I was one of those kids that always wanted to be a vet. Nothing else… always a vet. I grew up on a very small property near Orange in New South Wales, with horses, cattle and a few dogs. After a year of working on cattle stations around Mt Isa I moved to Wagga Wagga where I went to university and completed my veterinary studies.
My first job was in mixed practice in Dubbo, NSW surrounded by an extremely supportive boss, veterinary team and nursing staff. After 18 months of mixed practice seeing horses, cattle, sheep, dogs and cats, I spent two years as a locum in small animal practices in England. When Tish and I moved home to Australia, we were looking for an opportunity to move into practice ownership; Stabler & Howlett Veterinary Surgeons provided that opportunity.
We strive to achieve a culture of diligence, honesty and psychological safety where our staff have the ability to develop personally and professionally. This provides the optimum environment for animal care to be at its best – where opinions and thoughts can be shared and skillsets continuously developed. We’re lucky to be surrounded and supported by a great team of vets and nurses, which helps make our jobs so much more enjoyable.
My particular interests are in small animal surgery and imaging (radiology and ultrasonography). I find imaging fascinating and love to try and workout what’s going on in the bodies of our patients (who are unable to tell us). Surgery is also extremely rewarding and an advanced general practice skill level allows me to take on procedures at a higher level.
I passed examinations for Membership to the Australian and New Zealand College Veterinary Scientists for Small Animal Surgery in 2017 and for Radiology (diagnostic imaging) in 2019. This qualification is for general practitioners with an advanced level of skill and knowledge in specific areas. Further to this, I completed a Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Ultrasound of the Abdomen in 2020 through the University of Melbourne. The Graduate Certificate is an advanced qualification in abdominal ultrasonography. In basic terms, this means a higher level of assessment of abdominal organs including the digestive system, liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder and lymph nodes.
Not only am I able to detect more subtle abnormalities via ultrasound, but it also allows me to take samples, such as biopsies, that would otherwise often require surgery. In this way, we are better able to help the animals of our region; the more we are able to do locally, the less need there is to have animals referred to city-based specialists.