ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF VETERINARY NURSING

WARNING: Our passion for best practice veterinary nursing is highly infectious!

It’s quickly transferred to our students and the clinics they work in. That’s what makes our graduates so sought after.

ACVN Nurses receive the industry’s best possible education, and their hard work and enthusiasm are rewarded with extremely high employment rates post-training.


Veterinary Nurse

HARRIE PHILLIPS

MANAGING DIRECTOR

PGCertClinED, BAdVocEd (VocEd&Trng), RVN, DipVN (Surgical, ECC), DipTAE (Development & Design), DipBus, TAA, MACE

Harrie Phillips is one of Australia’s most highly qualified veterinary nurses and vet nurse educator. Harrie qualified here in Australia but is also a UK registered veterinary nurse. She has completed two Diplomas of Veterinary Nursing (Surgical and Emergency & Critical Care) and has worked in a variety of clinics from general practice, ECC, specialist centres and in universities. Her passion lies in surgical nursing, and in particular neurosurgery and orthopaedics. She regularly publishes articles in veterinary nursing publications, and you’ll see her at various conferences lecturing on foundation skills and surgical nursing. She has also volunteered as a veterinary nurse for Vets Beyond Borders in India and Te Are Manu in the Cook Islands.

Harrie’s passion lays in education and she founded the Australian College of Veterinary Nursing in 2010. She completed her Bachelor of Adult and Vocational Education and her Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Education focusing on simulation.

Harrie not only runs the college, she is our lead course developer & instructional designer and has authored many of our subjects. She also has qualifications in management, human resources and small business. In addition, she is trained in human hospital level sterilisation and infection control, applying this knowledge to improving procedures in veterinary clinics. She also sits on the Practice Guidance Committee for the Australian College of Infection Prevention & Control.


veterinary nursing

NATALIE WOOLLEY

ACADEMIC DIRECTOR

DipVN (Surgical, ECC), DipVET, DeltaCGC, TAA

Natalie is well-qualified with multiple Diplomas in Veterinary Nursing and Education, and backs this up with around 20 years of clinical experience in high end practice. Natalie continues to work as a casual surgical specialist nurse for a specialist centre (AAERC) in Adelaide.

Her nursing interests lie in surgical nursing, behaviour, reproduction and medical management of disease. In the world of academia, Natalie’s focus is on helping veterinary nursing students build skill, knowledge and resilience through evidence-based teaching and learning. Her ideal is to make this accessible to every student, in a way that makes the application in clinical work practical and relevant.

Natalie is currently studying her Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour through ISFM, which is due for completion in October 2020. After a short break from study, she will be pursuing further knowledge in Education and Management to continue pushing the growth of our Academic Programs.

When not at work, Natalie practices self-care through running with her partner Kerrie and their border collies Aspen, Django, Lexie and Split, or curled up on the couch with a good book and their stunning cat, Baci.


veterinary nursing

SHONED HAWKSWORTH

NURSE EDUCATOR – CLINICAL SKILLS

Dip AVN (small animal) Dip CVN RVN Cert IV (QVN) Cert VNES (exotics) Cert Nut QCF (nutrition) Cert IV TAE MBVNA

Shoned is a very experienced UK qualified veterinary nurse and has been working with animals since 2002. She qualified as a Veterinary Nurse 2005 and went on to gain her Certificate in Exotics in 2012. She also completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2015.

Shoned loves education, and completed her Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Small Animals) in 2016 and her Canine and Feline Veterinary Nutrition in 2017. As a qualified Nurse Educator, she also holds the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and recently became an accredited mental health first aider.

Before Shoned came over to work for ACVN, she spent several years working in an exotics clinic in Hong Kong working with various species and training Veterinary Nurses. She brings a wealth of veterinary nursing and exotics knowledge to our team. Shoned is our main Clinical Skills Educator.


veterinary nursing

NICOLA WILCOCK

NURSE EDUCATOR

RVN, TAA

Nicola is a UK qualified and RCVS Registered Veterinary Nurse. Her passion for working with sick and injured animals started at a very early age and once she finished school she started training as a Veterinary Nurse and qualified in 2005. Nicola has worked in both small and large animal clinics throughout the UK and Australia.

Nicola’s passion for Vet Nurse education grew through training students in practices around Australia and in 2016 she joined ACVN to assist students in fulfilling their dreams of becoming a qualified Veterinary Nurse.

