Welcome to The Veterinary Surgery

Yarrambat and North Warrandyte

We pride ourselves on providing quality veterinary care to all species of pets, horses and production animals. We hope you will enjoy browsing through our facilities, reading about our friendly staff or finding out when our next puppy school or information night is on.

Equine Hospital

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Our clinic offers a large animal breezeway, complete with crush, to provide an ideal area for our vets to perform minor procedures on your horse. Our equine facilities also include stables, yards and paddocks to provide suitable accommodation for your horse regardless of its requirements.

Meet Koda

Hear His Amazing Story

He may be Australia's smallest horse, but his personality is as big as a Clydesdale. Koda is smaller than a labrador, weighs just 35kg and can travel on the back seat of a small sedan.

The Nurses

ABBEY FAHEY – PRACTICE MANAGER

Abbey has been a nurse for 19 years and was one of the original employees to work with Chris and Suzanne when the clinic first began.  Abbey is a highly experienced and competent nurse and enjoys all aspects of nursing.

Abbey lives in Christmas Hills with her husband Nick, daughter Kiah and son Brayden.   Since Brayden was born, Abbey has come back to us part time, and in her spare time enjoys gardening, looking after her horse and spending time with her family and friends. Other members of her family includes, her beautiful birds, 2 cute little dogs, a cat and 2 guinea pigs.

Abbey enjoys camping with her family and friends.

KAREN LYNCH – HEAD NURSE

Karen joined our team in 2007. Following 5 years based at a small animal clinic in Forest Hill, Karen was keen to broaden her horizons to work with horses and livestock. She has always aspired to a high standard of nursing and actively seeks opportunities to further extend her experience, knowledge and practical skills wherever possible. With a passion for surgery and orthopaedics Karen manages the surgical department and handles all equipment and ordering behind the scenes.

Karen owned and rode horses for several years, but has now settled down with only one rather small horse remaining, Koda. People may recognise Koda as he spent many years roaming the grounds at Yarrambat and paying regular visits to The Royal Children’s Hospital. This dwarf American Miniature has since retired to live with Karen & her husband Andy happily trampling the veggie garden, actively pruning the roses and breaking into the duck’s enclosure to steal their food if even the slightest opportunity arises!

On the side Karen is also a registered wildlife carer, rearing and rehabilitating wild ducks and reptiles from the district.

Water-sports consume all the spare time left in her life – snorkelling, surfing, windsurfing and sailing her dinghy. The weekly keel-boat racing with family and friends out of Sandringham Yacht Club presents the perfect chance to express her competitive streak!

VICTORIA ELLINGSEN

In 2011 Victoria traded in her career as a personal trainer to re-tool as a vet nurse. With a love for animals and fierce determination to achieve her goals, Vic’s ambitious nature paid off and she has since become an exceptionally capable and valuable member of our practice.

She has an ongoing thirst for knowledge, continuing to advance her skills and interest in small animal surgery. Always cheerful, helpful and hardworking, she is easily recognised by her raucous laugh !

Victoria has always enjoyed sport, outdoor adventures and generally keeping very active. These days she is challenging herself in new endeavours with her wonderful husband Ben by her side. Together they have completed in several mini triathlons by the bay and enjoy working out in their home gym..

Lily, a pint sized chihuahua X with the courage of a lion, and Bruce the “tank – like” Bull Terrier who’s voice would sound just like that of “Bruce” the shark from finding Nemo if he could talk, make up Vic and Ben’s happy family. With a few new additions of the poultry kind their house is now a home.

LARA CZARNOTA-BOJARSKI

Lara has been at the Yarrambat Veterinary surgery since December 2011. Prior to working with us Lara successfully completed an Advanced Diploma in Horse Management and spent time working in Queensland on a cattle station.

Over the years she has enjoyed learning about all aspects of veterinary nursing; with a very keen interest in equine nursing of course! She is currently studying for her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

In her spare time she enjoys riding and training her 3 horses; Bundy, Rascal and Jackie; regularly going to reining competitions and clinics. She also has two gorgeous rescue cats, Nera and Kitty.

When Lara is not riding or working she enjoys baking sweet treats and running for fitness and fun. Lara is also mum to the gorgeous Nicholas, with all the animals around he’s sure to become a veterinarian one day.

JACKIE HALL – PRACTICE MANAGER  

Jackie Hall is one of our senior nurses and is one of the three principles at The Veterinary Surgery.

She has been nursing for 20 years and joined the team at The Vet Surgery in October 2012.  Her nursing career started at the Wonga Park Vet Clinic where she was there for 10 1/2 years, then moving onto Heathmont Animal Hospital for 5 years. Jackie wanted something a little closer to home and she was given the opportunity to start working for The Vet Surgery.

Jackie has completed the Veterinary Nurse Certificate and then to further her career she went back to study a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Biotechnology. She worked part time at East Melbourne Laboratories as well as vet nursing but her heart still belonged to vet nursing so this is what she focused on. She is a very compassionate nurse and enjoys looking after all the clients pets that come in from chooks to horses.

Her family home consists of her husband,  2 children, Obi – the super smoochy rescue mastiff x from Queensland, Echo – a kelpie, Rhett – the big quiet Clydie x, and a few chooks – Nutella, Chickybabe, Blob, Browny – just to name a few.

Jackie loves gardening, horse riding, going to the beach and taking her dogs for a walk.

