The Wildlife Hospital team is a passionate and dedicated group of experts comprised of veterinarians, veterinary nurses, administration staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to provide vital care for our native wildlife.
Whether treating and rehabilitating patients, conducting vital research into diseases that are threatening our native species such as the koala, or providing education to the community in schools or via Hospital enquiries, the commitment of the Hospital team is second to none.
Dr. Michael PyneSenior veterinarian
Hi, I am Dr Michael Pyne. I have had the privilege to work at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital since the year 2000. In this time I have seen the hospital grow from a small shack admitting just 2500 patients a year to our wonderful purpose built veterinary hospital now admitting over 8000 cases annually. Before landing my dream job at Currumbin I found the time to travel the world for 5 years working as a vet where I could, on returning to Australia I worked in an avian referral practice where I gained the skills to work with wildlife.
I now have the responsibility of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary General Manager to keep me busy but make a point to still find the time to fit in some of the clinical veterinary work that I love.
Emma WhitlockHospital Manager
Hi my name is Emma Whitlock, I came to Australia in 2013 to work as Lead Nurse at the University of Queensland’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, a multidisciplinary first opinion and referral centre at the Universities’ Gatton campus. I really enjoyed the teaching aspect of this role but missed the zoo and wildlife cases that my previous jobs had entailed so was delighted to be offered the Hospital Managers position here in May 2014 . I have a BSC (Honours) degree in veterinary Nursing Science from the UK and am a registered listed veterinary nurse. I started my career working in Europe’s biggest and busiest wildlife hospital, before going off to study my degree, and was lucky to go straight from university to the position as veterinary nurse at the Zoological Society of London based at Whipsnade Zoo, where we worked to keep ZSL’s some 19,000+ animals healthy. In 2009 I moved from my zoo role into an academic role as programme leader for the degree in veterinary nursing at Bristol University West of England, but I missed the hands on nursing there too – and after a year moved to the UKs only 24 hour specialist lead avian and exotic referral centre as the Senior Avian and Exotic nurse alongside Dr Neil Forbes. As well as lecturing regularly on topics of zoo and wildlife nursing I try to publish regularly in veterinary literature. I also have a post graduate diploma in McTimoney-Corley animal manipulation (chiropractic) – and no – I don’t do people.
Hi my name is Andrew, I joined Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in 2005 after graduating from Sydney University. I travelled to the New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre and Massey University to complete a residency program in avian and wildlife health, and obtained a Masters degree for an investigation into a mass mortality of endangered yellow-eyed penguins in 2008. Shortly afterward I gained membership of the Australian college of veterinary scientists in avian health. Following volunteer work with VETnet in Mongolia and a year working at Melbourne Zoo, I returned to Currumbin to work full-time with Australian native species. I enjoy an active life on the Gold Coast with my wife and two young sons.
Hi my name is Camille, I have worked at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for 7 years, mostly as a veterinarian but also as a teacher of Vet Nursing and Animal Studies students. Working with wildlife means no two days are ever the same, and there’s great happiness in seeing an animal released back into the wild after rehabilitation through the hospital. Keeping involved in field surveys of healthy animals is a bonus way to squeeze in some outdoors time and really appreciate why I do the work I do – be it a Nail Tail wallaby census in the Aussie desert, or a Golden Sifaka health survey in Madagascar.
Bats are up there in my favourite creature list – they are so curious and responsive to care, its impossible not to fall for their little upside down faces. The eastern tube-nosed bat is particularly awesome – they look just like Shrek, check it out!
Tamara FieldingVeterinary nurse
My name is Tammy and I am a Veterinary Nurse at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. I have had a passion for caring for animals since I was a small child and began volunteering at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary when I was just 14 years old. When I was 17 I began working as a veterinary nurse with domestic animals and continued to do so for 7 years before taking a long break to raise my 3 young children. Wildlife has always been my passion and I volunteered my time to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Sea World and Dream World for around 10 years accumulatively to help care for wildlife. I now have my dream job as a Certificate IV qualified veterinary nurse. Caring for wildlife does not finish at 5pm for me because I also have a permit to care for sick, injured and orphaned possums in my home. I care for these possums until they are well enough or old enough to be released back into the wild. Choosing a favourite animal is such a difficult task for me because we have such a huge variety of beautiful wildlife in Australia. I really do love them all but have developed an extra special love for koalas since working at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital.
Hi my name is Fumi Tokonami, originally from Japan, I came to Australia to study veterinary science 10 years ago and have not left since. I started my career as a veterinarian in a small animal practice, but have always held a passion for zoo animals and wildlife. I first joined Currumbin Wildlife Hospital as a volunteer and then took an amazing opportunity to work in a team of dedicated wildlife veterinarians in 2012.
I enjoy each and every encounter with our unique wildlife patients but I must say I have a love and hate relationship with our koalas as they can be the most difficult patients to deal with yet the most rewarding when we have successful outcomes. I am currently working on a research project through the University of Sydney on pharmacology of koalas, in hopes of finding out how different drugs affect their bodies.