Nicola now works part time from home in the UK as our UK Correspondent assessing student work and providing after hours student assist 1 evening a week. She also works for a local Veterinary Nursing College in Manchester as the Placement Coordinator.


veterinary nursing

JESS MALE

NURSE EDUCATOR

RVN, BSc, RN, VN, TAA

Jess is a qualified Veterinary Nurse and Registered Nurse (human) in orthopaedics and plastics. She holds Bachelor degrees in Biological and Biomedical Science from Murdoch University, WA. Jess has worked in a variety of busy veterinary practices over her vet nursing career (commencing in 2001) and has maintained special interests in wound care, the pre and post-op care of critical and trauma patients, and animal behaviour. Currently, she is studying her Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (ECC) and works in a large veterinary clinic in Adelaide.

Jess is passionate about the education and development of veterinary nurses in practice, seeing this as a key aspect in achieving greater respect and recognition for the vital role that veterinary nurses contribute. With her invaluable knowledge, she currently assists in the development of our assessments and resources as well as assessing student work.


LAURA MOSS

NURSE EDUCATOR

RVN, VN, TAE


Laura is a RCVS Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) and has been working in the veterinary industry for the past 12 years. During this time 7 years were spent working within busy general practices in the UK which included a dental specialist practice. Laura moved to Australia in 2013 where she secured a role as a senior ophthalmology nurse where she has spent the last 5 years. Her interests lie in surgical nursing and anaesthesia.

Laura has always had a passion for training and wanting to share her skills and knowledge with others. In 2019 she completed her Cert IV in Training and Assessment (TAE) which allowed her to take the first step into education and work as an ACVN educator.


LAURA McConnell

NURSE EDUCATOR

RVN, TAE

Laura is an Australian Qualified Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) who has been working as a veterinary nurse since 2004. Laura has been caring for animals for over 17 years. First starting off when she was very young in volunteer roles at the RSPCA, The Cat Protection Society and various international wildlife charities. She began veterinary nursing in specialist practice, where she was trained in ophthalmology nursing.

Fast forward four years, she then moved over to general practice to hone and widen her nursing skills. Laura has a passion for learning and constantly has her head in journals, ears on podcasts and attending conferences to keep up to date with best practices and what’s new in the world of veterinary nursing. Her special interests lie in all things feline and anaesthesia.

Laura is passionate about promoting the valuable role and contribution that veterinary nurses make in the clinic. She loved guiding trainee nurses and encouraging them in their studies in her clinical role, so in 2019 she gained her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to assist with this, where she received the Outstanding Achievement Award.

She now shares her time between her role as a senior veterinary nurse at an inner city general practice and her work as a Nurse Educator at ACVN.


PHILIPPA WILKINSON

NURSE EDUCATOR

VN, TAA

Philippa completed her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at Unitec, New Zealand back in 2002. She then went on to work for 7 years in a referral veterinary hospital based in Auckland. She gained skills in surgical nursing then went on to do a certificate in captive wild animals again at Unitec. From there she worked at Auckland Zoo for 2 years caring for a range of mammals from meerkats to baboons to hippos and elephants. In 2011, she came to Australia and continued working at a referral hospital at UVET. She worked in the surgery and theatre position and was second in charge for the nursing team. She was also involved in teaching final year vet students. In her spare time, she works towards wildlife campaigning and Australian wildlife habitat work.


SARAH GRINTER

NURSE EDUCATOR

VN

Sarah is an Australian qualified Certificate IV Veterinary Nurse, she began nursing in small animal general practice in 2011. Sarah has a keen interest in emergency medical, surgical and trauma cases, which drew her to work in an emergency clinic to gain further emergency and critical care experience. Currently, she is continuing to work in a busy general practice clinic as a hospital and surgical nurse.

Sarah loves mentoring junior nurses in her clinical role. She has a passion for educational development and recognition of the nursing role within veterinary clinics. Sarah completed her Certificate IV in Training and Assessing when she began working with ACVN in 2018. Sarah enjoys helping new nurses to progress in their careers in her position as a nurse educator.


veterinary nursing

KERIN ASPINALL

DIPLOMA NURSE EDUCATOR

DipVN (GP), Cert IV CAS, TAA

Kerin is a qualified veterinary nurse with over 20 years of experience. She has recently completed her Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice).

Kerin enjoys learning herself and helping others to achieve their goals. She currently works in a small animal practice as a senior nurse where she is also responsible for mentoring the junior nurses.

