Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
Veterinary Services Manager
Claude joined the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital as a veterinarian in March 2008. Originally from Quebec, Canada, she obtained her veterinary degree from the University of Montreal in 2000. Her passion for wildlife and zoo medicine was already obvious in vet school where she completed multiple externships in zoos and rehabilitation centres throughout both Canada and USA.
After graduation, she completed a one-year internship at the Raptor Centre adjoined to the University of Montreal where she obtained her skills in avian medicine. She then moved to Alabama, USA, to complete a one-year internship as a zoo veterinarian. She was finally employed as the associate veterinarian at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, USA, where she worked for 6 years.
Working as a zoo veterinarian has allowed her to become familiar with many animal species, including African, South American, Asian, and Australian species. She remains the veterinary advisor for the Eurasian Black Vulture SSP (Species Survival Plan) in the USA. She has published many articles in veterinary journals, including on polar bears and elephants. Her experience, knowledge, and organization skills have been a great addition to the Hospital team. She has completely fallen in love with all the Australian native species. She is currently the manager of the Veterinary Services here at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital .
Amber has had a passion for wildlife for as long as she can remember and dreamed of being a vet. Growing up, she experienced Australian wildlife through raising injured fruit bats and the occasional possum and wallaby.
Amber's real experiences with wildlife began 10 years ago when she travelled to South Africa for a wildlife symposium and game capture course. She loved it so much that she returned in the beginning of 2003 to continue her veterinary degree there for the year. That year, Amber was lucky enough to get a job with the DeWildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre in South Africa. She worked as an assistant handler for one of their ambassador cheetahs and as a tour guide, helped with feeding and also assisted the vet with all sorts of procedures from minor injuries to limb amputations. She also got involved with the African Wild Dogs and Brown Hyena.
After returning to Australia in 2004, Amber completed an externship program with Taronga Zoo for four weeks and in 2005 spent some time at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and met the staff, which Amber says turned out to be the best thing she had done. This, along with her experiences overseas and in Australia, helped her get to where she is today - a fulltime vet at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
Amber is now one of the senior veterinarians at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and is the coordinator of veterinary research in our facility. In her spare time she is undertaking a research degree (MPhil) with the University of Queensland investigating disease and the reason for beach strandings in sea snakes. Her research will create the first complete set of health indices for sea snakes in the world and shed some light on what is currently happening in our marine environment.
In addition to this Amber is a core member of the Koala Research Network and volunteers her time and veterinary skills in various research projects, particularly in the area of koala research and conservation in Australia, and conservation projects globally. Amber has volunteered her time in numerous countries including Sumatra and Borneo where she provides valuable input in to veterinary care for endangered animals including tigers, orang-utans, and elephants.
Robyn joined the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital team at the end of November 2009 after spending three years overseas. She graduated from the University of Queensland at the end of 2006 after spending much of her spare time volunteering at the hospital, following the vets and nurses around!
She has always had a strong desire to work with Australian wildlife, and while finishing high school began caring for an assortment of wildlife, from injured birds to orphaned possums. This passion followed her through her university days with many an evening spent rushing home from university to collect eucalypt tip for hungry orphans, or dashing off to resuce injured creatures.
Having felt the pull of travel upon finishing university, Robyn moved to England where she spent an enjoyable two years working with dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits and an assortment of other English "pocket pets". The first eight months of 2009 were spent driving and camping around Europe, after which she decided it was time to return to sunny Queensland.
Robyn was lucky enough that at the same time she returned the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital was looking for a new veterinarian. Since being offered and accepting the position, Robyn can't see herself working anywhere else. She strives to give her best to every patient that comes into the hospital, and loves seeing her patients recover and be released.
Senior Veterinary Nurse
Nurse Vicky joined our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital after 10 years as a veterinary nurse in private veterinary practice. Nurse Vicki loves wildlife and, like Gail, has spent many years helping sick and injured wildlife as a volunteer wildlife carer.
She was thrilled to come and work at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital , where she can dedicate all of her time to caring exclusively for wildlife and helping our beautiful wild patients on their road to recovery. Vicki looks after the day-to-day care and medication of our patients, and helps our talented veterinarians with treatments and procedures.
Jennifer is an accredited veterinary nurse and joined our team in January 2008. She had previously worked for five years in both general practice and emergency critical care of domestic animals, and also volunteered and worked as a casual keeper in Taronga Zoo's bird show for over two years.
