Meet the educators

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Course content has been written by leading experts in Small Animal Veterinary practice, including:


Natalie Courtman

BVSc MANZCVS MVS DipACVP GCUT, Specialist Veterinary Clinical Pathologist.

Natalie graduated from the University of Sydney and spent nine years in small animal practices in Australia and the UK before embarking on her pathology career at the Royal Veterinary College in the UK.  She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in clinical pathology, has a Masters in Veterinary Clinical Studies from Murdoch University and membership of the ANZCVS in Small Animal Medicine and Pathobiology. She has worked in private veterinary laboratories and Universities training DVM students and residents.  Her passion is helping vets find and understand the clues that will help them diagnose disease in their patients.  She is currently Associate Professor of Veterinary Clinical Pathology and Director of the Doctor of Veternarary Medicine Program at the University of Sydney.

Natalie Courtman

“I am passionate about veterinary education and the veterinary profession. This program will assist general practitioners progress their career through increasing job satisfaction and well-being, improving standards of veterinary care, mentoring and networking, and promoting public awareness of their advanced skills."


Cheryl Fry

BVSc (Hons), MVS, CPD, ELI-MP, MPPsyc, Certified Professional Well-being Coach

Cheryl is a graduate of the University of Melbourne (1992) and worked in small animal practices in Adelaide and Hong Kong for eleven years while also completing a Master of Veterinary studies through Murdoch University in 2001. She also worked part-time at TAFE SA as a content developer and lecturer in the veterinary nursing course. Living internationally from 2005 to 2016 meant working as a Veterinarian was not always possible, and Cheryl’s desire for continual learning led to further study. She qualified as a Certified Professional Coach in New York in 2016, completing further study in wellbeing coaching in 2017.

She attained a Certificate in Happiness Studies in 2022 and is currently working on her Capstone project (improving veterinary workplace wellbeing using evidence-based tools) to complete her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne in 2022.

Cheryl has worked with Cathy Warburton at Make Headway since 2017, striving to advance veterinary mental health and wellbeing in Australia and internationally. Her work in that role has included the development of wellbeing learning resources, workplace training, public speaking, facilitating recent graduate support programs, and coaching individuals to improve their wellbeing and overall life satisfaction.

Cheryl Fry

Cheryl’s veterinary clinical experience and work at Make Headway give her insights into the challenges facing veterinarians today. Her passion for sharing the latest positive psychology and wellbeing research and utilising it in practical ways to improve veterinary workplaces will provide CVP students with valuable tools to implement in their own lives.


Caitlin Mack

BVetBio BVetSc MANZCVS (Small Animal Medicine)

Caitlin graduated from Charles Sturt University in 2014 and worked in rural Victoria before heading to the UK to work as a mixed animal practitioner and travel. Upon her return, she commenced a small animal rotating internship at the University of Queensland which progressed into a small animal internal medicine residency. Caitlin completed her residency training in 2021 and passed her American College of Internal Medicine (ACVIM) specialist exams in the same year. As part of her residency training, Caitlin also completed her Doctor of Veterinary Clinical Science with the publication of a thesis investigating antimicrobial resistance in canine urinary tract infections. 

Caitlin Mack

Caitlin currently works as a clinician at the University of Queensland Veterinary Teaching Hospital and has a passion for teaching, clinical reasoning, work-place development and all things medicine related.


Dr Laura Hardefeldt

Laura is a 2003 veterinary graduate of Murdoch University, a boarded specialist in large animal internal medicine with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and an ARC DECRA fellow at the Melbourne Veterinary School. Her research focus is antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance using a One Health approach.   

Laura Hardefeldt

This research has placed Laura at the forefront of the research field globally and led to numerous international presentations and publications. Laura is passionate about educating veterinarians and veterinary students on the appropriate use of antimicrobials. She has led the development of the Australian Veterinary Prescribing Guidelines and research into implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs in companion animal and equine practices across Australia.


Dr David Lee

BVSc (Hons), MVS, MANZCVS (Avian Health, Small Animal Medicine)

David graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in 2003, and began his small animal practice career at the RSPCA in Yagoona, before moving to Sylvania Veterinary Hospital in 2005. He became a partner at Sylvania in 2007, and then the sole owner in 2012. A passion for building great veterinary teams saw the business progress and grow, and over the next decade, he was able to grow the practice to an 8 practice group (Vet Ventures) with over 110 staff. At the start of 2022, David decided to exit clinical practice and seek new challenges, and joined VetPartners ANZ, where he is now currently the Head of Product and Service Innovation.  

David has also been an active member of the AVA and has actively contributed to the profession. Since 2017, David has been an executive committee member of the Australian Small Animal Veterinarians Group (ASAV) of the AVA as the Eastern Representative, and in August 2021, became the President. He is also a past chair and convenor of ASAVs Accredited Veterinary Hospitals Scheme, and continues to be an advisory group member of the scheme.

Dr David Lee

David has a Masters of Veterinary Studies from Murdoch University, and holds dual memberships of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, in Avian Health and in Small Animal Medicine. He is looking forward to helping colleagues become the best versions of themselves as part of the teaching team of AVAs CVP program.


Tanya Stephens

BVSc (Uni Syd) MSc IAWEL (Uni Ed) MANZCVS (Animal Welfare) FRCVS.

Tanya graduated in Veterinary Science from the University of Sydney and has a Masters in International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law from the University of Edinburgh. She is a MANZCVS in Animal Welfare, a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and a member of the RCVS Fellowship Science Advisory Panel.

