Your trusted, local, family-owned Geelong veterinary group
About Vets Of Geelong
Our Family, Caring For Yours
We are a trusted, local, family-owned Geelong veterinary group run by a husband-and-wife team with two clinics in Highton and Geelong West.
We hold a lifelong passion for animals and we exist to ensure that Geelong pets receive the best care possible.
We do this by offering a friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming space where animals come first.
Integrity & trust
Integrity & trust
Meet our Vets of Geelong team
Our Veterinarians, Veterinary Nurses and Support Team truly embody our core values.
Dr James Tiernan
BAppSc BVSc GPCert(SAM) CMAVA
James was raised in country Queensland. After growing up with lots of pets, becoming a veterinarian was a natural progression for James. Following graduation with a Veterinary Science degree from the University of Queensland in 2001 James moved to the UK and worked in several busy small animal clinics dealing with dogs, cats, and many other small furry patients that are common in the UK such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice and birds. Whilst in the UK James successfully passed examinations in a General Practitioner Certificate in Small Animal Medicine [GPCert (SAM)] through the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies. This was extremely useful in helping James to further build his skills in small animal medicine.
After spending eight years in the UK, James returned to Australia with Jane. On returning to Australia, James spent a short period of time at the University of Queensland Veterinary Small Animal Hospital before moving to Victoria and starting employment at the Western Animal Emergency Centre based at Werribee which is part of the Melbourne University Veterinary Hospital in 2009.
In June 2010 James and Jane were very excited to take over ownership of the Highton Veterinary clinic; it had long been their dream to have their own clinic. They have enjoyed working with the very capable staff and meeting all the clients and their pets.
James’ main interest is mostly in small animal medicine, especially emergency medicine. He also has a soft spot for cats (particularly British Short Hairs) and loves Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Outside of work James keeps busy with his young children Seamus, Niamh, Aislin and Declan and enjoys cycling and getting to the gym when he can. His pets Maple and Zuma, as well as his kids birds, guinea pigs, rabbit, bearded dragon, and fish keep him busy.
At the clinic you can see James for just about anything related to your pets health, but in particular general medicine and emergency cases, as well as all pocket pets.
Dr Jane Tiernan
Jane is originally from Drysdale and always wanted to be a veterinarian from a very early age after growing up surrounded by animals. She attended school in Geelong before starting her
Veterinary Science studies at the University of Melbourne. After attaining her Veterinary degree in 2000 Jane worked in mixed practice in Bendigo before moving to the UK for seven years. During her time in the UK Jane worked in several locum positions around England and Wales before taking a job at a busy Veterinary Charity Hospital in London.
After Jane married her husband James, they left the UK and moved back to her hometown Geelong and Jane took on a job at the Corio Veterinary Clinic before coming to Highton. Jane and James took over ownership of the Highton Veterinary Clinic in mid-2010.
Jane has done postgraduate studies in Small Animal Medicine and has been admitted to the Medicine Chapter of the Australian College
of Veterinary Scientists. She has also done additional study in small animal surgery with the University of Sydney Post Graduate Foundation course. Jane enjoys both small animal medicine and surgery cases.
Jane and James have loads of pets dogs, up until recently cats, guinea pigs, a rabbit, birds, fish, and even a lizzard. These days Jane spends more time with their young family than in the in the consulting room keeping their tribe of kids out of trouble Seamus, Niamh, Aislin and Declan.
At the clinic you can see Jane for just about anything related to your pets health, and particularly for soft tissue surgery.
Dr Susanne Jacker
Sue is a local Geelong girl, growing up in Highton. After finishing her secondary schooling in Geelong she went to the University of Melbourne and completed a Veterinary Science degree graduating in 1997. After graduation Sue moved back to Geelong and has now been working at the Highton Veterinary Clinic for nearly 20 years. During her time at the clinic she has gained a wealth of knowledge in the veterinary world and has developed a strong rapport with many of the clients and their pets. She has had the privilege of caring for some of
our clients’ 2nd and even 3rd generation of pets. Sue is known for her bubbly personality and caring nature.