Working with wildlife has been a lifelong dream and Currumbin Sanctuary has enabled me to live my dream. My first placement at Currumbin Sanctuary was in 1998 when I undertook high school work placement as a zoo keeper. Since this time I have gone on to volunteer within the park, then was fortunate enough to gain a paid zoo keeping job within the presentations department.
I have completed a Bachelor of Science, Wildlife Biology and more recently I have completed my Bachelor of Veterinary Science. I am thrilled to be able to come back to Currumbin Sanctuary and work within the Wildlife Hospital. It is here that I can combine my veterinary skills and knowledge with my passion of wildlife.
Hi My name is Deb Kennelly, I am one of the friendly receptionists here at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. I have worked for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for approximately ten years in various administrative roles and have enjoyed seven of those years working in the Wildlife Hospital. Having always been passionate about Australian wildlife and conservation, I love being able to combine my skills in administration with my passion for wildlife.
Natasha GrahamVeterinary Nurse
Hi, I have been here at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for 7 years and also work at a domestic animal clinic in Murwillumbah. I am a qualified veterinary nurse and have a passion for wildlife. I have been fortunate enough to be involved with wildlife caring since 10 years old. While I do not have a favourite wildlife species I enjoy nursing challenging cases that require me to think outside the box to provide the animals with what they need.
Lewis McKillopVeterinary nurse
Hi, my name is Lewis. I began working at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital in 2015, and I have been a Wildlife Vet Nurse for around three years.
Since I moved to Australia from Scotland, I have also been volunteering with wildlife rescue groups for around ten years. I enjoy working with all native animals, but my main area of interest is the rescue and rehabilitation of koalas.
Mimi DonaVeterinary Nurse
Hi my name is Mimi Dona, For the past 10 years I have been employed at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital as a Veterinary Nurse. Previously I worked for 8 years with domestic animals, but after a day at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital working with koalas I never returned. If you have ever seen a koala joey, or gone home smelling of eucalyptus leaves you know what I mean.
My qualifications are a Certificate IV Veterinary Nurse, AVN, Cert IV Training and Assessment, I have a post graduate Certificate in Environmental Management and am working on completing a Masters. Working at the hospital fulfils my passion for helping Australian Flora and Fauna, and combined with my role at the hospital teaching the North Coast TAFE students studying Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing I do believe I have the best job in the world.
Ana JacksonVeterinary Nurse
Hi my name is Ana, I am currently a casual veterinary nurse at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, which involves me covering any of the three hospital rounds at any given time. I have been at Currumbin for four years in total including volunteering which I did for 8 months before I was lucky enough to get offered a casual position. I am currently studying my certificate IV in veterinary nursing through Provet and have completed my certificate II in animal studies through NSW TAFE.
Currumbin is my first job in the animal industry/veterinary industry and I am loving every moment of it. My favourite wildlife species would have to be parrots especially Galahs they are the biggest characters around, I also love my birds of prey the Southern Boobook would have to be one of my favourites as they also have massive personality’s for such little birds.
I work with Australian wildlife in the hope that I can help bring across more awareness to help preserve our native wildlife for younger generations, so that they can enjoy and see them in their natural environment. Every day is a new experience filled with lots of rewards, including working alongside an amazing bunch of people.
Leonie PetrieVeterinary Nurse
Hi my name is Leonie Petrie, I have been working in the animal welfare and wildlife rehabilitation industry for the past 10 years in various positions including Zoo Keeper, Wildlife Officer, Inspector and Veterinary nurse. I was lucky enough to score a job with the team at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital back in 2012. Wildlife conservation is my passion and my family always knew that I would end up working in a field where I could help animals. Reptiles and echidnas are my favourite critters to work with; I would hug them over a koala any day!
Amy De BoerVeterinary Nurse
Hi my name is Amy, I am a Veterinary Nurse at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. I have been employed by the hospital since August 2014 but have previously worked at other wildlife facilities including Dreamworld, Paradise Country and Seaworld. I have qualifications in Wildlife Veterinary Nursing, Captive animals and Native Animal Rehabilitation. I have dedicated my life to saving animals & their habitat and educating as many people as I can about the importance of wildlife and ecosystems on our planet. I feel that we must protect as much as we can and work hard to save those who cannot speak! I could not really pick a favourite animal because I love all creatures great and small although I have always had a soft spot for koalas; their uniqueness never ceases to amaze me!
Carolyn KuzelickiVeterinary Nurse
Hi my name is Carolyn Kuzelicki, I have been employed as a veterinary nurse at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for 5 years and I have a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. I am also employed at a small animal private practice. I love my job as it enables me to work with dogs & cats but also allows me to play a part in helping to save our all-important Australian wildlife. I love all of the animals that I encounter but I do have a soft spot for kookaburras & green tree frogs.
Rosie CaseyVeterinary Nurse
Hi my name is Rosie Casey, I have been working as a casual Veterinary Nurse at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for nearly 4 years. I also work full time at a Veterinary clinic looking after cats, dogs and exotics. I am qualified and began my nursing career in New Zealand before spending 9 years in the UK and finally settling in Australia.
My favourite animal is a Tiger and my favourite bird is a Pelican!