After graduating from the University of Queensland, Deborah started her journey in avian and exotic animal medicine. In the following years, she worked in a variety of practices (general, emergency, 50% avian/50% small animal practice), before finally moving to the United Kingdom to start an avian residency. While in England, she obtained her Certificate of Zoological Medicine (CertZooMed). This qualification encompasses zoo animals, birds and exotic pets and wildlife. Deborah received this qualification in 2004. Her case book was of such a high standard that the Royal College of Veterinary Surgery in London requested a copy for their library. There are only 3 people in Australia with this qualification.
DipECZM (Avian) signifies that Deborah is a Diplomate (Specialist) of the European College of Zoological Medicine and Surgery, in the Avian Section, which is the European organisation responsible for training and assessing veterinarians who wish to become avian specialists. Deborah was given Diplomate status in 2006 and is the only Australian veterinarian with this qualification having undertaken the necessary training and study required between 2003 and 2006.
In addition to her Zoological Medicine Certificate and European Diplomate qualification Deborah achieved Membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Avian Health in 1999 (MACVSc [Avian Health]) and improved on this initial qualification by achieving her Fellowship (Specialist) status in July 2006 (FACVSc [Avian Health]). Although there are now a number of Members of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Avian Health, Deborah is only the fifth person to have attained Fellowship level and is one of only two in Queensland, the other being Dr Bob Doneley who practices at the University of Queensland Small Animal Hospital at Gatton.
Emma joined the team as a veterinarian in 2014 after working with us as a veterinary nurse for 4 years during her veterinary training. Obtaining her first pet snake when she was just 11 years old, Emma has always wanted to be a reptile veterinarian. Emma graduated from the University of Queensland’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 2014 with honours and as class valedictorian. During her studies she completed externships at Auckland Zoo, Melbourne Zoo and Adelaide Zoo.
Emma has a very keen interest in reptiles but also loves all of the feathered and furred animals we see. At home she has a 21-year-old galah called Toby, a cinnamon green cheek conure, Rica, a cheeky lorikeet called Ollie and many chickens – all of which are regular blood donors for the clinic! She also has a Darwin Carpet Python called Eve, a Ridge tailed monitor called Patch and (she had to have some furred creatures!) two dogs – Lola and Tia. Over the years she has had snakes, various lizards, frogs, guinea pigs and mice. Emma achieved her Avian Memberships with the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in 2018, and her Unusual Pet Medicine and Surgery Memberships in 2019. Outside of work Emma spends most of her time with her daughter and husband caring for their menagerie!
Kimberley knew she was going to be a vet for as long as she can remember and has always had an interest in the more exotic and unusual creatures! In high school she completed a work experience program at Dubbo Western Plains Zoo and spent a lot of her spare time at a local mixed practice veterinary clinic. Kimberley then worked as a Wildlife Officer and volunteered as a wildlife carer while studying at university. In her final year she completed an externship at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and spent some time with Dr Bob Doneley, an avian specialist at the University of Queensland.
Kimberley has been at BBEVS since she graduated with honours from the University of Queensland’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science. She loves the wide variety of creatures we see, but has a particular soft spot for small mammals, reptiles and ducks. At home, she has a wide variety of furred, scaled and feathered friends to keep her busy!
Since graduating, Kimberley has continued her education in the avian and exotics field. She has completed continuing education courses in exotic small mammal medicine and dentistry and small mammal abdominal ultrasound. In 2018, Kimberley was awarded a scholarship to attend the Unusual Pet and Avian Vets conference in Adelaide to present her paper on urolithiasis in guinea pigs. Here, she also attended a workshop on small mammal head/ear surgery.
Kimberley is currently working towards her Memberships in the Medicine and Surgery of Unusual Pets.
Rebecca knew she was going to be a vet from the age of four, spending holidays helping on her family’s farm, and using spare time to role-play being a vet, reading books on aviculture and bird identification and listening to Don Spencer’s “Feathers, Fur or Fins” cassette on repeat.
Her love of animals only grew when she was given her first pet, Aussie the talking budgie at age 9, and since that time Rebecca has kept numerous parrots, bred a few species of native frogs.
Rebecca joined the veterinary industry in 2006, working as a Veterinary Nurse in small animal practice in Brisbane, and in 2008, she moved to Perth, Western Australia, where she completed her Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVMS) at Murdoch University.
After returning to Queensland in 2013, Rebecca worked as a Veterinarian in a mixed animal practice in a rural town, where she gained experience in many companion and hobby farm animals from dogs and cats, to goats, sheep, alpacas, pigs, horses and cows. Rebecca trained at Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Service through a 12 month internship programme in 2014, and there her love for strange and unusual pets grew and grew.
Since then, Rebecca has spent the last 4 years working with birds, exotics, dogs and cats in Brighton Queensland, before her recent return to BBEVS.
Last year Rebecca studied to attain Memberships from the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Science in the Avian Health chapter for caged and aviary birds.
Dr Sasha wanted to be a vet from when she was just three years old and has always had a keen interest in exotic pets, wildlife, zoos and conservation. Her parents kindly took her to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary just about every weekend!
Sasha studied veterinary science at the University of Queensland and graduated in 2010 with honours. During her studies she completed an externship at Taronga Zoo in Sydney and also went to South Africa to complete a certificate in wildlife immobilization and conservation.
Sasha joined the BBEVS team when she was still studying veterinary science in 2008 as a veterinary nurse on the weekends. As soon as she graduated she started working as a veterinarian and BBEVS has since become her second home.
A keen interest in continuing education has seen Sasha obtain a Membership in Avian Health in 2014 and a Membership in Unusual Pet Medicine and Surgery in 2019. She regularly attends and presents at conferences with other avian and exotic vets throughout Australia and overseas. She has also written a text book chapter on Turtle Shell Repair in the book ‘Reptile Medicine and Surgery in Clinical Practice’ published in 2018. Her special interests at work include surgery, and creating a lifelong bond with pets and their owners to ensure her patients receive the best care both at home and in the clinic.
Apart from veterinary work, Sasha loves to work to maintain the BBEVS team’s cohesiveness and mental health. She is a qualified Mental Health First Aid Officer, the BBEVS social coordinator and a member of the recently formed environmental committee which is reducing the clinic’s waste and improving our recycling protocols.
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