Sue’s special interests are feline medicine and ultrasonography, and she has done numerous courses on these subjects. Having two Birman cats herself, she has been known to spend ages doting on these cats given the opportunity. However Sue enjoys all animals brought into the clinic.
Sue works part time and spends the rest of her time being Mum to her little son Jay.
At the clinic you can see Sue for just about anything related to your pet’s health, but in particular ultrasonography and feline medicine cases.
Dr Marion Vince
BVMS BSc MANZCVS (SA Rad)
Marion is surprised at how time has flown by, apparently she has been vetting for almost 11 years now! She has been a large animal vet, a locum vet, an emergency vet, and for nearly 5 years she has been a Highton Vet! Continuing education is one of Marions passions, providing current treatment options to her patients is extremely important to her. She has recently achieved memberships in the small animal radiology chapter of the Australian and New Zealand Veterinary College.
Marion’s fur family consists of a blue-eyed stunner of a deaf -dalmatian, an all-ears chihuahua-staffy cross, a rather anti-social fluff-ball cat and three powerful chooky ladies.
She loves the outdoors and thinks living in Geelong is the best, with lots of coastal adventures and the youyangs close by also.
At the clinic you can see Marion for just about anything related to your pets health, but in particular, she has a keen interest in emergency medicine and feline medicine and likes to keep updated on all the latest
Dr Rachael Johnstone
Rachael is another local girl, she has lived most of her life in Geelong. She graduated with first class honours from Melbourne University. Her first job was in Geelong Clinic establishing her skills in small animal practice. After a couple of years she took the opportunity to pursue her dream of dairy cattle practice in Warrnambool.
She spent over 2 years performing calvings in the wind and rain and loved every minute of it. Her next position was working in emergency medicine at the Western Animal Emergency Centre at the Melbourne University Vet Clinic and Hospital. More recently she has worked Saturdays part time while raising her family of four young children.
She has 2 young cats, Garfield and Nermal (named by the kids) and 3 backyard chooks. In her small amount of spare time she enjoys baking, especially with chocolate.
At the clinic you can see Rachael for just about anything related to your pets health, but in particular general medicine and emergency cases.
Dr Kate Goodfellow
Dr Melody Winterhalter
Melody was born in Switzerland and grew up in a variety of places, including Japan and Australia. She graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London, and moved to Geelong after she graduation.
She loves all animals, and has a special interest in marine animals, especially sharks! As far as more common pets go, Corgis hold a special place in her heart.
Outside of work, Melody enjoys reading, eating cheese and exploring the Australian outdoors.
At the clinic you can see Melody for just about anything relating to your pets health.
Dr Kim Gordon
Kim grew up in Melbourne, but calls Horsham Victoria her second home where she often visits family. She has wanted to be a vet since she can remember and studied a bachelor of animal and veterinary biosciences before studying the doctor of veterinary medicine at The university of Melbourne.
Kim is interested in all aspects of animal medicine and surgery, and particular loves working with wildlife and working up medical cases! She is always up for a chat in the consult room and loves meeting new people.
Outside of work, her hobbies include having coffee and eating good food with friends, catching up with family and spoiling her beautiful black kitty, Milly
Dr Rachel Hamil
Rachel grew up in Melbourne and has always wanted to be a vet. After graduating from veterinary science at the University of Sydney, Rachel moved to New Zealand to pursue an interest in mixed practice, and spend time working with some of her favourite animals, cows. After 3 wonderful years in New Zealand, Rachel was ready to see more of the world.
She moved to the UK and worked in both mixed and small animal practice. Most recently, Rachel has focussed on developing her companion animal clinical skills, and has an interest in small animal medicine and critical care.
Rachel is excited to return to Victoria after being away for over a decade, and is now joined by her kiwi partner, Nick, and her Kiwi cat, Bilbo. In her free time Rachel loves hiking and getting out into nature.
