Dr Gemma Birnie
Internal Medicine Specialist

Gemma graduated from Massey University in New Zealand in 2009 and then spent two years in private practice in Victoria. In 2012, Gemma did a rotating internship at Sydney University where she focused on Internal Medicine and Emergency
Critical care. She passed her memberships in Small Animal Medicine in 2013 and worked as an ICU vet at a specialist referral clinic in Melbourne. Gemma joined the BVSC team in 2014 and undertook an internal medicine residency and became a registrar in Internal Medicine and recently passed her fellowship exams and is now Board Certified in Internal Medicine. Her special interests include immune mediated disease, neurology, endocrinology and oncology.

Maggie Burley
AVN, Cert IV VN, Dip VN (Dentistry), VTS (Dentistry)

For more than 10 years Maggie has worked in small animal general practice. Her passion for dentistry has led to her obtaining the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Dentistry), and the VTS in Dentistry – the first & only in Australia. She has studied under Veterinary Dental Specialists both in Australia and the United States and attended many dentistry focused conferences and workshops. Maggie is experienced in conducting nurse dental clinics and assisting in both general practice dental procedures and advanced specialty procedures. Maggie became focussed on dentistry after seeing many pets in obvious pain and discomfort due to oral health problems, and finds it highly rewarding to see the improvement in a pet’s life following effective and appropriate dental treatment. She values helping pet owners to better understand the importance of their pet’s oral health. Her hope is that veterinary dentistry continues to grow and that a good oral hygiene routine becomes a normal part of every pet’s daily life.

Dr Anthony Caiafa
Veterinary Dentist

Anthony graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 1978. He worked in companion animal practice for 17 years and then returned to full time studies in 1995, to graduate with a Bachelor of Dental Science, dux of the year, in 1998, from the University of Melbourne.  Anthony currently works as a dentist on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland as well as in Veterinary Dental referral practice at North Coast Veterinary Specialists and Referral Centre, also on the Sunshine Coast.  He lectures to the undergraduate Veterinary Science students at James cook University, Townsville; as well as lecturing and running workshops on all aspects of Veterinary Dentistry around the world. He is also a chapter author in two respected Veterinary Dental textbooks.

Dr Cam Day
BVSc MANZCVS (Veterinary Behaviour)

Dr Cam is a full time pet behaviour veterinarian. He gained membership with the veterinary behaviour chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1995. He is one of the few veterinarians in Australia consulting full time in pet behaviour therapy. On a daily basis, Cam consults with dog and cat owners about the mood abberations of their pets. He helps to solve problems such as anxiety and panic disorders, compulsive behaviours and many other pet behavioural aberrations which create worrisome moods such as aggression, excessive vocalising, separation anxiety, noise panic disorders, house soiling and self harming behaviours.

Dr Aaron Forsayeth
BVSc (Hons) MACVSc (Animal Dentistry)

Aaron graduated from the University of Queensland with a BVSc (Hons) in 1996. He was awarded Membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists (MACVSc) in Veterinary Dentistry by examination in 2004. Aaron worked solely in mixed practice for over nine years, spending much of this time at a large animal hospital on the Gold Coast. Aaron has been working in full-time dental referral practice since 2006. Aaron has been the Treasurer of the Australian Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS) 2004-2006, Secretary of AVDS 2005-2006 and Newsletter Editor and Webmaster of AVDS 2002-current. From May 2010-2011 Aaron was President of the Australian Veterinary Dental Society. In 2012 Aaron took on the role of Policy Councilor for the AVDS. This role sees him on the Policy Council of the Australian Veterinary Association, developing policy that will benefit Australian Vets.

Dr Darren Fry
Internal Medicine Specialist

Darren graduated from The University of Cambridge, England in 1990 and practiced in the UK, Hong Kong and New Zealand. He did his specialist training at the University of Melbourne, becoming a Fellow of the Australian College in Small Animal Medicine in 2004. Darren maintains a broad interest in all areas of internal medicine but has a particular interest in ultrasonography, cardiology, oncology and feline medicine. He is a mentor-supervisor for the medicine residents and is active in the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. Darren has also been instrumental in bringing hyperbaric oxygen therapy, I-131 nuclear medicine and Half Body Irradiation (HBI) to BVSC.

