer was always a disease that fascinated him though, and this led to both an internship and residency in Radiation Oncology at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists from 2008-2011. Elias is a board certified specialist with the American College of Veterinary Radiology in the specialty of Radiation Oncology, and since September 2021 has been the Radiation Oncology specialist at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital in Sydney, NSW.

Jessica Hill

Jessica is the Head Nurse of Surgery and one of three Theatre Coordinator’s at Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne.

Jessica worked in specialty practice for 12 of her 17 years as a veterinary nurse. Prior to referral nursing Jess worked overseas in Vancouver for 12 months as a Veterinary Technician and before Canada Jess worked at a busy general practice hospital in Melbourne for almost 4 years.

Jess completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing through Box Hill Institute of TAFE and has since become AVNAT (Australian Vet Nurse and Technician) registered as well as an Accredited Veterinary Nurse.

Jessica joined the VNCA (Vet Nurse Council of Australia) committee in 2021 and also underwent additional leadership training through the veterinary specific Lincoln Institute, which she is very passionate about.

In July, Jess will be presenting at the National Scientific Conference in Kuala Lumpur. Jessica is vehement about veterinary nurse education and is eager to promote the same high standard worldwide within our profession.

Jess is fur-Mum to a 12.5 year old Boston Terrier, named Maple. They’ve just added another Boston to their family with an 8 month old foster sister, Coconut!

Jess enjoys going to the Australian Open tennis each year and also going to see her West Coast Eagles play in Melbourne, when they aren’t wooden-spooners. Jessica lives a cruelty-free lifestyle and promotes kindness to animals.

Dr Sandra Martig

Dr Sandra Martig is a European Specialist in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging since 2007 and works exclusively in teleradiology, where she routinely reports diagnostic imaging studies of dogs, cats and rabbits. After her diagnostic imaging residency at the University of Bern, Switzerland, Sandra worked as a radiologist in academia and in small animal private practice in France, Switzerland and Australia. Along the way Sandra explored subchondral bone biology and biomechanics while doing a PhD about joint injuries in racehorses. In her spare time Sandra enjoys bush walking and bird watching and she sings in a couple of local community choirs.

Rhiannon Watson

Rhiannon Watson- Cert IV qualified vet nurse

I started nursing 7 years ago but my love for nursing started in my youth. completing my Cert IV with Melbourne Polytechnic in 2017, I found a passion for Surgical nursing early on in my career and had the great privilege of pursuing the area I loved through my role as a theatre and central sterile supply nurse at the university of melbourne UVet.

I furthered my knowledge in the area through completing short courses through ACVN  in anaesthesia, surgical practices and sterile supply practice.

I joined the team at south paws in January 2023 as a surgery nurse, as well as heading the CSS department and training.

I take great pride in enforcing the best practices in surgical and theatre nursing as I believe it is the often underutilised and under-appreciated tasks that make a big difference in patient outcomes in relation to infection control and prevention of SSI.