The team at AREC have over 250 years combined experience in Veterinary care. Our staff are experienced in emergency medicine and are dedicated to quality patient and client care. We have experience in many areas within the Animal Care Industry including education and training, animal behaviour, care of wildlife and neurology.
Dr David Tabrett
BVSc MACVSc (Small Animal Medicine, Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care)
David is a Queenslander thru & thru, graduating from Qld Uni in 1989, dreaming of being James Herriott in a large cattle practice in far north Western Australia. However sanity & the Hunter Valley called, and David moved to NSW in 1990. David has worked in a number of practices in the region starting in Cessnock, Raymond Terrace, Newcastle & Lake Macquarie. Along the way, he studied the interesting topic of Small Animal Medicine, and successfully sat the examination of Member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. Not satisfied with that, he shifted careers, moving into emergency practice, first in Sydney in 2003-04, then opened Newcastle Animal Emergency Centre on the 16th May 2004. Further examinations in Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care followed (successfully) in 2005. David is a retired cook (Indian cuisine is a favourite), a retired rugby player, a swimmer of some note, a golfer of little note, and loves long walks on beaches.............sorry..........playing at the park with his son, or dinner with his wife Linda.
Dr Wendy Fisher
BVSc(Hons) MANZCVS (Small Animal Medicine, Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care)
Wendy graduated from Sydney University in 1997 and headed straight over to the UK for 4 years. She returned in 2002 with an English husband in tow. Wendy’s first 5 years in practice were spent with a focus on large animals but then changed focus onto small animals after moving to Newcastle in 2004. For the next 7 years she worked in local Newcastle practices and successfully passed her membership examinations in Small Animal Medicine and Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 2009 and 2010 respectively. It was during this time that she started casual weekend and public holiday work at NAREC. This cemented an interest in emergency and critical care practice and when she went back to the UK for 3 years in 2011, she worked in full-time emergency practice. Wendy and her family returned to Australia in 2014 where she returned to NAREC (this time in a full-time capacity!) as the CEO. In her spare time Wendy enjoys nothing more than spending time with her husband and 3 daughters, preferably in outdoor activities or drinking coffee!
People & Culture
Nicole grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, completing Diplomas in Advertising and Marketing after High School. She then travelled overseas on a working holiday for a couple of years - returning only briefly before jetting off again to spend 6 years over in beautiful Perth, Western Australia. She married in 2004 and relocated to Newcastle in 2005.
Nicole has worked in various roles in the Media, Finance, Manufacturing, Telecommunications and Property industries so brings a wide array of experiences to AREC. Recently Nicole has completed a Cert IV in HR and has become a Professional Member of AHRI (Australian Human Resources Institute) and is continuing her studies as her passion for people and their development grows.
In 2017 Nicole will celebrate 10 years with the AREC. Starting initially in an administrative role after the birth of her first daughter Tahlia, Nicole went on to have two more children with husband Lucas - Angelina in 2008 and then Marcus in 2012.
Nicole combats stress with regular Zumba classes and relaxes by spending time in the surf at the beach with her young family. She also loves camping but has been too busy to get around to it since the birth of her son!
Dr Danielle Hoolahan
BSc BVMS DACVD
Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology
Dani graduated from Murdoch University in 2007 with honors. She worked in busy small animal general practices both in Sydney, Australia and Portland, Oregon before completing a dermatology internship in Perth, Western Australia and then moving to the University of California, Davis to join the dermatology service at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital as a resident. Dani finished her residency in 2013, and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology the same year. Upon completion of her residency, Dani continued to work as a clinical dermatologist at UC Davis, providing instruction to undergraduate students and consulting on referral cases.
Dani enjoys all aspects of veterinary dermatology but is particularly interested in otitis, immune mediated skin disease and allergic skin diseases.
Outside of work she enjoys horse riding, diving and hiking with her Maltipoo, Andie and Australian Kelpie, Jackson.
Dr Geoff Gibbons
BVSc MANZCVS FRCVS
Specialist Internal Medicine
Dr Geoff Gibbons is joining the AREC team full time, as of 26th September 2016.