Kerin is multi-talented, and is also a qualified dog groomer and owned her own successful salon for 15 years. She is also involved in assessing the grooming students at the Australian College of Animal Care.


Kiara Stoboi

NURSE EDUCATOR

RVN, TAA

Kiara is qualified and an Australian Registered Veterinary Nurse with over 8 years of experience including 4 years in general practice and 4 years in wildlife and exotic vet nursing. Her wildlife and exotics nursing experience adds another dimension to our team. At the start of her Veterinary Nursing career, Kiara spent 6 months working overseas with primates gaining industry experience.

Like all our staff, Kiara has a strong passion for vet nurse development and training new vet nurses, and holds her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She splits her working time between being a Nurse Educator for  ACVN and working in clinic still as an Emergency Veterinary Nurse at the University of Queensland in the Small Animal Hospital, which also involves clinical teaching.


Nicola Wilkinson

DIPLOMA NURSE EDUCATOR

PGCertVetAnA, BSc (CVN), DipAVN (Small Animal), DipHECVN, RVN, TAA, TAE

Nicola is a RCVS Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) with 19 years experience in the veterinary industry having worked in first opinion and specialist practices across the UK and Australia.

Nicola is passionate about gold standard care and best practice within veterinary nursing, and has completed a BSc (Hons) in Clinical Veterinary Nursing, Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (small animal) and more recently a Post Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. Nicola has a keen interest in pain management, anaesthesia and emergency and critical care.

Nicola strongly believes that veterinary nurse students are the future and strives to teach them to be motivated to learn, stay current and generally to keep being awesome!


Michele El Bayeh

NURSE EDUCATOR

BSc, RVN, TAA

Michele is an Australian qualified Veterinary nurse who has been working in general practice for over 8 years. Her introduction to the veterinary world was as a volunteer at the RSPCA where she helped walk and provide enrichment to the many dogs housed there. Michele is currently a Practice Manager/Head Nurse for a busy small animal clinic in Sydney’s Northern suburbs. Through this and various other roles Michele has developed a passion for training and mentoring people. In 2019 Michele completed her Cert IV in Training and Assessment which has now allowed her to further help junior nurses grow and develop their skills. She splits her time between her clinic role and being a Nurse Educator for ACVN.


Anneka Pierzga

NURSE EDUCATOR

BA (Biology), AAS (MLT), MLT (ASCP), RVN, TAA

Anneka completed a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2011, and then went on to train on-the-job as a veterinary technician in Maryland, USA. Since then, she has worked in a wide variety of veterinary clinical settings including small animal general practice, wildlife rehabilitation, biomedical research/laboratory animal medicine and emergency and referral medicine. Over the course of this journey, she discovered a love for the fast and ever-changing pace of emergency and critical care medicine, as well as a keen interest in clinical pathology. This led her to return to university to study medical laboratory technology, and she qualified with the American Society for Clinical Pathology in 2017.

Anneka moved to Western Australia and qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2018, where she now spends her time split between working as an ECC nurse in a busy emergency and referral centre just outside of Perth along with working as a Nurse Educator for ACVN.

Anneka’s special interests include emergency and critical care nursing, clinical pathology, transfusion medicine, and the application of critical thinking and passion to deliver high quality nursing care.


Laura Salmond

NURSE EDUCATOR

BAppSC(VT) DipVN (ECC) VTS(ECC) Cert IV TAE

Laura is an Australian qualified Veterinary Nurse who has been working as a veterinary nurse for over 10 years. She completed her Bachelors degree in Applied Science (Vet Tech) at UQ in 2012. She spent a year in general practice in QLD before moving to WA and into speciality practice, splitting her time between Emergency and Critical care and Surgical nursing until 2015 when she followed her heart into full time ECC. In 2018 she completed her Diploma of VN in ECC (ACVN) and in 2019 became a boarded Vet Tech Specialist in ECC (AVECCTN).

Laura’s special interest areas include all things ECC, advanced clinical nursing and Anaesthesia (and plants). Laura is passionate about bringing a high standard of care and knowledge into the industry, and in 2020 completed her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, with the desire to use her training, background and passion to deliver quality training and support to the up-and-coming generations of veterinary nurses.