Dr Elias Gumpel
Radiation Oncology Specialist

Elias graduated in 2004 from the Texas A & M University College of Veterinary Medicine and spent the next four years as a Small Animal General Practitioner in Houston, Texas. In 2008, Elias started an oncology internship at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists (Houston, Texas) and subsequently completed a two year Radiation Oncology Residency program, which involved training under the supervision of Dr Glen King at GCVS, Dr Mary K. Klein in Tucson, Arizona, Dr Pamela Jones in Phoenix, Arizona and Wendell Lutz, PhD, a world-renowned medical physicist and one of the original pioneers of stereotactic radiation therapy in humans. Elias is a board certified veterinary radiation oncologist with an on-site, dedicated linac for veterinary use.

Dr Brent Higgins
European and NZ Registered Specialist Small Animal Surgery

Brent is an orthopaedic surgeon based at VetSpecs in Christchurch, New Zealand. He graduated from Massey University and completed his surgical residency at the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. Brent’s mission is to simplify surgery and to make it safer, through the use of technology. To this end, he co-founded the veterinary medical device company OssAbility. Half of Brent’s week is now devoted to working with the OssAbility engineers and surgeons developing orthopaedic technologies. To promote skills-based veterinary education Brent also co-founded Practical CPD and ZeroPainPhilosophy.

Dr John Hutt
Registered Specialist - Veterinary Dermatology

John graduated from the University of Queensland in 1988. He worked in general practice in Brisbane for 18 months before travelling to the UK in 1990, where he worked in small animal practice for the next 11 years. He was a clinical assistant in dermatology at the Animal Health Trust from 1998 to 2001.In 2001 John set up North Kent Referrals, a multi-disciplinary referral practice in the south of England, and he owned and ran the practice until its sale in 2012.

John is a registered specialist in Veterinary Dermatology. He holds the RCVS Certificate in Veterinary Dermatology, is a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists (MANZCVS) by examination in small animal medicine, and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. John is a past President of the British Veterinary Dermatology Study Group.

Following his return to Brisbane in 2013, John joined the team at Dermatology for Animals. His clinical interests include the management of allergic skin disease in dogs, immune mediated skin disorders, and all aspects of feline and equine dermatology. John has regularly presented on the subject of veterinary dermatology to veterinary surgeons and nurses in both Europe and Australia.

Dr Marvin Kung
Small Animal Surgery Specialist

Marvin graduated from the University of Sydney in 2007 and commenced work in general practice. In 2009 Marvin joined BVSC where he completed his internship and residency. He is a member of the ANZCVS in Small Animal Surgery and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. He enjoys all aspects of surgery and is a registered specialist with the Queensland Veterinary Surgeons Board. Marvin has a special interest in neurosurgery, especially surgery for spinal disease and has a surgical oncology focus.

Dr Ralph Webster
Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons – Small Animal, Registered Australian Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

Ralph graduated from Massey University in 2004. Following stints in general practice in both Australia and the UK, he completed an internship at Davies Veterinary Specialists in the UK. Ralph has practiced referral-only surgery since returning to Australia to work at Sydney University in 2009. His residency was completed through the University of Adelaide and private specialist practice, as well as an externship at Michigan State University, leading to specialist status through the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. In 2017 Ralph established Better Veterinary Referrals to provide specialist mobile surgery services to partnering practices throughout south-eastern Melbourne. Ralph has lectured in small animal orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and neurosurgery at Sydney and Adelaide Universities and has run numerous CPD courses throughout Australia.

Dr Richard Lucy
BVSc MANZCVSc (Radiology) MRCVS Royal College Certificate in Veterinary Cardiology (UK) DipVCS

Dr Richard Lucy joined the team at Ourvets in 2014, having just completed atwo and a half year training program in human ultrasonography/echocardiography at Christchurch Public Hospital. Previously, Richard worked at Massey University, Sydney University and the Royal Veterinary College in London, where he lectured and gained qualifications in Radiography and Veterinary Cardiology.

Dr Patricia Newton
Internal Medicine Registrar

Trish graduated from the University of Queensland in 1999 and has worked in general practice in Alice Springs and Townsville. In 2012 she joined the team at James Cook University, working in the Emergency Clinic and later in the medicine referral department. Trish moved to Brisbane to join BVSC as an internal medicine resident in 2015 and in 2017 became an internal medicine registrar. While she enjoys all areas of internal medicine, her particular interests include ultrasonography and medical oncology.

