Our Veterinary Team

Our Veterinary Team

We’re open seven days a week and keep late weekday hours (8am – 7pm) in an effort to work with the busy schedules of our clients.

Get to know our team!

We are solely dedicated to your pet’s care! We look forward to getting to know you, and we hope you’ll take the time to scroll down and get to know us.

Our Vets

Dr Matthew Cox


Matt is a part owner and senior veterinarian at Great Western Animal Hospital. He has a wealth of experience in small animal medicine and surgery and has a special interest in dentistry. He has completed a post graduate course in surgery and is constantly updating our procedures and protocols to ensure we maintain the highest standard of care for our patients.

After graduating from Sydney Uni in 1995, he worked as a small animal veterinarian in Western Sydney before taking off for the UK on a working holiday. He has owned the hospital with his wife Mila since  2008.

For over a decade now, I have had the pleasure of working with a lot of wonderful people, and helped build an amazing team which makes Great Western Animal Hospital such a great place to come and work. We are so fortunate to have so many lovely clients and patients that come to us on a regular basis.

When I’m not at work I love to play golf, ride my bikes ( pedal power ) and generally go and appreciate the great outdoors with family and friends.  I most often get to share this time with the 4 main women in my life. Dr Mila ( partner in life and work ! ) , my daughters Siena and Claudia, and my Fur(less) child Margot  ( She is a Sphinx Cat )

Dr Clare O’Connor

Head Veterinarian

I joined the GWAH team in 2015.

I completed a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (HONS1) at the University of Sydney in 2010 and spent my initial working years at the RSPCA in Newcastle.This was an excellent starting point with a wide variety of cases and busy working schedule. I was fortunate enough to participate in lots of vaccination and desexing programs regionally.

I love working at GWAH. The standard of care here is excellent and all staff from reception, nurses, kennel hands and vets are quality. We also have a lot of fun together.

I love working with our amazing clients to treat their pets’ individual needs. It’s definitely team work! It has been wonderful getting to know clients over the years and seeing their pets grow up.

I really enjoy the variety of general practice, including emergency medicine, internal medicine, behavior, and soft tissue surgery. 

When not at work I am busy with my little family of two human babies and one fur baby, preferably at the beach in summer, or on the soccer pitch in winter.

Dr Kate Rattenbury


Soon after graduating from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, I moved to New Zealand to live. I worked in 2 clinics in Auckland during my almost 4- year stint across the ditch, developing my soft tissue surgery and medicine skills. During this time, I completed additional training in veterinary diagnostic imaging and enjoyed exploring the country in my spare time. I also adopted a rescue pup, Pablo, whom I met when he came from the Humane Society of New Zealand to my clinic for desexing and never went back!

I loved the experience of living and working in another country, but eventually homesickness got the better of me and Pablo and I came home, joining Great Western Animal Hospital in August 2018.

I am Level 3 Fear Free Certified, and am also currently completing an acupuncture course through IVAS (International Veterinary Acupuncture Society). I am excited to add this additional treatment modality to my veterinary toolbox, and look forward to discussing it with our clients should they be interested in learning more about it.

In my free time I love to go out in our beautiful city to experience bands, djs and theatre. I am also an avid runner, I especially enjoy going for runs in the amazing  national parks around Sydney on the Central Coast or in the Blue Mountains in my spare time.

Dr Hanson Tan


Having graduated from Sydney University in 2014, I spent my first few years working in small animal practice in the eastern suburbs. Not long after in 2018, I took the plunge and moved to the UK for two years on a working holiday, spending most of my either time practicing in London and Rochester or traveling throughout Europe. Plying my trade in the UK really helped me find my feet as a vet and continue to broaden my veterinary experience.

When I returned, I was fortunate enough to join the amazing team at Great Western Animal Hospital and whilst I enjoy the variety of general clinical practice, I have a particular interest in soft tissue surgery and internal medicine. Outside of work I have a keen interest in cooking, Japanese culture and whiskey, and when I’m not picking up after our mischievous ginger cat Gary, I’ll be at the footy with my mates. I look forward to continuing to meet all the great patients and clients at GWAH for many years to come.

Dr Melissa Psaila


Melissa graduated from Sydney University in 2017 and has been enjoying working in busy practices since then!

Melissa loves the variety of cases that working in general practice brings to her, but gets a particular kick out of meeting puppies and kittens! Melissa also particularly loves retrievers of any kind, but has a very soft spot for a labrador.

Dr Jessica Aalders


My name is Jess,

I am a veterinary graduate from the University of Sydney. I have worked in both rural and city practice which I have really enjoyed. I have a keen interest in surgery as well as small animal medicine and dermatology.  I am thrilled to be part of such an amazing team here at GWAH and strive to always be learning new things. In my spare time, I’m kept busy by my four fur babies (all named after top gun)

Dr. Briarna Burnum

BNatSc (AnimSc) 

Bio coming soon.