Samantha Amos

NURSE EDUCATOR

Cert IV VN, RVN, AVN, Cert IV TAE

Samantha is a Registered and accredited Veterinary Nurse who has been working in the industry since 2012. During this time, she has worked in a variety of clinics throughout Australia. While most of Samantha’s experience has been within bustling general practice clinics or hospitals, she also has fond experiences working within specialist and emergency departments, as well as mixed practice. Her experience across a variety of areas within the veterinary industry demonstrates her love for all areas of veterinary nursing. 

Whilst mentoring students and junior nurses within clinic, she found a passion for training and developing the next generation of veterinary nurses. This persistent burning passion led to Samantha attaining her Certificate IV in Training and Assessing in 2020 and joining the ACVN educator team early 2021. Currently, she works as a senior veterinary nurse and as a nurse educator with ACVN.


Samantha Lewis

NURSE EDUCATOR

DipVN (GP), DipVET and TAE

Samantha is a qualified veterinary nurse.  She has worked in a variety of busy veterinary practices over the past 20 years, including 6 months in England.  In 2006 a change of career saw Samantha move over to humans where she gained her Diploma in Paramedical Science.  During this time she also gained her Certificate 4 in Training and Assessment and this is where her love for teaching began.

Eventually she came back to animals and gained experience working as a senior nurse in an emergency clinic and began teaching veterinary nursing through Tafe. During this time she also gained her Diploma in General Practice and Diploma in Training and Assessment. Samantha is passionate about education and training and loves to see students finish their studies and become competent and recognised veterinary nurses in the industry.  Her interests lie in anatomy, pharmacology and behaviour.  She is hoping to study animal psychology in the future.

She is excited to join the ACVN team and continue to share her knowledge and love for animals and nursing.  Samantha spends any spare time in the outdoors with her family and labs Binda and Jose.


Jennifer Peart

NURSE EDUCATOR

BSc (Animal Biology), CERT IV RVN, CERT IV TAE

Jennifer is a qualified veterinary nurse who began her career back in 2014 working in a small general practice clinic. Gaining her certificate IV in 2014 she moved into a large referral hospital and found herself working as a medicine nurse for the first few years of her career before stepping up to split this with emergency nursing as well. She has a love of nursing patients and testing her skills and knowledge when it comes to intricate cases that require high volume care. 

Jennifer completed her TAE not long after her nursing certificate believing that education was the best way to help strengthen the industry and teach quality nursing. Previously, she worked with veterinary medicine students training in the final clinic year but has now made the switch over to veterinary nurse students, having a passion for passing on her knowledge and seeing nurses gain confidence in themselves. 

Since joining ACVN she has also completed her Bachelor of Science (Animal Biology) and her Graduate Certificate in Adult and Vocational Education and thrives when given the opportunity to work through information with students.


Rychelle Blake

NURSE EDUCATOR

RVN Dip VN (GP) Cert IV TAE

Rychelle is a Diploma qualified veterinary nurse with over 12 years of experience in practice.

Rychelle’s favourite aspects of veterinary practice include surgical and critical care nursing and nurse training and education. Rychelle currently splits her time at a busy accredited animal hospital in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne and as a Nurse Educator here at ACVN. Outside of work, Rychelle enjoys long walks and spending time with her family including her 8 year old papillon Finley and 16 year old ginger cat Ninja!


Charlotte Russell

NURSE EDUCATOR

BSc Hons RVN (RCVS), Cert IV TAE

Charlotte is a British Veterinary Nurse, who completed her academic and clinical training at Middlesex University with honours in 2013 and registered with the RCVS. She has worked in private general practice, specialty and emergency hospitals, as well as charities in both London (UK) and Australia. After moving to Australia, Charlotte managed to secure a sponsored Visa role as a referral surgical veterinary nurse. She has since worked as part of a specialist surgery referral team for the past 7 years plus, with a focus on anaesthesia and imaging. When she is not working at ACVN helping students, she is responsible for training nurses within the surgical discipline which she loves. She is also responsible for assisting student DVMs during their surgical rotations. 


BREE TAYLOR MOLYNEAUX

STUDENT WELLBEING COACH

Cht, Dip App Sci, Mas NLP

Bree is here to assist ACVN students with emotional support, guidance and simple strategies to help increase success during their studies.

Bree holds a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy & Applied Sciences, is an NLP Master practitioner and has over 20 years’ experience in the coaching and personal development industry. Her specialities include self-care and wellness coaching both in-person and online.