Dr Gibbons joins the team at AREC after an appointment as a Specialist Internist in Adelaide. Prior to this, he was a senior lecturer in Small Animal Medicine for 5 years at Charles Sturt University. In the decades preceding, he completed a host of appointments including, teaching Veterinary and nursing students, examiner for the Australasian College and clinician in specialist and general practice. Academically, Dr Gibbons completed his five-year residency in Small Animal Medicine and Emergency Medicine at Tufts University, Massachusetts in 1990. He was then admitted to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1990.
Dr Geoff has also held a variety of veterinary related, ministerial, government appointments. Research interests have included; 'Hypertonic Saline Study' GDV & 'Snake Venom Project'. He has published on Caecal leiomyosarcoma, allometric scaling and blood groups in cats. He is also the author of a book chapter on respiratory emergencies and has presented at national, state and local Veterinary meetings and conferences.
Outside of work, Dr Gibbons enjoys the company of his wife Anne, their children and grandchildren; long distance and commuter cycling, cross country skiing and kayaking. He is also an active participant with his local Lions Club, wherever that might be at the time!
Dr Julian Lunn
BVSc MANZCVS MVCS
Small Animal Surgeon
Dr Julian Lunn graduated from the University of Sydney in 1996. He spent the first four years in mixed practice in South-eastern NSW and Bath, UK.
On returning to Australia, Julian took up a position at the University of Sydney’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital working in the primary accession and medicine referral services before commencing a residency in Small Animal Surgery in 2003. He successfully gained membership in Small Animal Medicine in 2003 and in Small Animal Surgery in 2006.
Julian completed his surgical residency in 2007, having spent time at Murdoch University and Colorado State University as part of his training. He also graduated with a Master of Veterinary Clinical Studies after completing a thesis on Canine Neural Angiostrongyliasis.
In January 2008, Julian joined Veterinary Specialist Services, Australia’s largest and most comprehensive veterinary referral service offering Surgery, Medicine, Emergency, Oncology, Cardiology, Dermatology, Ophthalmology and Dentistry. VSS sees over 5000 new patients every year.
Through his time at both the University of Sydney and Veterinary Specialist Services, Julian has gained a wide experience in all areas of surgery from cardiothoracic, oncology and vascular to orthopaedic, neurological and trauma procedures.
Outside of work hours, Julian is kept busy running around after his three young children, two energetic ex-RSPCA dogs and his very vocal Burmese cat. He is looking forward to spending more time at the beach with the kids and convincing them they are New South Welshman and not Queenslanders.
Head Nurse (Clinical)
Eliska began her career as a veterinary nurse in the year 2000 as a volunteer at the RSPCA veterinary clinic Newcastle. While she was completing her Cert 4 in Veterinary Nursing, she was offered full time employment at the RSPCA. After 3 years she headed to Europe where she worked at a busy general practice in North West London. Missing home she returned to the Newcastle RSPCA for another 4 years. Wanting to broaden her knowledge, she then worked at a Sydney North Shore Specialist Centre where she saw & nursed an impressive array of medical and surgical treatments. Eliska then moved with her partner to Canberra where her love of emergency medicine started. As head nurse, she was proud to lead a team of fantastic staff. Moving back to her hometown Newcastle, she worked with the mobile vet at his Mandalong clinic before the lure of travelling Australia called. Returning again to Newcastle in 2007, Eliska began at AREC in a locum position. After 2 years she was offered her current position of Head of Emergency Nursing. She is always kept busy learning and sharing her knowledge with other nurses. She is a big supporter of continuing education and often speaks at local veterinary nursing seminars.
Head Nurse (Operations)
Tiffany completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2005 whilst working at Mobile Vet/Hamilton South Equine Hospital. Here she gained great experience in all things small medicine and also a good basis in horse anaesthetics, surgery and treatments. In 2007 she went to the UK to work and travel Europe. Tiffany worked mainly with Goddard’s Veterinary Group across practices in West London. It was there she got a taste for Emergency Medicine working in 2 different Emergency Centres on weekends. On returning to Australia, Tiffany came to AREC. She has worked as an Emergency Veterinary Nurse for 6 years, including Inventory Management to then moving into the role of Operational Nursing Manager in late 2015. In her time at AREC she has also completed a Diploma in ECC and a Low Stress Handling Certificate. Tiffany has a thirst for knowledge and loved the challenges Emergency Nursing threw at her.