Jennifer moved to the SunshineCoast from Sydney to take up a nursing position at our Hospital and is loving the variety of wild animals that come into our care, as well as exploring the biodiversity that South East Queensland has to offer. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biodiversity and Conservation through MacquarieUniversity, and would like to do further study in Ornithology. It is a dream come true for Jennifer to work full time in wildlife conservation and she is particularly interested in raptor and parrot conservation.
Cheryl is a qualified animal technician, technical officer, zookeeper and veterinary nurse with over 20 years experience with wildlife, domestic and farm animals.
Upon a visit in 2004 to the Sunshine Coast, Australia Zoo and the recently-established Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, Cheryl and her family decided to move from Melbourne with the intention of working permanently in the wildlife hospital.
Cheryl initially worked as a volunteer before becoming employed on a full-time basis. She has watched the hospital and its team grow over the past seven years, caring for and working miracles on a multitude of wildilfe.
After years working with animals as a zookeeper and a veterinary nurse in New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, Melissa joined the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital as a Veterinary Nurse in February 2012.
She has always had a passion for wildlife and conservation believing she was born to save animals. Her favourite animals at the Zoo are the Lemurs who are inquisitive and spend hours ‘meditating' in the sun.
When she is not working, Melissa enjoys surfing, swimming, running, hiking, adventure sports, guitar and dancing. Waiting her whole life to meet koalas, she now gets to work with them every day.
AZWH Vet Nurse
For as long as she can remember Renee has been volunteering at a variety of animal organisations, and in 2004 the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital quickly became a favourite. Monday to Friday would see Renee working in a human genetics lab, while weekends would see lab coats replaced by scrub tops and cage cleaning.
Previously content with this "weekend fix", a trip to Africa in 2005 brought with it a realisation that wildlife rehabilitation was all she wanted to do. So after a decade in the lab coat, Renee quit her job and boarded a plane to Canada where she spent three years working at a native mammal centre. Here she was priveleged enough to rescue, raise, care for and release a variety of animals including raccoons, black bears and beavers to name a few of her favourites.
Upon returning to Oz, Renee was ecstatic to join the AZWH team as a trainee veterinary nurse in 2010. Renee is excited for the adventure and challenges that this role will bring, and says "it is a privilege to spend my days surrounded by our amazing wildlife and a group of people so dedicated to giving them a fighting chance."
For Lisa, joining the AZWH team as a veterinary nurse was a ten year dream come true. Her keen interest in wildlife conservation led her to work experience placements at Healesville Sanctuary, and Adelaide Zoo and a six-month internship with Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation in Texas, USA in 2006. Most recently Lisa travelled to Africa where she volunteered with the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and the Siyafunda game reserve research project.
Lisa has 6 years of veterinary nursing experience in domestic animal practice, including 2 years in emergency and critical care, and has completed her Diploma of Applied Science in Animal Technology as well as her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. Lisa looks forward to the challenge of working with Australia's unique wildlife at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
Tyron joined the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in May 2013, bringing with him 7 years of Veterinarian Nurse experience along with a passion for the Australian Wildlife. Tyron has a particular love for the birds here at Australia Zoo with his favourite being the Whistling Kite.
Tyron's dream to work at Australia Zoo required him to relocate some distance but having been passionate about conservation and everything Australia Zoo stands for it didn't seem to worry him one bit.
Tyron likes to spend his spare time Bird Watching or playing some sports. Tyron also travelled over to Nambia and got the rare opportunity to sleep next to a Cheetah and some baby baboons.
Amanda has been employed at Australia Zoo since 2005 and spent five years as an animal keeper working in a variety of departments, including koalas, native mammals, primates and cheetahs. She has recently joined the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital team as a trainee vet nurse to continue her work with her favourite animals, the gorgeous koalas. She is excited to be involved in koala rescue and rehabilitation activities, helping to give these little Aussie battlers a fighting chance.
Outside of work, Amanda has enjoyed wandering across the planet, travelling through Africa and South America, and has worked with all manner of creatures, from awesome jaguars to tiny African primates. But back at home, her favourite pastimes include a relaxing yoga session, or chilling at the beach with a good book.
AZWH Vet Nurse
Michelle started working as a kennel attendant with Guide Dogs Australia (NSW) in 2002 whilst studying to become a veterinary nurse. In December 2003, Michelle moved to QLD and continued her work with Guide Dogs Australia (QLD), before being employed with a domestic's veterinary clinic on the Gold Coast. She completed her qualifications as a Certificate IV Veterinary Nurse in 2005 and continued working with domestic animals.
