Advisory Committee and Management Team

VBG Advisory Committee

Paula Parker

Paula was appointed to the Board of the AVA in 2015 as the youngest Director in the association's nearly 100-year history.

Paula worked in large animal and mixed practice in Gippsland before transitioning to a full time emergency and critical care practice.

She has been a Hospital Director in both referral and general practice settings. Paula has clinical postgraduate qualifications from Murdoch University and is a Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Emergency and Critical Care. Paula also has postgraduate qualifications in Business and Corporate Governance.

 

David Butchart

David has had a varied veterinary career. Since joining general practice in 1996, he has worked in Australia and the UK, taken time out and completed an MBA, worked in marketing and new product development in a multi-national pharmaceutical company and become a partner in a small animal practice. He also founded and continues to operate a buying group that is focused on practice growth.

David is currently a partner at Bondi Vet Hospital and Executive Director of the Platinum Vet Alliance.

David's focus is working with veterinary practices to improve their profitability and grow their businesses.

 

Paul Dempsey

With a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture, Paul has spent over 15 years in corporate agribusiness in various leadership roles. He has completed an MBA through the University of New England and has a keen focus on operational management and business improvement.

Paul recently joined the veterinary community as the Chief Operating Officer of a large, multi-site, regional practice. He works with the partnership group in a general management capacity bringing an external view to the business, challenging the status quo of the business direction and its overall performance.

Paul has maintained a strong connection to industry associations throughout his career.

 

Julie Harris

Julie has spent 25 years working in veterinary clinics, manufacturing and wholesaling for the veterinary industry and she was also a VNCA committee member for 5 years.

During the past 10 years, Julie has been dedicated to business management within the veterinary industry and has completed her MBA with a human resource specialisation. She is the Director of her own business and provides business assistance to veterinary clinics.

Julie is passionate about assisting managers and owners to embrace change, enjoy the management of people and operate a profitable clinic.  She is currently the business manager for a mixed animal practice with 30 employees.

 

Steve Pryor

Steve has been a practicing veterinarian since 1986. He became a Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Surgery in 1999. After working in a practice in Murwillumbah for 10 years, he returned to Melbourne.

He is currently the managing partner of Eltham Veterinary Practice. 

Steve’s passions include business management and surgery, and he feels that improved business practices and particularly staff development are some of the keys to overcoming challenges in our businesses now and in the future. He also believes that it’s possible to act ethically and be business minded at the same time.

 

James Ramsden

James Ramsden is a vet whose expertise is in communication. He co-founded an online marketing company to help vets better communicate with consumers.

As a young vet, James worked out quickly that follow-up phone calls made all the difference. It wasn’t long before the internet came along and the rest evolved from there.

James’ media experience started with a phone call from a client – landing him a gig as Bert Newton’s vet on Good Morning Australia. This led to a role with The Australian Women’s Weekly, Channel Nine and various radio jobs. These experiences are integral to the understanding of how communication works and strongly influence his business today.

 

VBG Management Team

Michael McKeand 

Manager

Michael McKeand was appointed the General Manager of the Australian Veterinarian Association’s Practice Management group (AVAPM) in January 2016.  The AVAPM represented veterinarians across Australia and assisted in creating successful veterinary businesses and veterinarian leaders.

In late 2016, Michael successfully led the merger of the AVAPM and the Australian Veterinary Business Association (AVBA) to form a single entity known as the Veterinary Business Group (VBG).

Michael began his career as a sales and service manager within the telecommunications industry, before moving into financial services where he remained up until moving into his current role. Michael has also held senior management roles with The Suncorp Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Michael has a strong background in sales and service, leadership, business management and risk, sitting on a variety of committees focused on the growth of business, people and communities.

Born in Brisbane, Queensland, Michael has three children. 

michael.mckeand@ava.com.au

 

Megan Livingston

Administration Officer

Megan has worked in business management and accounting for the past 22 years - including working from 2003 to 2005 as the Office Manager for Vetmark and the AVAPM (formerly the AVPMA).

Megan worked for the AVBA from 2008 until 2016 in a variety of different roles - most recently as the acting Business Manager.  

Megan brings a wealth of experience in management - particularly business management in the veterinary industry - to the VBG.

She has 2 cats that she raised from 7 days old, and many (MANY) rescue animals that are increasing too quickly to number.

Megan is passionate about running, swimming and fitness in general, but her biggest passion is people.  Drop Megan a line anytime - she would love to hear from you and be able to assist you with any query.

megan.livingston@ava.com.au 

 

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