Lesley Greenwood

Practice Manager
Certificate IV RVN

Lesley has been a veterinary nurse for 20 years, for 5 of those years she lived here at Great Western Animal Hospital where she was responsible for the after hours care and treatment of our hospitalised patients.

Lesley took on the busy role of practice manager 7 years ago. Her many years of veterinary nursing have proved invaluable in training and educating new members of the team and in understanding how to make sure the practice runs smoothly.

She is kept busy in her home life by her husband and 3 young children.

Keira Anderson

Head Veterinary Nurse
Certificate IV RVN

Hi I’m Keira and I am the Head Nurse here at GWAH. I have been a member of the team for 5 years, starting out as a Work Experience student.

 I am the fur-mum of Ruby and Dudley two Poodle Cross dogs. I have always been passionate about the care and well being of animals and love that I get to fulfill that passion through my career. I am a fully registered Certificate IV qualified nurse and was awarded the Certificate of Excellence of my graduating class. Great Western has been instrumental in my knowledge and education and I continue to grow each day both at the clinic and through continuing education. My passion is surgical nursing and I am dedicated to ensuring all our patients have the most fear-free, comfortable visit to the hospital they can.
I am lucky to be the manager of an amazing team of nurses. They are extremely skilled and hard-working and one of the reasons I travel over an hour to work each day!

Jodie Pignone

Senior Veterinary Nurse and Puppy Preschool Teacher
Certificate IV RVN

Hi, my name is Jodie and I have been a team member at Great Western Animal Hospital since 2002.

I love my job as Veterinary Nurse and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I love helping all animals and offering their owners information and support when needed. I am a Registered Veterinary Nurse, Elite Fear Free Certified and Fear Free certified Puppy Trainer. I am also a member of The Pet Professional Guild who advocate for force-free animal care. I enjoy furthering my skills by completing ongoing training and Continuing Education courses.

I appreciate all aspects of my job including having a great time running puppy preschool classes, helping wildlife when brought into our hospital and teaching my two human babies how to appreciate all animals great and small.

Mandy Weaver

Senior Veterinary Nurse


Mandy started her career in 2010 as a full time Veterinary Nurse with being awarded the Outstanding Student Award upon completion of her Cert IV, and later joined the Great Western Animal Hospital team in 2018 as a Senior RVN.

She has since become Fear Free Certified (Level 3) and has a passion for making a positive impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of animals.

Despite enjoying all aspects of Veterinary Nursing, Mandy has a particular interest in Anaesthesia and is a member of the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists to further increase her knowledge and skills.

Mandy is owned by a Staffy named Axle, who she absolutely adores and couldn’t imagine life without. She believes he is the reason she is a vet nurse today.

In her spare time you’ll find her exploring the outdoors, painting or with her head in a text book (vet nurse related, of course!).

Taryn Vella

Senior Veterinary Nurse

Hi I’m Taryn and I have been a vet nurse for 15 years, 5 of them at GWAH.

I have four pets, Sniper (Rottweiler), Sophie and Bentley (chihuahuas) and a turtle called Franklin.

I have a passion for wildlife and enjoy helping any that get brought into the clinic.

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is helping the anxious and fearful patients to be their calming nurse and advocate.

Alicia Amor

Senior Veterinary Nurse
Certificate IV RVN

I started at Great Western as a work placement student back in 2016 and am now a full time Cert IV qualified, RVN.

I run the kitten adoption program here at Gwah and absolutely love fostering, caring for and finding forever homes for the many beautiful stray kittens that get brought into our care.

I have 3 pets of my own, a senior cat named Sam and 2 crazy Italian Greyhounds, Hugo and Rosie, that keep me on my toes! I have always wanted to work with animals and have found my dream job as a vet nurse at GWAH!

Fiona Docherty

Senior Veterinary Nurse
Certificate IV RVN

Hi I’m Fiona and I’ve been working as a veterinary nurse since 2011. During my career, I’ve worked in a variety of roles including emergency, general practice nursing and management.

I’m currently one of the part time senior nurses at Great Western. I have a special interest in feline medicine and behaviour. I love making our feline patient’s visits as fear free as possible.

I also love to mentor all of our junior staff, helping the next generation of nurses to be their absolute best.

Imogen Kenyon

Senior Veterinary Nurse
Certificate IV RVN

Hi, my name is Imogen and I am a Senior nurse at Great Western Animal Hospital. I have been nursing for 5 years and thoroughly enjoy all aspects of my job, especially anesthetics, pathology and patient care.

I have loved animals since I was a little girl, and now I am lucky enough to work every day enriching animal’s lives, big or small. I have a fur baby of my own named Maya, who is an 8 year old Staffordshire Terrier, along with 2 budgies, and a few fish.  I have a keen interest in aquatic life, specifically freshwater species.

I am proudly registered with the Australian Veterinary Nursing Association, along with being Fear Free qualified. I am always working on furthering my knowledge in Veterinary Medicine as it adapts and evolves.