Currently Rachel is on maternity leave enjoying new born cuddles.
Dr Nick Law
Nick grew up on a dairy farm in New Zealand. He was surrounded by cows, horses, dogs, cats and rabbits and wanted to be a vet since he can remember. He studied at Massey University in NZ where he completed both a Bachelor of Science , majoring in Animal Science and a Bachelor of Veterinary Science.
Nick worked in New Zealand mixed practice for 4 years. During this chapter of his life he met Rachel. They decided to see more of the world, so left NZ to go and experience vet life in England. Nick really loved his small animal work in the UK especially the variety of animals that are loved by owners. As well as cats and dogs Nick got to work with rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, rats, bearded dragons, ferrets, tortoises and many more.
Out of work Nick enjoys dancing west coast swing, a style which he will be more than happy to demonstrate, playing the guitar, snowboarding and spending time with friends and family.
At the clinic you can see Nick just about anything relating to your pets health.
Dr Jemma Browne
BEqSc, BVetBio/ BVSc
Originally from Melbourne, growing up Jemma was either with her dogs when in town, or off riding horses on weekends and holidays. After completing school Jemma moved to Wagga Wagga in NSW to complete her Veterinary degree.
While studying Jemma worked as an equine nurse at the university referral hospital, igniting a passion for emergency and critical care. Upon graduating Jemma completed an 18 month internship in specialist equine practice. This was followed by a move to the Macedon Ranges to work in mixed practice, seeing all animals from dogs and cats, to horses, sheep, cattle and alpacas.
Along with emergency and critical care, Jemma has a keen interest in behaviour and geriatric medicine.
In 2021 Jemma moved home to the Surf Coast where her and her partners families reside. In her downtime Jemma loves adventuring with her daughter and their two crazy Border Collie x Kelpies, Stella & Bessie.
Dr Angela Harris
Angela developed a strong interest in Veterinary medicine after growing up on a property south east of Melbourne. She graduated with honours in 2005 from the University of Melbourne, receiving the Surgery and the large animal Clinical Review prizes. She has pursued post-graduate studies in emergency medicine and surgery, and worked in several large regional towns as well as the UK. Angela loves the challenge of veterinary science in general but surgery is her main interest.
Angela lives in Geelong with her husband, two kids, two Burmese cats and a constantly muddy Springer Spaniel.
Outside of work she loves all sport and has completed in multi day adventure races, trail marathons, mountain bike races and kayaking events.
Dr Lucy Morley
Lucy grew up in the UK and attended the Royal Veterinary College in London where she completed her Veterinary degree in 2019. She has spent the last two and a half years working at a small animal practice in the UK close to home and has now taken the leap to move across the world to help the pets of Geelong in search of some reliably warmer weather.
Lucy enjoys all aspects of caring for your pets but is particularly interested in those tricky medical cases and developing her ultrasonography skills.
In her spare time she’s looking forward to exploring Australia and keeping active in the form of hockey and tennis whilst also ensuring to try out all the best local restaurants.
Dr Maddie Nicholls
Maddie grew up in Euroa in North East Victoria. Having always had a love of animals, she decided she wanted to be a vet very early in life and never looked back!
After high school, Maddie moved to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Science with a major in animal biology at Deakin Uni. During her final year of her bachelor she was accepted into vet school at the University of Melbourne.
Maddie enjoyed her time in vet school (even through the pandemic!). At the end of 2021 Maddie and her partner moved to Geelong to escape the madness of Melbourne and be closer to friends. During her final year of study she completed several weeks of placement with us and had her eye on working here ever since.
Maddie is still learning about the world of vet but is excited to be furthering her skills with the help of the fabulous team at Vets of Geelong. So far she enjoys all parts of vet med but has an interest in surgery.
In her downtime Maddie likes playing with her cat Bean, going to the beach and catching up with friends and family.
Watch this space
Dr Wan Huang
Watch this space
Dr Maddi Hammond
Jennie says she’s always busy however promises she’ll update you soon!
