Advisory Committee and Management Team

VBG Advisory Committee

Dr Paula Parker - Chairperson

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.


Rachel Chay - VBG Policy Counselor 

Rachel is an experienced companion animal practitioner who has worked in both general and emergency and critical care practice for 15 years.  She has completed her membership exams in Feline Medicine and also worked as an accredited vet for AQIS preparing small animals for export.  In 2016, she completed a Masters in Organisational Development which included further studies in clinical leadership, clinical governance and a research project on the retention of veterinarians in the industry.

Rachel has been with Greencross for 5 years and currently sits on the executive team in the role of Chief Veterinary Officer. This role allows her to assist her teams with the ongoing challenges and needs of veterinarians in specialty, emergency and general practice in Australia while providing veterinary insight to the Greencross management team.


Dr 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.


Leigh Mellor

Leigh Mellor is General Manager, Sales, Product & Marketing at PetSure, Australia’s largest pet insurer and Underwriting Management Agency for over 20 pet insurance brands, including household names such as Woolworths, Medibank, RSPCA, Bupa and Petbarn.

Leigh has had a diversified career across business management, product development, sales and marketing, with a focus on financial services.

He joined PetSure from a seven-year career at National Australia Bank where his contributions included significant revenue growth and business transformation in diverse roles as a client-facing Director with Institutional clients, Head of marketing and communications for the Wholesale Division, and Head of Domestic Payment Products. 

His previous career highlights have seen him turnaround a securitisation business, with significant improvements in profitability and governance, build a 40-seat retail banking contact centre from scratch to deliver best-practice service levels and loan sales 30% over target, and – in his early career – lead the early development of a world first initiative to deliver the services of every Queensland Government department through single retail outlets in 13 rural towns.

He also brings a deep understanding of marketing and communications to his endeavours, as his career includes leadership of teams in these specialist disciplines at three financial institutions, and a number of years at advertising and public relations agencies.

Leigh is committed to people development and works with individuals, both within and outside of his team, to maximize their contributions and career advancement. He has built strong team performance and has mentored high achievers across the organisations in which he has worked.

Following his move into a sector focused on companion animals, Leigh is enjoying the application of his commercial skills to the pursuit of improved animal welfare and optimal veterinary outcomes.   

Based in Sydney, Leigh is married with two adult children and two noisy dachshunds.


Janet Murray

Janet grew up on a dairy farm in New Zealand and started out as a Veterinary Nurse in mixed practice. Four years later, she traveled to the UK, where she locumed at various small animal referral practices including specialising in ECC at The Royal Veterinary College, London.

After two years, she moved to Ireland where varied industry roles ensued over the next six years including territory manager for a major pharmaceutical company and veterinary nursing/teaching at University College Dublin and Dublin SPCA. 

In 2012, she moved to Perth, undertaking a brief sales role and then on to her current role as a lecturer for Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing at South Metropolitan TAFE. Janet has most recently attained a Bachelor in Veterinary Nursing through Edinburgh Napier University and also an Associate Degree in Adult, and Vocational Education.


Dr 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.


Dr 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

Jeffrey Wilkinson - Interim VBG Manager

To contact the VBG team, please phone (02) 9431 5081 or email

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