Tiffany lives with her husband Paul and her daughter Sienna as well as her hyperactive Jack Russell ‘Freckles’ and crazy cat ‘Wednesday’. On days off Tiffany loves spending time with the family and doing anything that involves outdoors or renovation of the house! Tiffany’s hobbies are water sports, snow skiing, fishing and anything in fitness.
Dr Lindy Price
Lindy graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (hons) in 1995.
After graduating, Lindy began to explore Australia, taking jobs in remote locations in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Lindy enjoyed the challenge of operating on the back of her trusty ute in remote indigenous communities or in a small caravan in the hospital grounds of a mining community.
In 2005 Lindy moved to Newcastle, working at the RSPCA while starting a family.
In 2010 Lindy achieved her membership to the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in small animal surgery.
Lindy is passionate about orthopaedics, from surgery through to rehabilitation and recovery. Her passions include regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy and how they can complement routine procedures to reduce arthritis and chronic pain. Stem cell therapy can be used in a range of cases but is particularly suited to patients with osteoarthritis and chronic pain.
Lindy is also undertaking training with the University of Tennesse in Canine Rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is one of the fastest growing fields in veterinary medicine and provides a range of orthopaedic and neurologic cases with supportive care and treatments to return pets to full function and improve their day to day quality of life. Rehabilitation techniques are many and varied and each program is tailored specifically to each pet to ensure a safe and speedy recovery.
Lindy is excited to be able to offer these unique referral services to pets in the Newcastle and Hunter region
Lindy is the owner of New Life Vets, NAREC and New Life Vets operate Stem Cell Treatments on a weekly basis
Dr Natsuko Kitamura-Druery
BVSc(Hons) MANZCVSc (Emergency & Critical Care)
Nats graduated from Sydney university in 2003, then traveled south to Queanbeyan which was her first and last mixed practice job. Nats aspired to become a cattle vet in her final year at uni...but somehow stuck with the small animal side of things as it became more interesting to her.
After moving back to Sydney Nats worked at Camden for 2 years, then moved to Newcastle in early 2006 where she worked for the RSPCA for a short period of time, then started with NAEC in mid 2007.
Nats enjoys both medicine and surgery, doing surgeries gives her rush of adrenaline! She loves the challenges in theatre.
Nats’s biggest ex lap ever was on a pet goat named "Mr Doolittle" in the middle of the night at NAEC. He barely fitted onto the surgery table! He recovered well and we were so delighted to hear he was doing well at home.
Nats lives with 2 kids, hubby, and 2 feline children: Wana and Puddy.
Dr Amy Simon
Amy graduated from Sydney Uni in 2005. and worked for 12 months in mixed practice before moving to Newcastle to start a family. She continued working part time in small animal practice for 5 years before joining the NAEC. Amy was raised on a small farm on the mid north coast. Her father is a rural mixed practice vet. Amy enjoys the challenge of emergency medicine and particularly likes emergency surgery. In her spare time Amy likes to hang out at the beach with her family.
Dr Frances Ng
BVSc(Hons) MANZCVSc (Emergency & Critical Care)
Frances hails from tropical Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Growing up, she was the child who brought home the stray cats and saved the chooks from the Sunday Markets. She moved to Australia in 2003 to further her education in the University of Melbourne where she graduated as a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, with honours in 2008. She took a wrong turn going for a job interview in Queensland and ended up in Maitland where she worked as an associate with a busy mixed-practice until 2012 when she joined the NAEC. Her pets include a white cat called Jimmy and a bathtub full of gold fish. She hopes one day to build a pond for them. Her interest includes traveling, food and as a tribute to her college days, alcohol. Currently, she is learning about flowers, house-keeping and how to drive her ipad. She would like to know if somebody counts the worms in the boxes of a thousand that you can get from Bunnings to start a farm.
Dr Caroline Romeo
Caroline graduated from the University of Sydney in 1999. Her first job as a vet was with the large and dynamic team at the RSPCA in Sydney. There she had many inspiring mentors in various fields of small animal medicine and surgery, and she went on to spend most of the the next 15 years working for the RSPCA. Along the way she also worked as a small animal vet in Hong Kong, as a cat vet in Sydney and as an emergency vet at a Sydney specialist hospital. Caroline joined AREC as a casual vet in 2014, and loved it so much that she soon took on a permanent role there. Her special interests include diagnostic imaging and she has done extended study in both ultrasound and radiology. In her free time, Caroline loves bushwalking and enjoying Newcastle's beautiful beaches with her family.