With a passion for animals (especially dogs and horses) Bree is new to working in the veterinary industry but brings a wealth of knowledge from a range of mental health roles.


veterinary nursing

MAHNI BROOKER

Internal Compliance and Project Management

BSc (Zoo, Rep), TAA

Mahni is multi-talented and has been with ACVN since 2014. She has worked in various different positions here in this time and these days she is busy working hard in the background on our internal compliance and project management. Mahni works to keep things running smoothly by creating, updating (and sometimes fixing) the student portal and student resources. She works closely alongside Harrie and Natalie to produce and maintain the gold standard resources that our students are used to receiving. 

Mahni has a varied animal care background where she started off veterinary nursing through high school and University. After graduating she went on to immerse herself in her passion of embryology as an AI tech in cattle. Mahni’s diverse range of skills include managing a large doggy day care centre, managerial roles in pet stores and as the animal welfare liaison for one of the largest microchipping companies in Australia. Mahni has also worked extensively in animal welfare as Lead Animal Attendant in the Education Barn at the RSPCA. During this time Mahni also worked alongside Victoria University as a Trainer and Assessor for Cert II in Animal Studies. This sparked her love of teaching and education and she has not looked back since.


Amy Stubbs

Student Assist Coordinator

VN

Amy began her Vet Nursing career in 2012 when she started studying for her Cert III in Animal Studies with ACVN. She was worked as a full-time Vet Nurse in small animal practice since 2013 and completed her Cert IV in 2019. Amy also holds an Advanced Diploma in Animal Technology and a Diploma in Marketing. She has a passion for animal nutrition, especially weight loss and management and ran a successful program in her previous clinic. Amy is a registered AVNAT nurse and has held the position of Secretary of the Victorian Division of the VNCA since 2018, so you may see her facilitating a webinar or CPD session every now and then.

Amy is a passionate advocate for Veterinary Nursing and enjoys assisting students to become the best version of themselves in their nursing careers. Amy is a superstar in Student Assist, supporting our students’ enquiries and through assessment support.


Alex Haintz

Student Assist Coordinator

DipVN (GP),  RVN

Alex is an Australian Registered Veterinary Nurse and has been working in the veterinary industry for the past 7 years. She completed her Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice) through ACVN in 2019. Alex has been a part of our student assist team since the beginning of 2021 and is currently working towards her Cert IV in Training & Assessment so that she can start assessing.

Outside of ACVN, Alex also works as an emergency nurse where she has a keen interest in all things critical care, especially intensive care cases. Prior to working in ECC, Alex worked as a head nurse in a GP clinic where she loved all aspects of surgery, team consulting and puppy school classes. Alex is a life-long learner and loves to share her knowledge with other nurses and nurses in training. 


LINDA KIRKLAND

Student Assist Tutor

Cert IV RVN, BBus (HR)

Linda is an Australian qualified AVNAT registered Veterinary Nurse, with over ten years experience. 

After many years gaining skills and experience in busy general practice, Linda achieved her aspiration of working with wildlife at The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. From there, she joined the Avian, Exotic & Wildlife Service at the University of Queensland Small Animal Hospital in Gatton as the departments Veterinary Nurse and Clinical Educator. 

Linda has a keen interest in both student education and staff training. She recently completed a Graduate Teaching Associate program at the University of Queensland, and is a current candidate for the award of Higher Education Academy Associate Fellow. Linda is actively undertaking a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.  

Gold standard care of avian and exotic pets and wildlife is something Linda is genuinely passionate about. Her aim is to be a part of providing high level education relating to the care of these species through her work, presentations, and education.

Prior to her career in veterinary nursing, Linda worked in retail and small business management, during which she completed a Bachelor of Business Management majoring in Human Resources. 

Linda’s outside interests include hiking combined with wildlife photography. She enjoys playing music, specifically guitar, gardening, and hanging out with her dog – Chester the Whippet!


RIKKI DENHAM

RTO ADMINISTRATOR

Rikki is our admin superstar! Rikki has joined our team with over 5 years experience working as an Administration Officer for Registered Training Organisations. Students will know Rikki as the go to person for all their administration and enrolment queries through Student Assist. Rikki also keeps the head office running making sure all our students get their folders and resources on time.


Gayle Parison

RTO Admin Officer

Gayle has over 8 years of experience working as a Customer Service Officer and Senior Training Officer for a Registered Training Organisation.  In these roles, Gayle has supported students in all aspects of their enrolment through to graduation and issuing qualifications. Many of our students will have had the pleasure of dealing with Gayle when beginning their journey with ACVN or through student assist when they have needed further admin support.