Anita is not someone you see at the clinic on a day to day basis but she has been at the clinic for years.
She helps make sure the clinic finances are running to plan.
When not at work she is busy with her family and dogs Tess and Lucy.
Melissa started her veterinary nursing in Portland in 2001, before moving to Geelong in 2006 and starting at the Highton Veterinary Clinic. Apart from her duties as the Operations Manager, Melissa enjoys nursing hospital patient and coordinating the kitten adoption program.
Her pets include the charming William and Ernie who where previously Clinic cats, as well as Thomas. Melissa is an ardent pet lover and during the spring and summer months she is a foster mum to unwanted and orphaned kittens, looking after them until they are big enough to find good homes.
Melissa has been fantastic with caring for the kittens that come through the clinic and looking after them until they are able to be adopted through our Adoption program.
In November 2012 she was awarded the Cenvet Nurse of the Year 2012 for her dedication to the profession of Veterinary Nursing.
Outside of work Melissa enjoys all things photography.
Jo became a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse in 2009 after some years spent in dog grooming and as a wildlife keeper at a sanctuary. She has worked for VOG for over 17 years now.
Since October of 2018, she has been one of the Managers here at Vets of Geelong.
Jo loves travelling overseas and loves road trips around our beautiful country. She also enjoys hiking, mountain bike riding, visiting wineries and weekends away.
Jo is one of the few staff members who doesn’t have a pet at home due to her love of travel, luckily she gets all of her love she needs from patients at the clinic.
Client Services Manager
Jess started with Vets of Geelong in 2022 and looks after our wonderful administration team and all things client related.
Jess has a beautiful German Short Haired pointer Finn who fits in perfectly with her active lifestyle.
You will see Jess around both clinics, make sure you say hi Jess loves a chat and is always here for our clients.
If you ever need to speak to Jess please call the clinic.
Naomi has been a veterinary nurse for 10 years, working in both emergency and general clinic. She enjoys medicine cases & nursing your pets back to good health.
Naomi also has a keen interest in nursing wildlife, and enjoys socialising kittens during the busy kitten season. Naomi is mum to two cats Eric and Flynn and can often be seen taking Eric for a walk on his harness.
In her spare time Naomi enjoys hiking, camping and gardening.
Karryn joined the team at Highton in July 2019, she has been working in practice since the beginning of 2016 and completed her veterinary nursing qualification at the end of 2017. She loves all aspects of the job but has a particular interest in surgery and caring for our feline patients.
Karryn comes from a family of cat-lovers and is Mum to two cats; a Devon Rex, the love of her life, named Theodore and a special-needs Burmese named Trixie. She and her husband have recently adopted a Whippet named Stella and are looking to find her a doggie sibling in the near future.
When she’s not working, Karryn loves to spend time with friends, go out for brunch, binge-watch a good TV series, work out at the gym and walk her dog. She has a bit of a flair for interior decorating and if she has time, she also loves to bake!
Louise joined our team at Vets of Geelong in 2015. She started her studies in 2002 gaining her first job in the industry in 2003. She became fully qualified in 2006 while working full time and studying part time off campus. Louise is also licensed in microchipping of domestic pets and radiology.
Louise’s’ biggest love of nursing is all things surgery whether routine or emergency, followed just as much by using her knowledge to soundly educate pet owners in any way she can so pets and their owners live the best lives they can together. It’s no secret to our many clients, she also has a major soft spot for our old grey faced geriatric patients and border collies!
When not at work, you’ll find Louise buried deep up the mountains hiking or snowboarding, or outside in her vegie garden. Anywhere but cooped up indoors!
Louise has a very spoiled and beautiful Border Collie named CJ (Cheiky Junior) who also keeps her very busy inside and outside of work.
Annie works part time at the Highton Veterinary Clinic and thoroughly enjoys veterinary nursing.
Being little herself, Annie prefers the smaller
dogs and she has a little Papillion called Paris, who although small still have lots of attitude.
