AVA Board nominations - 2021 candidates


Each year AVA members vote in the election of new directors to the AVA Board. This is an important opportunity for you to have a say in the leadership of your professional association.

This year, nine eligible nominations were received. There are vacancies for two of these nominees to be appointed as directors for a three-year term.

The two successful candidates will join the Board along with continuing directors: Dr Julia Crawford, Dr Paula Parker, Dr Matthew Petersen, Dr Bronwyn Orr, Dr Warwick Vale, Dr Nicholas Sangster and Dr Robert Doneley.

Dr Robert Johnson has completed the maximum two terms as a director and is not eligible for re- election.  Dr Ken Jacobs has completed his first term as a Director and is eligible for re-election for a second term.

When and how can I vote?

Voting opens on Friday 27th March at 3pm and closes on 27th April at 5pm.  Members who are eligible to vote will receive an email with instructions on how to vote.


If you have any concerns or difficulties with this information or voting process, please contact AVA Company Secretary Michael Ghattas on 02 9431 5000 or by email to michael.ghattas@ava.com.au

Read more on the candidates below. 

A member of the AVA since 1969 with a wealth of 48 years’ experience as a GP veterinarian.  A member of EVA, ASAVA and VBG, an executive member of the ACV serving as President from 2017-2019.

This included fighting the deregulation of pregnancy testing in Queensland.  With over 25years of thoroughbred racing administration experience at control body level in Queensland.  I’m passionate about the sustainability of veterinary practices, ethics, the welfare of veterinarians and the mentoring of students

The future of the veterinary profession is bright, but right now a number of our people are doing it tough. We need an AVA that is agile and steadfast to meet the challenges our members face head-on.

As a veterinarian, VBG founding committee member, media vet and business owner that has supported and driven the profession to excel for the past 20 years, I’m ready willing and able to help with the challenge ahead.

I’ve had an immensely enjoyable 32-year small animal veterinary career. Recently clinically retired, my strategic forward-thinking and strong business leadership skills have created a culture promoting teamwork and professional satisfaction at my two hospitals at Springfield - an AVAPM ‘Practice of Excellence’ and an ASAV accredited ‘Hospital of Excellence’.

My demonstrated passion for making positive change includes:

  • Member of AVA Workforce Shortages committee, UQ Curriculum Committee, AVBA Board and Veterinary Shortage Thinktank
  • Founder and director of Groodles Australia
  • Speaker at UQ, AVBA, AVAPM and VBG
  • Founder/chair of Veterinarians for Climate Action

If re-elected, I hope to continue my goals of stimulating greater member involvement in AVA strategy and direction; leading to the best possible member support and community interaction.

My current AVA related roles/interests are:

  • graduate success: AVA Workforce Challenges Working Group  
  • animal welfare: Thoroughbred Aftercare Welfare Working Group
  • risk management: AVA and Profession: chair AVA Risk Committee
  • disaster responses: Flood, fire and EAD preparedness
  • improving member support through SIGs
  • improving member communication

As a graduate by examination of the Australian Institute Company Directors, I hope that I bring training; skills, experience, and passion to assist the profession meet future challenges.   

I have served the AVA in numerous presidential and policy roles since the 1980’s.  I was elected a Councillor then Honorary Treasurer of the ANZCVS; valuable experience for a Board role.

I have been a passionate supporter of young veterinarians, being involved in mentoring programs since 2005 and helping to develop the national mentoring program. I believe graduate support is core business for the AVA.

I foster and practice a cooperative attitude to decision-making and my experience in the Association and on Australian College Council will help me to work with others to advance the interests of all veterinarians.

I have been in the veterinary industry for over 25 years.  My career has seen me serve in clinical practice – companion animal and emergency and critical care, corporate veterinary leadership and federal government roles.

My experience across the industry has given me an understanding of both current and future challenges for us as a professional body. I have been involved in a number of boards and committees both within our industry and the AVA and externally in the business sector. I would consider it an honour to serve the Australian Veterinary Community as a member of the AVA board.

I have worked for 42 years in animal health and biosecurity and recently received the
David Banks Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award. With the Queensland government I
had various roles, including Chief Veterinary Officer and since 2011 have conducted
consultancies for governments and industry.

I was an AVA branch President for 8 years. I will bring to the Board extensive experience
in government processes, managing large organisations, stakeholder engagement and
policy development. I am committed to exploring how the AVA can better serve vets
working for industry, laboratories, government and universities to provide further incentives
for them to become active members.

  • BVSc University of Sydney 1976
  • Practise owner/practitioner 30 years
  • Veterinarian for Koalas in Port Stephens 20 years
  • AVA Meritorious Service Award, OAM, Chair Port Stephens Wildlife Fund

My Objectives are to enable improvement in wages and conditions for employee veterinarians to bring them in line with other professions.  Education of the Community on the costs associated with veterinary practice. 

Opportunity to improve work-life balance, flexibility of career, and encourage action on mental health issues.

Lobby for additional funding for biosecurity, food and water security, climate change adaptation.

Membership of the AVA to become vital to Veterinary graduates.

Since graduating (USyd 1990) I have been involved in many aspects of our profession - mixed practice, referral and university equine practice, wildlife, the pharmaceutical industry and research. An AVA member for over 20 years, current AVI President and past convenor of the AVA national conference (2014-2018), I believe in our Association and its unwavering commitment to animal health and welfare.

As a Director, I would seek to represent members from all disciplines, strive to provide strong leadership and address issues using science, logic and diplomacy, whilst endeavouring to enhance the standing of our profession in the community.