Meet Our Team

Business Manager: Peter Hammond

Nursing Director: Sarah Stafford

Diploma Surgical Nursing, TAE & Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing

Sarah began her nursing career in 2009 across general practices which quickly lead her into the speciality field of surgery before commencing work with VRH in 2013.  She loves all aspects of surgical nursing with a keen interest in orthopaedic procedures especially total hip replacements.  

At home she keeps busy with her 3 cats Pooie, Gracie and Skanky.  Sarah and her partner Tim have just welcomed the arrival of their first child together.

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Training Coordinator: Brooke Simpson

Diploma of Management & Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing

Brooke began her nursing career in June 2008 working across general practices before commencing work as the nursing manager in April 2012.  She has established her own canine and equine Myotherapy business and attends to all her four legged patients on her days off.  

She loves all aspects of surgical nursing but has a keen interest for all lameness, biomechanics and joint issues cases.  

At home she keeps busy with her young son Jackson, her horse Chilli, her border collie cross Delta and her best friend Tehya the Labrador.

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Emergency and Critical Care: Dr Yenny Indrawirawan

Dr Yenny Indrawirawan is a Fellow of Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientist in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. She graduated in 2004 from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Animal Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Science. She has been working in various small animal emergency and critical care hospitals in Australia since graduation. She undertook emergency and critical care residency at Animal Accident and Emergency in Melbourne, and spent her externship at Colorado State University and Tufts University. She obtained her Fellowship in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 2016. 

Yenny has been tutoring general practitioners that are sitting their Membership of ANZCVS. She was involved in the Membership and Fellowship examination process with the ANZCVS. She is currently supervising a ANZCVS residency program in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. 

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Internal Medicine: Dr Catherine Bovens

Internal Medicine

Dr Catherine Bovens is a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ECVIM) for companion animals. Catherine is from Belgium and graduated from the University of Liege, Belgium in 2005.

After a one-year small animal internship in the same university, she went to the UK for a three-year Senior Clinical Fellowship in Internal Medicine at the Animal Health Trust, obtaining the RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Medicine in 2009. This was followed by further intensive training in internal medicine with a three-year residency programme at the University of Bristol in the UK. Catherine obtained her European Diploma in Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2014.

She enjoys all areas of feline and canine internal medicine; her areas of particular interest include feline lower urinary tract disease, haematology and endoscopy. Catherine has published articles in several veterinary journals, including the Veterinary Times and the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, and has lectured in several countries. She has received awards for her presentations at conferences, including the Best Medicine Abstract at the UK national veterinary congress and the Best Case Report at the Small Animal Medicine Society conference.

Catherine has three cats, all coming from rescue centres, and outside work she enjoys exploring the countryside. Catherine is passionate about the care and wellbeing of her patients and is proud to be part of our multidisciplinary team at the Veterinary Referral Hospital.

For a list of Internal Medicine: Dr Catherine Bovens's publications Click Here

Internal Medicine: Dr Sarah Helmond

Medicine Nurse: Samantha Elsner

Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing , Certificate IV training and assessment, Certificate III Equine Nursing

Sam qualified as a small animal veterinary nurse in 2009 and has worked in small and large animal veterinary clinics across Victoria. Prior to beginning work in the medicine department of VRH in May 2016, she was casually working at the Animal Emergency Centre while training and mentoring students studying Certificate IV in Veterinary nursing at a small RTO.

Sam is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to her patients. She has a particular interest in diagnostic imaging procedures and feline internal medicine.

When Sam isn’t at work she is at her small acreage property with her Husband, their children Ryan and Charlotte and all their fur family, including horses, dogs and beloved cats.

Medical Nurse: Kelly Mudge

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Surgery: Dr. Alasdair Renwick


Dr Alasdair Renwick is an internationally recognised specialist in small animal orthopaedic surgery in both Australia and the United Kingdom.  Graduating from Glasgow Vet School in 1996, Alasdair has always had a passion for surgery, but spent 11 years as a general practitioner, before choosing to specialise in orthopaedics and spinal surgery. He trained in surgery at Willows Referral Centre, one of the largest private referral hospitals in Europe, gaining the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Diploma in Orthopaedics in 2011. He then moved to Scotland’s busiest orthopaedic referral clinic. In addition to his very busy referral caseload, Alasdair is also an honorary lecturer and examiner for the postgraduate education department of Liverpool University Vet School.  He has also lectured in the UK, Australia and recently co-organised and ran the first veterinary orthopaedic conference in Vietnam. He has a number of individual and multicentre publications covering a range of orthopaedic conditions.