Michelle has been a veterinary nurse for 7 years, working in general practice. She has an interest in surgery and emergency/critical care.
She enjoys nursing geriatric patients back to health, caring for wildlife and socialising kittens during the busy kitten season.
Michelle is known as the crazy border collie lady. Her 2 border collies Indie & Luna are so spoilt. She spends most of her time taking them out on adventures. Her furr family does not end there though, she also has cats, Agnes and Phoenix as well as jenday conures, Zeus and Pedro.
In Michelle’s other spare time she enjoys yoga, gardening and camping.
Bree grew up in North Eastern Melbourne where she worked as a veterinary nurse since she was 18. Recently making the move to the Surf Coast, she fell in love with the lifestyle very easily.
Bree has a chestnut thoroughbred named Henry, who certainly keeps her on her toes.
In her spare time, Bree enjoys working her horse, going to the gym, stand up paddle boarding with her family, and spending time with friends.
Watch this space
Jess joined the team in 2021, after moving down to Geelong from Melbourne. Her nursing career began in 2010 after completing an Animal Studies course, followed by her Certificate in Veterinary Nursing, and she has never looked back! Jess has a keen interest not only in small animals, but also native wildlife and primates, and in 2015 had the opportunity to do some volunteer nursing work with Orangutans in North Sumatra.
In her spare time Jess loves getting out into nature, hiking, travelling, photography & getting bossed around by her 13-year-old cat Kodey.
Rachel grew up in a family of animal-lovers and knew from a very young age that she wanted a career in the veterinary industry.
She began her vet nursing studies in 2015 and has worked in mixed practice and reproduction prior to joining our team.
Rachel is obsessed with cats, having 5 special needs felines at home. She also has a soft spot for Great Danes.
Outside of work Rachel enjoys live music, outdoor adventures, and watching horror movies with her family (and the cats, of course!).
She looks forward to meeting you and taking care of your beautiful fur-babies!
Bio about Brit coming soon..
Caitlin is originally from Horsham and moved to Geelong to complete her Bachelor of Animal Science and Zoology. Since then, she has gone on to complete her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing and continues to further her education by doing short courses. Caitlin has worked with many types of animals ranging from horses and livestock to smaller animals, cats and dogs.
She has a particular interest in surgery, emergency and critical care cases.
She has 2 beautiful retired greyhounds at home and in her down time she spends time with her friends and family, catching up for dinner and games nights.
Caitlin is most excited about working with such an amazing and supportive team of people here at Vets of Geelong.
Ruby has lived and grown up in Geelong and has been surrounded by animals her whole life. From a young age, Ruby has known that she would like to work with animals.
In years 11 and 12, Ruby studied Certificate II in Animal Studies, then proceeded to study Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.
Ruby has previously worked in a doggy day-care and volunteered in the cat adoptions at GAWS, where she adopted her beautiful cat Stella. Ruby also has a Staffy called Hugo who she adores.
Ruby likes to spend her spare time playing netball, exercising, and spending time with friends.
Watch this space
Watch this space
Watch this space
Watch this space
Veterinary Nurse Trainee
Veterinary Nurse Trainee
Watch this space
Judith says this is definitely the most interesting of all the jobs she’s worked in! She says it’s not just the great Clinic staff members but especially the patients and their owners that have really made this a job she loves!
In late 2016 Judith moved from what had been her main role in reception to looking after admin in the clinic, but you will still her in reception from time to time and at weekends.
When she’s not at work Judith enjoys yoga, and travelling and hiking. Her most recent trip combined both of these with climbing in the
Himalayas in Bhutan.
Administration / Receptionist
Puppy & Dog Trainer
Lisa has over 36 plus years’ experience in training dogs, 26 years of which has involved her taking puppy and training classes.
Lisa coordinates and runs our Puppy Classes, Canine Academy, Adolescent Dog training classes, as well as our “one on one private lessons” here at the clinic.Lisa always gets great feedback from the clients. She has the reputation of being one of the best dog trainers in Geelong and has been a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia Inc, since 2000.