Dr Tara Morris
Tara graduated from the University of Queensland in 2012. She had dreams of being a cattle vet and after spending 2 years is mixed practice, spent some time in small animal emergency at AREC before heading to Tasmania to realise her dreams. After a very short time, she discovered that getting out of bed at 3am to freezing, windy, wet weather to see a down cow in the middle of the paddock was not as much fun as she thought, and returned to the warm confines of Newcastle. Tara spends her spare time at the beach with her two border collies, Ember and Ash, and aspiring to do a chin up at the gym (so far unsuccessfully).
Dr Chelsea Meredith
Tracy started in the Veterinary Industry in 1991 at Kalgoorlie WA. She moved to Perth to obtain her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, then worked for a large practice as a Veterinary Nurse overseeing 4 branch clinics as Assistant Manager and Nurse educator. In 1998 along with her daughter, Tracy moved to Newcastle and worked in two local practices before joining the AREC in May 2010. In 2011 Tracy began teaching Veterinary Nursing and Animal Care at TAFE NSW. She lives with her daughter, 2 Golden Retrievers, Levi and Wags and a cat named Riguel. Tracy enjoys the challenges of emergency & critical care and has a passion for educating future nurses. In her spare time Tracy competes in Softball Masters tournaments and enjoys travelling and family time.
Tyson completed a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing and graduated in 2011 at Tamworth Tafe, and moved to the Newcastle region where he worked in General practices in the local area. He quickly realised that his passion was Emergency and Critical Care and transisitioned across to the Animal Referral & Emergency Centre. He has a special interest in emergency surgery. During his time at AREC he has completed additional short courses in Low Stress Handling and Emergency Critical Care and he plans to commence studies in a Diploma of Veterinary Nursing in Emergency and Critical care. During his free time he enjoys the outdoors, rock climbing, kayaking and Spending time with his girlfriend Kiralee and their 3 dogs Lilly a Beagle and Winnie and Dale mini Foxies
Kate has been with AREC for 2 years.
Kate has been working in the Emergency and Critical Care industry for 12 years, she has worked in referral hospitals in Sydney, and feels lucky to continue her career here with AREC in Newcastle and Maitland.
Married with 2 daughters and 2 cheeky Labradors that she adores.
Nadine began her career with animals working in the equine industry. After deciding a new challenge was in order, she pursued small animal nursing and graduated in 2004 with awards. For 10 years she learnt, worked and furthered her knowledge from mixed practice, developing a passion for surgery and all things in between. Nadine joined our team in 2013 and displayed a special interest in our surgical, medicine and dermatology referral service to which she is now included as a valuable team member.
Kylie has been Veterinary Nursing for more than 15years and has experienced many different areas during her career. Her Passion for emergency and critical care has drawn her to AREC and has been one of our staff for almost 5 years.
Kylie has 2 children which keep her on her toes when not at work. Kylies animal family includes a snake, a very fat cat and soon to be a new Puppy.
Kylie has a strong drive to continued education and enjoys all outdoor sporting activities.
Rebecka graduated from Veterinary Nursing in 2008 from Kurri Kurri Tafe. From there she worked in general practice for 5 years and quickly rose to the role of Head Nurse and worked in that role for 2 years. She transitioned across to emergency to broaden her skills and experience and has loved the change.
Rebecka is now exploring an area of interest in helping animals with chronic skin problems, and working closely with our Specialist Dermatologist Dr Dani Hoolahan.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with her daughter and family and 3 cats and 4 dogs!
Naomi entered the Veterinary industry in 2003, it was when she was completing work experience she realised her passion for animals. Naomi grew up on a farm with many different animals . Naomi was given her first pet, a cat named Candy at the age of 2.
Naomi gained employment with a mixed clinic including large and small animals. Naomi worked as a senior nurse at this clinic for over 10 years , one of her favorite memories was fostering over 100+ kittens and running an adoption program.
Naomi started with NAREC casually in 2013, it was here Naomi found that working as an Emergency nurse ment she had the ability to help save lives. Being apart of the reason an animal had the chance to live is beyond rewarding for her. Naomi now works permanently with AREC at our Maitland clinic.
Naomi lives with her husband Mathew and two children Lucy and Ruby. They have a some fur babies Garry the dog, trevor, felix and Brian the cats.