In 2008, Michelle joined an Animal Emergency Clinic on the Gold Coast dealing with triage, trauma and emergencies of both domestic animals and wildlife. In addition to working in animal emergency, Michelle also started working as an animal behaviorist and trainer servicing Gold Coast vet clinics and co-hosting a Saturday morning radio segment on Hot Tomato 102.9. Michelle also started working at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital as a part time zoo nurse and wildlife nurse in which she was responsible for the health checks and welfare of both the sanctuary animals and public wildlife.
In August 2012, Michelle left the Gold Coast to take up residence on the quieter Sunshine Coast as a full time Veterinary Nurse at AZWH. Michelle is currently also studying her Certificate III in Captive Animals.
Kathy joined the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital as part of our administration team in August 2007. She had worked for over 17 years for another not-for-profit organisation and feels privileged to now be part of an "awesome and passionate team that all work so well together" caring for injured wildlife and promoting conservation.
Kathy loves animals - pets have always been part of her family - and is looking forward to learning more about wildlife. She enjoys the outdoors and bush walking and often can be found on top of Mt Ngun Ngun. Her number one life experience so far has been scuba driving and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.
Reception & Administration
For as long as she can remember Megan has always had a love of animals. From growing up on a farm raising many different animals to becoming a wildlife carer and rescuer with Moreton Bay Koala Rescue, she surrounds herself with animals.
After volunteering for several years at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, in 2009 Megan was offered the position of Receptionist. She jumped at the change to fulfill a lifelong dream to work within the animal industry, so resigned from her job immediately.
Megan considers it a privilege to be involved in the care and rehabilitation of our wonderful native wildlife; never taking anything for granted, she treasures each interaction and experience and appreciates the dedication, passion and sharing of knowledge from everyone at the wildlife hospital.
Rachel accepted the role of Volunteers Coordinator at the AZWH in January 2012 following many years of service with non for profit organisations such as Camp Quality, YMCA & Disability Sport.
Rachel loves working at the AZWH because she is surrounded by gorgeous animals and the wonderful, dedicated people who want to help them. She loves helping the sick and injured wildlife that are brought into the AZWH everyday and is proud that she is part of their recovery process.
When not hard at work with the volunteers at the hospital, Rachel loves to watch and play sports.
Brenda is new to the AZWH team accepting the challenging role of hospital cleaner in February 2012. Brenda has many years of experience in cleaning, aminly in the aged care industry and is thrilled to be working in such a unique team.
Brenda has dreamed of being a part of the AZWH as she loves the hospitals environment and of course the beautiful animals.
Outside of work Brenda enjoys travel, gardening, computers and music of all kinds.
Nicola joined the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital March 2013. She is an experienced Vet Nurse who started out by volunteering with the RSPCA.
Nicola spends her days off exploring Nature Parks where she enjoys observing the wildlife and bird watching. She has a strong interest in reptiles and invertebrates and even keeps a few as pets herself.
When asked why Nicola wanted to work at Australia Zoo she replied with "I love that Australia Zoo is so focused on conservation and research, I really want to be a part of that".
Tami began her veterinary career in 2001 in her hometown of Lynnwood, Washington. She quickly rose from kennel assistant to skilled vet nurse through intensive one-on-one training. Since then she has worked at a variety of veterinary clinics, including general practice, emergency, and a mixed small/large animal surgery. She also volunteered at Sarvey Wildlife Centre caring for animals of the Pacific Northwest such as raccoons, bears, beavers, porcupines and various native birds. In 2006 she was thrilled for the opportunity to travel to New South Wales and volunteer for six weeks the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
Tami has had a keen interest in koalas from a very young age, and in 2010 she obtained a permanent residency visa and relocated to Australia in hopes to one day work with the animal she loves.
Since moving to Queensland she discovered she not only has a passion for koalas, but for all Australian wildlife. Upon learning of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, she had a goal of one day working with us, and is now delighted to be part of the team of dedicated staff and volunteers.
In her spare time she enjoys anything outdoors such as camping, hiking and going to the beach. Her pets include a cat, 2 cockatiels and a cheeky green cheeked conure.
With thousands of visitors from all over the world passing through the gates daily, all team members understand the importance of making a lasting impression to our patrons. A job at Australia Zoo is more than a vocation, it's a lifestyle - just ask any of our team members. Australia Zoo employees love animals and conservation, have an exceptional self-drive attitude towards work and of course, wear the world famous khaki uniforms with pride! You just have to walk around the Zoo to feel the electricity in the air. The atmosphere creates an exciting experience for all visitors and a dream workplace environment for all employees.
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