Having spent a year in Australia in 2003, Alasdair has always loved Australia and decided to emigrate with his family to join Hallam Veterinary Referral Hospital in 2018. He has extensive experience in all aspects of orthopaedics and strives to give the best possible care according to the latest evidence. He is also passionate about giving clients an honest appraisal of the likely outcomes of treatments and only recommends surgery when it is not only possible, but is the best course of action in each individual situation.

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Surgery: Dr Jack Neville-Towle


After graduating from the University of Sydney, Jack worked in general practice in Sydney prior to undertaking a rotating internship at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Canada. He then returned to the University of Sydney to undertake a residency in small animal surgery, which he completed in July 2017. During this time, Jack has published and presented research projects investigating stifle and carpal biomechanics. He has also been keenly involved in teaching veterinary students and has lectured and tutored for continuing education courses run through the University of Sydney’s Centre for Veterinary Education.  Jack enjoys all aspects of small animal surgery, particularly orthopaedics, spinal surgery and minimally invasive surgery. 

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Surgery Nurse: Kimberley Roulston

Cert IV Veterinary Nursing & Cert III Equine Nursing

Kimberley began her nursing career working in a large small animal general practice in May 2006. From there she developed a passion for surgery which led her to VRH in March 2014.  Kimberley is currently studying for her diploma of surgical nursing with a keen interest in intervertebral disc disease patients.  

In her spare time she is off spending time with her horse Roy part-taking in such Horse activities as trail riding, camping and increasing her skills in horsemanship and liberty ground work.  Her home life is shared with her loving Husband, 2 dogs (Millie and Bundy) and 2 cats (Terry and Bruce).   

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Surgery Nurse: Megan O'brien

Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing

Megan had been nursing for several years in general practise before joining the VRH surgical team in early 2017.  She completed her certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2014, and looks forward to starting her diploma of surgical nursing in the near future, with special interest in abdominal surgery.  

Megan keeps busy with her assortment of animals, including her horse, Archie, her Golden Retriever, Cooper, her mini Dachshund, Schnitzel, and her 3 chickens Mabel, Colleen and Bernice

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Surgery Nurse: Nadine Hobbs

Cert IV Veterinary Nursing

Nadine had always wanted to work with animals, and after a period of volunteer work with the RSPCA, she managed to secure a job in general practice in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. During this time she earned her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, and developed a passion for surgical procedures as well as behavioural issues. Nadine came on board with the VRH at the start of 2017, and is currently studying the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice).

She is the owner of a very handsome white rabbit named Benedict, which rules the house like most pets do! When she is not working in her dream job, she likes to travel both overseas and interstate to see friends, camping and exploring the great outdoors, as well as spending time with family and her now rabbit-loving boyfriend.

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Surgery Nurse: Sandra Ford

Associate diploma in applied science (animal technology), Advanced certificate of Veterinary Nursing & Certificate of Veterinary Nursing

Sandra commenced working with VRH since the beginning of a surgery team at Hallam and has seen it grow into what it is today.

She has been nursing for over 20 years with a broad range of experience in different specialty clinics working mainly with small animals. She really enjoy all aspects of Veterinary Nurse and the daily challenges of working in an Emergency and Specialist facility especially  helping make the lives of animals better.

When Sandra is not at work she is busy at home with family life and enjoy catching up with friends.
Currently Sandra and her family  have a cat called Kimi, a rabbit called Molly and a dog called Archie.

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Surgery Nurse: Jessica Austin

Cert IV veterinary nursing, Diploma Veterinary nursing-General Practice & Cert IV Training and Assessment

Jessica has been nursing for over 9 years in general practice clinics and has recently this year pursued her surgical  nursing career goal here at VRH.

Jessica is currently studying a certificate IV  in feline nursing to help improve cats experience in the veterinary clinic and  has a keen interest in patient care and anaesthesia.        

 In her spare time she enjoys playing the piano, reading and catching up with friends and family as well as spending time with her partner and furr family of 7 cats and 2 dogs. Don’t worry they do not all live in the same house.

Surgery Nurse: Shannel Downey

Surgery Nurse: Shona Whelan

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