Leah started veterinary nursing in 2004 in Tuggerah on the central coast. After working there, learning the foundations of veterinary nursing and training new nurses she moved to Newcastle in 2008. She started working in a clinic where she was able to manage and train nurses as they studied. In 2014 she felt the need for a greater challenge. She found herself at AREC and loves being in emergency and critical care. Leah thrives in helping animals and providing that love and compassion in their time of need. It also allows her to continue her education with the completion of several courses including low stress handling, emergency and critical care, fluid therapy and radiography.
Leah is married with 2 children and 3 fur babies are Bob, a terrier x, Saraha my fiery tabby and Tommy my sooky fat black moggy.
Natasha started in the veterinary industry in 1998 in a small rural mixed clinic. Developing an interest in large animals she moved to Scone and worked at the equine hospital for a few years. She then moved to Sydney University Teaching Hospital as a surgical nurse and then an intensive care nurse. It was here she realised her passion for critical care in small animals and spent the next 5yrs developing her skills and knowledge. In 2014 Natasha started working at AREC.
Natasha spends her days off with her partner travelling the countryside to dog shows where she has great success with her two Pharaoh Hounds, Ashari and Apophis, a Bullmastiff Penny, and a now retired Labrador Lara
Jenna has been a Veterinary Nurse for 14yrs working in small animal practises here in Newcastle and Canberra where she grew up. Jenna joined the AREC team in 2010 where she has loved the fast pace work of emergency and watching the clinic grow into the purpose built Emergency and Referral Centre we have today.On her days off Jenna loves spending time with her young family and household full of pets
Lauren started working at AREC in October 2015, after having a short break from nursing to have her son Hendrix.
Her Career in Veterinary Nursing started at a clinic in Sydney, before moving back to Newcastle ( her home town) to work at 2 local clinics and complete her Studies.
Lauren loves the Emergency and Critical Care side of AREC, allowing her to see and learn something different everyday.
She has a 10 Year old pug named Charlie
Paige fell into the Animal Care Industry after her 1st day at Uni studying Biomedical Science. After reading the paper while on campus noticed a traineeship in captive animal management at Blackbutt Reserve, applied and began working whilst studying. She was then fortunate enough to secure a position at Taronga Zoo as a bird handler and free flight bird show presenter. Paige has a passion for the care of wildlife both in a zoo and clinic environment.
Paige joined AREC as an Animal Attendant in Feb 09, she loves learning new and exciting things and thinks she has become addicted to the charged page of emergency care.
Since a young age, Ebony has always had a passion for animals and began her animal care journey after completing her Certificate II in Animal Studies whilst completing her HSC in 2013. She then went on to complete her Certificate III in Captive Animal Management after realising her love for exotic animals, shortly after joining the AREC team in December 2013. Currently, Ebony is studying a Bachelor of Zoology and Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. Ebony has found that whilst working at AREC, her studies have been nurtured and she has gained experience nowhere else can offer. In her spare time, Ebony is an Actor and Model, and takes dance classes each week.
Kim started working in the veterinary industry in 1992 after completing a Bachelor of Business degree at the University of Newcastle. Kim took a role at a veterinary wholesaler beginning as an inventory control officer, which then led to a role as Customer Service Manager, servicing the vet clinics of the Newcastle, Hunter Valley, New England, Western NSW and North coast region. Kim also worked in the Accounts department and various other areas of veterinary wholesaling.
Kim joined the team at AREC in March 2015 in an administrative and Customer service role.
Kim lives with her husband Brenden and two children Alannah and Curtis, and much loved Labradoodle Pepper.
Danica is the friendly face who you will often first speak to, or meet, on your visit to us on a weekday.
Danica started working in the medical industry in 2010 as a receptionist at a radiology practice on the central coast. She then made the transition up to Newcastle, which saw her assisting in opening a new practice, and taking on the role as office manager.
Danica has always had a strong passion for animals - dogs in particular, so seeking a new challenge, and a change in career path, the move to AREC was simply something she could not pass up.
Bringing along her strong administration and customer service skills Danica joined the AREC team in November 2016.
In her spare time Danica plays weekly in team sports such as netball and touch football and enjoys spending time with her friends sharing a good bottle of wine.
Stay tuned for appearance dates, paw shaking and selfie opportunities!