I am dedicated to making every pet I meet feel happy, comfortable and loved. If you see me in the clinic feel free to stop me and say hello, I always enjoy a good chat. I can’t wait to meet your fur baby!

Samantha Coggins

Senior Veterinary Nurse Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing, Diploma Emergency and Critical Care, RVN

Hi my name is Sammi and I have been a vet nurse for almost 10 years. I have been at GWAH for just under a year part-time and also work at a referral hospital as a Specialist Internal Medicine Nurse. My passion is patient care and nursing our critical hospital patients back to health but I also enjoy all areas of vet nursing!

I spend my early mornings tending to my horse Zimmy and have a German Shepherd Lilly waiting for me at home. I have recently become a Registered Nurse and am committed to furthering my skills. One way that I have done this is by completing my Diploma in Emergency and Critical Care Nursing.

Alicia Garcia-Rojas

Junior Veterinary Nurse
Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing

Hi my name’s Alicia and I have been a vet nurse at GWAH since 2018. I originally started here as a work experience student and have been here ever since. I often volunteer to take on rescue kittens and hand rear them if they are really little! I love seeing them grow and get adopted out through our adoption program.

I have a large fur family of my own at home which includes Winne my Shetland Sheepdog and my 3 cats Ellie, Ollie and Willow.

Jasmin Jimenez

Junior Veterinary Nurse

Hi my name is Jasmin, I am a junior nurse who started as a work experience student in 2017 and am now a full time nurse working at GWAH. I am known as the kitten queen here due to my love for raising kittens and ability to use a fear free approach with our more anxious feline patients. Feel free to ask me any questions about raising kittens. I currently have my foster ‘fail’ cat Benji at home whom I adore.

Jasmin Zouroudis

Junior Veterinary Nurse

Hi my name is Georgia! I have been a vet nurse since 2017 and been with GWAH since the middle of 2020.

I am a Junior Vet Nurse at GWAH. I started off as a work placement student whilst doing my studies for Cert lV Veterinary Nursing at TAFE. After a few months of work placement I was offered casual employment. I have a lot of passion and interest in animals and animal care. I am so grateful to be part of an amazing team. When I finish my days at the Vet Hospital I come home to my own pet, Marley, a Cane Corso X.

Alexandra Henshaw

Student Veterinary Nurse

My Name is Alexandra and I’m a junior Nurse at GWAH

I have been with GWAH for over a year now and I’m Currently completing my Cert 4 in Veterinary Nursing.

I love my job because we have the ability to give our patients the special care they deserve and an overall better quality of life

Shannon Compton

Student Veterinary Nurse

Hi my name is Shannon,

I joined GWAH in the beginning of 2021 as a work experience student wanting to become a vet nurse. Since then, I’ve completed both my Certificate II and III in animal science, I have become a casual employee at GWAH, and I am currently studying to complete my Certificate IV in Vet Nursing to become a fully qualified vet nurse.

 I love all creatures big and small, and have been passionate about helping animals ever since I could remember, so it feels great knowing that I’m working towards my aspirations as well as learning from such a skilled and amazing team of vets and vet nurses.

At home I am the mother of 3 animals; a cheeky cavalier named Cruz, a cuddly ginger cat named Bosko, and a very fierce cockatiel named Themba.

I feel very blessed to be working at a place like Great Western Animal Hospital. Being able to fulfill my passions by helping animals in need, with a team full of very educated and supportive individuals, is something I’m immensely grateful for.


Jodie Aylmer

Reception Manager / Assistant Practice Manager

Certificate IV RVN

I started out as a hairdresser and was never fully satisfied, I always thought there was something more for me. I have always had a passion for animals and continued learning. I started at GWAH as work placement and moved onto nursing/reception and now I am the Assistant Practice Manager/Reception Manager. What a joy it has been to move into a role where I can utilise my business skills and help animals at the same time.

Mandy Laska


Hi, I’m Mandy. I started working at Great Western Animal Hospital in February 2000. I am now the senior receptionist at the hospital and love my job as it is very rewarding. I love puppies especially Chihuahuas so I feel I am in the right place of work! I also like talking to all our wonderful clients about their animals.

Tessa Konecke

Senior Receptionist

Certificate IV Companion Animal Services

I find great pleasure in my rewarding job as a senior receptionist. I enjoy coming to work every day and interacting with our lovely clients and meeting all their furry friends when they come in. I always try to say a personal ‘hello’ to every patient that comes in the door! I have a rescue Galah named Bonita and a fur family of 4 beautiful rescue cats and am known to have a special place for fluffy longhaired cats.

Evelyn Topfer

Certificate in Animal Studies and Accounting

My name is Evelyn and I started at GWAH in 2020. I have been in the Veterinary industry for just under 10 years. At home I have my daughter, my
dog Myron and cat Sansa who all keep me busy in their own ways! Prior to working in the veterinary industry I worked as an accountant.
Kirsty Collins


Bio coming soon.