SINEAD MCAULEY

The ever-smiling Sinead McAuley joined our team in early 2014. She is based primarily at our Warrandyte clinic but has also been spending some time at Yarrambat clinic on Mondays.

Sinead has an impressive resume with a Certificate in Veterinary Nursing and a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Biosciences in which she majored in Zoology. With her background of Zoological studies Sinead understandably has an interest in our Australian wildlife but also enjoys dealing with our furry domestic species and for this reason is very knowledgeable across all species in her role as a Veterinary Nurse. Sinead spends her spare time keeping fit and healthy and has a keen interest in wellness and wellbeing, especially of our staff.

Sinead lives with her partner Chris in Healesville and owns Wilson the sweetheart Standarbred horse, Jet the cheeky Boxer, Felix the naughty cat and LuLu the supercute frenchie. (LuLu sometimes ‘helps out’ at reception at the Nth Warrandyte Vet Clinic, you can usually hear her snoring before you can see her!)

CAITLIN MURPHY

Caitlin joined our team in August 2015, having spent the last 4 years working professionally with horses, 3 of those as a World Cup show jumping groomer travelling up and down the East coast for shows. She completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Biosciences at La Trobe University as well as a Diploma of Horse and Business Management at Marcus Oldham College, where she was awarded Dux and Excellence in horse health and husbandry.

Having such a strong interest in horses, it will come as no surprise that she owns an off the track thoroughbred named Lily who she does dressage and show jumping with. As well as this, Caitlin also owns an over excitable kelpie, Indy, who also enjoys his time being outdoors with the horses.

ASHLEIGH CATTENAZI

Ashleigh started at The Veterinary Surgery early 2018 and has been nursing for 8 years. She has completed her Certificate IV in vet nursing in 2013 and is currently studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology to further her knowledge in the industry.

Ashleigh spent time in general practice clinics as well as being an oncology veterinary nurse which she found very interesting and formed great bonds with both the clients and patients. She also enjoys caring for the geriatric patients.
Ashleigh lives in Kinglake with her partner Steve and all of their much loved animals – 2 adopted cats (which she hand raised from one day old) Bear and Annie, 2 adopted bunnies Cherry and Elby, 2 Clydesdales Gringo and Clyde, an American Staffordshire terrier – Storm and a 10 year old Budgie called Eugene.

In her spare time Ashleigh enjoys exploring her new property in Kinglake, horse riding, and anything snow related.

TARYN GRINDAL

Taryn came to work with us in 2018 with 4 years nursing experience under her belt. In 2013 she completed a Bachelor of Equine Science at NMIT and since then has been very keen to put her acquired equine knowledge into practice. Furthermore Taryn aims to complete her Certificate VI in Veterinary Nursing in coming years.

Growing up in Eltham and now living in Diamond Creek with her partner Jesse, Taryn has always been a local. That said she has been fortunate enough to be a seasoned traveller, having experienced 28 countries so far! Taryn needless to say loves to explore and experience new cultures.

When she’s not jet-setting, Taryn leads a very civilised life riding her quarter horse Beau up in the Kinglake ranges or camping at various locations in Victoria’s wilderness. Taryn and Jesse are currently tackling renovating their house, so she is not afraid of a challenge either! It’s a full house these days with ball-obsessed George the Rotti and Lenny the German shepherd.

TARA ROYCE

Started with The Vet Surgery in September 2018. 

Has been vet nursing for 6 years, 5 of those in A small animal practice. Completed Cert IV in Vet Nursing. Very excited to now be apart of a mixed practice and further her nursing skills with large animal healthcare.

Currently renovating a 1950’s weatherboard in Healesville with her partner Jack and together they have have two bulldogs, George a 6 year old French Bulldog and Hank, a 2 year old Australian Bulldog.

Tara enjoys sharing her knowledge on everything Bulldog. And there’s lots to know! 

Tara has a strong interest in the anaesthetic monitoring component of nursing and likes to ensuring every patient undergoing an anaesthetic are carefully monitored with a smooth recovery.

She spends lots of time over the weekends in Mansfield where her family have a hobby sheep farm, along with 2 quarter horses, Summer and JLo. Summer had a Gypsy cob x quarter horse foal in January 2020.

Tara worked until recently with her Aunty and Uncle at the Hurstbridge Deli and Larder that they own. 

Coming from a background in customer service she prides herself on giving caring service and making every clients experience pleasant when visiting the clinic.

JAIMEE RITCHENS

Jaimee started veterinary nursing at a small animal hospital in regional NSW in 2013 and became a certified vet nurse in 2014 just before travelling to Europe to attend the World Dog Show as a spectator. Canine conformation showing is a hobby of Jaimee’s and has been since her very first job as a kennel attendant at a well respected and very popular foundation kennel for Bernese Mountain Dogs when she was 15 years old.

She has a particular interest in dogs, particularly primitive and landrace breeds as well as dog behaviour and training.

Jaimee and her partner moved to Victoria in 2018 for career advancement, where she completed a certificate in captive animals (or zoo keeping) after moving but felt that veterinary nursing is where her real skills belong.

Her companion at home (and occasionally work) is an Australian Champion show dog, running buddy and working poultry guardian, who also attends obedience classes (much to his displeasure).

Other hobbies of Jaimee’s include but are not limited to: binge watching tv and snacking on the couch, hiking, intermittent exercise, doing animal quizzes online and collecting chickens as pets.

MERVE COLAK