Elena Saltis
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist, NZ Registered Physiotherapist

Elena owns AnimalPhysioNZ and leads a team of canine rehabilitation therapists in Christchurch, New Zealand. She is certified by the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in the USA where she now is now an instructor for the course. She has extensive experience in orthopaedics, spinal rehab, manual therapy, neurology and sports medicine in both humans and animals. Elena previously owned numerous physiotherapy clinics for human patients. Elena is secretary of the New Zealand Animal and Veterinary Physiotherapy Association and is passionate about the optimal care of veterinary patients.

Dr Katherine Steele

Katherine graduated from the University of Queensland in 2008. She completed a rotating and surgical internship in Brisbane prior to relocating to Victoria for a residency at Melbourne University in small animal surgery. She completed a Masters of Veterinary Studies in 2016 and a Masters of Veterinary Science in 2017. Katherine joined BVSC in 2016 as a Small Animal Surgery Registrar and in early 2017, she successfully passed her exams becoming a board certified Small Animal Surgeon through the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. Katherine maintains an interest in all aspects of small animal surgery, but has a particular interest in minimally invasive surgery and oncology.

Dr Rod Straw
ACVS Founding Fellow Surgical Oncology, Small Animal Surgery (Oncology) Specialist

Rod has been working exclusively in the area of veterinary oncology since 1986. He trained in the United States becoming the world’s first veterinary Fellow in Surgical Oncology. He was Associate Professor of Oncology at Colorado State University before returning to Australia where he has been treating referred small animal cancer patients since 1995. In 1997 Rod started Animal Cancer Care. He then established Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre in 2004 and later founded the Australian Animal Cancer Foundation which is a not for profit research charity. Rod is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and a registered surgical oncology specialist with the Queensland Veterinary Surgeons Board. Rod is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Qld.

Marcia Fletcher
Registered Veterinary Nurse Specialist, Senior Veterinary Anaesthetic Technician & RECOVER CPR Instructor
Dip VN (Distinction) VTS in Anaesthesia & Analgesia

Marcia Fletcher graduated from Massey’s Veterinary Nursing Diploma with Distinction in 2003, and has worked for the Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital as the Senior Anaesthesia Technician for the anaesthesia service since that time. Her day to day patients range vastly in size, from avian species, small animals, large animals, small mammals and exotic species.

In 2011 Marcia successfully passed her specialty examinations in America to become New Zealand’s first Veterinary Technician Specialist in Anaesthesia and Analgesia. In 2012 she was awarded the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association “Vet Nurse of the Year”, an award for excellence in veterinary nursing. In 2016 Marcia joined the credentials committee for the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anaesthesia and Analgesia. She won an Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences (IVABS) teaching award in 2016 and was nominated for the same award in 2017. In 2019 Marcia became a fully credentialed instructor of RECOVER CPR, one of three in NZ!

Loving all aspects of teaching, Marcia's passion has been instilling knowledge to both the veterinary and veterinary nurse students at Massey, as well as around New Zealand via her anaesthesia journal articles, conference presentations and webinars.

Dr Nima Nakahara
Small Animal Surgery Resident

Nima graduated in 2012 from The University of Edinburgh. She moved to Adelaide to work general practice for two years and has worked as an emergency clinician as well. She completed a one year rotating internship at a specialist hospital and joined BVSC as the Surgery House Officer in January 2016. Nima began her small animal surgery residency in July 2016, pursuing her career to becoming a specialist surgeon. Nima has also passed her Small Animal Surgery Membership Examination with the ANZCVS.

Robyn Taylor
Dip VN Lecturer

Robyn spent twelve years as an Emergency and Critical Care (ECC) nurse and Transfusion nurse at the referral campus of the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in the UK.  In that time, she became highly skilled in critical patient management, transfusion therapy and the many clinical nursing skills that go with such a specialised job role.  Robyn’s time spent in an international environment of specialists and a high case load of patients, has equipped her with invaluable knowledge and experience that allowed her to contribute to various publications, and speak at many conferences both overseas and locally.

On returning ‘home’ to Christchurch, Robyn felt she had something to offer the veterinary nursing industry in New Zealand, and currently teaches the Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at Ara Canterbury.