Lisa is fantastic at educating and helping clients understand/manage their dog’s behaviours so that they can become well-mannered companions. Lisa understands that every dog and its family are different which is why she loves the challenge of solving any behavioural hiccups that a client may encounter with their pet. She regularly attends training workshops with leading experts in behaviour & training, so is up-to-date with the best techniques for the best outcomes for our clients.
Lisa and her husband have two children, seven dogs – Rottweilers & Field Spaniels and regularly compete with their dogs. Lisa is also involved in “Aussie Truffle Dogs”, a company that breeds, evaluates & trains dogs to hunt for truffle.
Originally from country South Australia, Bec has been calling Geelong “home” for the last 4 years along with her husband and their happy little Staffy, Wilson.
Next to her family and friends, Bec’s great loves in life are animals and chocolate, which is why she divides her working life between her new receptionist role at HVC and her other role as a chocolate maker at a local chocolate factory.
Bec likes to spend her leisure time watching movies, attending live sport and music, and any activity that involves a cheese platter.
Bio coming soon..
Jessie started her Veterinary Receptionist career at Highton Vet Clinic team in 2018, and when the opportunity arose to work at Geelong West Vet Clinic she jumped at the prospect of the new project.
Jessie was born in Geelong and grew up in Ocean Grove where she had a menagerie or guinea pigs as a child. Jessie has 2 Dogs currently called Snow and Pullthru who are two cheeky Jack Russell’s.
Jessie loves the vast different range clients coming through the Vet Clinic doors. Such a wonderful environment to work in and get to see everyone’s furbabies.
Outside of work Jess enjoys a good coffee, hanging out with friends, making and drinking cocktails and taking her dogs down to the beach when she can.
Katelyn is originally from Townsville in far North Queensland, however Katelyn and her husband settled into Geelong two years ago. She has three very spoilt guinea pigs Teddy, Penny and newest addition Butterscotch as well as two fish tanks full of fresh water tropical fish.
Whilst Katelyn might be a new fresh face at working at Vets of Geelong, she has fitted right in and has really enjoyed the opportunity to work with and learn from a very passionate team and she loves meeting all of our clients and their fur babies.
Outside of work she enjoys cooking especially italian, watching NRL (go the Cowboys), and exploring Victoria.
Bio coming soon..
After being a client for many years, Laura joined the Vets of Geelong team in 2023.
Laura has lived in the Geelong region her whole life and enjoys painting, baking and spending time with her husband and young son.
Being a lover of dogs, Laura has a Jack Russell named Jerry who is an important member of her family.
Brooke is very excited to begin her journey working with Vets of Geelong as a receptionist, undertaking a business traineeship.
In her free time, Brooke enjoys playing guitar, making art and baking, as well as having a cup of coffee in the morning.
Brooke is a proud owner of a beautiful border collie, Penny, who is the love of her family’s life and is full of love.
Brooke adores all animals and is looking forward to make friends will all kinds of fur babies!
Betsy joined the team in October 2015. She, like most clinic cats arrived on our door step with her siblings, in a box as a dumped litter. And after winning the hearts of our nurse Sarah and then-receptionist Caitlyn, she never really left – nobody can recall exactly why except that we all loved her beautiful calm nature and sweet little face.
Hmmm!….what happened we ask for Betsy is the reason we sometimes have “discounted ” pre-sampled bags of food for sale in the clinic, the bigger the better for Betsy! As she never stops eating, she has since been banned from access to all food areas of the clinic.
So now you won’t see Betsy in the blue reception area, but if you come in the green door, she won’t be far, just sleeping her days away in the admin office.
Work with us
Join our team
Our Veterinarians, Veterinary Nurses and Support Team is everygrowing as the Vets Of Geelong brand continues to expand!
We live by our core values and have developed a strong clinic culture where animals come first, growth and ongoing learning is encouraged, and fun is guaranteed whilst providing exceptional customer service.
Find out more about our current opportunities below.