Tanya established her own small animal practice and very much enjoys practice. She is also a wildlife researcher with original research on galactosaemia in kangaroos. Tanya’s interests lie in professional ethics, evidence based medicine, wildlife and the environment. She is a regular presenter and published author on these topics and editor of the book ‘One Welfare in Practice: The Role of the Veterinarian’.

Tanya holds leadership positions in AVAWE and AVCB and the ANZCVS. She is Chair of AVA’s Animal Welfare Trust, the NSW Greyhound Welfare Integrity Commission Animal Welfare Committee and the NSW Kangaroo Management Advisory Panel. She is a member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, a member of a number of Animal Ethics Committees, honorary veterinarian for the Children’s Medical Research Institute and one of two experts appointed to the Office of the Chief Professionalist by the Australian Council of Professions.

Tanya Stephens

"I am excited about being involved in the AVA CVP because I believe that this great new initiative will enhance practitioners engagement with and enjoyment of practice and serve to improve their wellbeing and ability to better function as practitioners. This in turn will improve their relationship with pet owners, improve animal welfare and raise the standing of the profession in society."


Leonie Richards

BVSc(hons), DipVetAn, GradCert(Uni Teach), GradDip(Clin Ed), MClinEd

Leonie graduated from the University of Sydney and has spent over 20 years in small animal practices and veterinary hospitals in Australia and Fiji in associate and practice owner roles.  Leonie commenced with UVet as Service Head of Small Animal General Practice in 2003 where she managed the Werribee Animal Hospital’s General Practice and ensured clinical excellence, and excellent student experience, teaching and client satisfaction.  Leonie holds an Honorary Associate Professor position with the University of Melbourne where she demonstrates her ability to be innovative and to provide exceptional leadership both clinically and in education of veterinarians and allied professionals

Leonie has been recognised as a “First 50 Melbourne West Change Maker” demonstrating her passion for progressing not only her local community, but also equity for women’s’ participation in both professional and sporting pursuits.  Leonie has a love of exercise and competes for fun nationally and internationally in rowing.

Leonie Richards

“I am excited about being involved with the AVA CVP because it meets an area of continuing education that has been lacking in the veterinary profession. It is also amazing to collaborate with such an amazing group of educators. I really hope we make a difference”


Matt Kopke


 Matt graduated from the University of Pretoria in 2009 with a BSc (majoring in veterinary biology), in 2013 with a BVSc, and in 2016 with BVSc (Honours) in small animal internal medicine and diagnostic imaging. In 2014, he completed a small animal rotating internship at Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital (University of Pretoria) in South Africa, followed by a small animal internal medicine internship in 2015. From 2016-2017 Matt worked as an emergency veterinarian at Bryanston Veterinary Hospital, before moving to New Zealand in 2017 to begin a small animal internal medicine residency at Massey University. After completing his residency in 2020, Matt joined Veterinary Nutrition Group to offer remote consultancy in internal medicine and nutrition, and in 2022 he became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Small Animal Internal Medicine. Matt's professional interests include gastroenterology, the nutritional management of hepatobiliary disease and pancreatitis, and the various ‘zebra’ cases that he tends to attract. In his spare time, Matt enjoys drinking coffee, watching horror movies, writing, drawing, and running.

Matt Kopke

I am excited about being involved with the AVA CVP because I love teaching! And, I think nutrition is really important because it forms the foundation for good health.


Dr. Matt Munro

DVM (Dist.), DACVIM (SAIM). Board Certified Small Animal Internal Medicine Specialist

Dr. Matt Munro is a board certified small animal internal medicine specialist currently employed at the Veterinary Referral Hospital, Dandenong. He graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2014 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (Distinction). He then completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Minnesota (2015-2016) and a small animal internal medicine residency at the University of California, Davis (2016-2019). Following completion of his residency, Matt became a registered specialist in small animal internal medicine (Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine; DACVIM-SAIM). Matt then worked at the University of Melbourne for two years as a lecturer in small animal medicine before moving to his current private practice position. He has authored textbook chapters related to canine and feline oesophageal disease and the management of canine hyperlipidaemia. His research areas have encompassed feline mycobacterial disease, clinical pharmacology, and investigation of canine megaoesophagus. Areas of interest include hepatobiliary diseases, infectious diseases, pharmacology, and interventional endoscopy and radiology.

Dr Matt Munro

Matt is excited about being involved with the AVA CVP because he is passionate about furthering both the clinical and non-clinical skills of veterinarians so that they can hopefully thrive both professionally and away from work.


Nathan Koch

BSc, BVSc (Hons), Grad Cert Mgt, Grad Cert Tech (Aviation Human Factors), Cert IV TAE

Nathan graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Science majoring in human pathology, then Veterinary Science.  After several years in mixed and small animal practice, he left full time vet work to pursue his other passion, aviation.

He has worked as a charter pilot, flight instructor, aerial traffic reporter for radio station Triple M in Melbourne, regional airline pilot and since 2000 has worked for Qantas Airways, currently as a Captain on the Boeing 737 fleet.

During that time he has developed an interest in the non-technical skills that have been pushed so much to the forefront in the evolution of aviation safety, and has facilitated Human Factors courses for Qantas, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and spoken at various medical and veterinary conferences.  He recently completed a unit in the Monash University Masters of Medicine program, “Human Factors in Patient Safety.”

As well as doing a little part time vet practice, he also presents an irregular regular program on Melbourne Radio station 3AW (and 5AA in Adelaide,) called “Pets and Jets,” where he answers both veterinary and aviation questions.

Nathan Koch

I am honoured to be involved with the CVP program as I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for practitioners to tap into the skills and knowledge of those that have developed expertise both inside and outside the profession. On a personal level, I hope I can share some of the understanding I have gained from the aviation industry that is so very applicable to patient safety and our own wellbeing.


Entry requirements