Meet Our Vets
I studied Veterinary Science at Sydney University. After graduating I decided see the world, so I travelled to England where I worked for three years in a mixed practice, dealing with both large and small animals. On returning to Australia I worked in an inner city small animal practice in Sydney, which I loved and stayed for five years, only leaving to have children. I arrived in Canberra while my children were still young and I worked part time. Then in 2002 I began working at Brudine for Bruce Fuller. The opportunity arose for me to purchase the practice in 2005. In the next ten years we became busier and busier and now we are in our lovely new purpose built hospital in Charnwood.
My three fabulous children have now grown up, and though two of them often live at home,
I now have free time again after twenty years to return to my love of travel.
I am also very happy and busy in Canberra with a love of cycling, bushwalking, dog walking and my garden.
After thirty years owning horses I have now hung up the stirrups but still have my wonderful doggy and a rather too fat kitty to keep my four-legged family going.
I have loved my career as a vet and can honestly say I have never had a day in thirty-three years as a vet when I have not been happy to get in to work and see what the day will bring.
I am now blessed to have the most amazing team of vets and nurses working with me to offer the best possible care and attention to your four-legged family also.
Dr Fiona Starr
Practice Owner & Veterinarian
I hail from the small country town of Grenfell in country NSW, and grew up on a large merino property surrounded by a menagerie of pets, so my love of animals was ingrained early.
I finished my Bachelor of Science degree in Melbourne in 2002, majoring in immunology. In my final year of science I started working as a veterinary nurse for a bird clinic in Melbourne, and loved it. The dream was still to become a vet, and in 2005 I moved to Sydney to study vet science, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. Whilst studying I worked as a veterinary nurse and live-in vet student treating all the after-hours patients. This was a fabulous experience, and I continued to work as a vet for this practice where my love for surgery was well fostered.
I met and fell in love with a Canberra man, and in 2012 he convinced me (thankfully!) to move back to Melba with him. It was fate that the perfect job opportunity arose in the same suburb, and I started working for Deb and the team in its previous location on Alfred Hill Drive. We have since been blessed with a beautiful baby boy, who occupies pretty much every minute outside of work here at Brudine. Jake the Border Collie completes the family and is a fluffy ball of smiles and slobber.
It has been an absolute pleasure meeting all Brudine’s lovely clients and their fur-families. I can honestly say I have the best job in the world, with every day bringing something different.
Dr Gwen Shirlow
BVSc (Hons I)
Practice Owner & Veterinarian
I grew up in Canberra and graduated Veterinary Science from Sydney University with first class honours in 2007. Since graduating I have worked in a rural small & large animal practice in Wagga Wagga. I have also spent time working in hospitals in Broken Hill, Queensland, England and Wales before returning back to Canberra.
Canberra has brought numerous opportunities for me as I worked for a few vet hospitals across the city while getting a bit of world travel in between the years. I love to keep my hands in both the medical and the surgical side of things and am always endeavouring to further my skills by undertaking post-graduate training in these areas. I have just completed two years further study in feline medicine. I particularly like treating beautiful senior pets and helping them to age gracefully. I have my very own fur child, Olive (10 year old Kelpie) and in my spare time I enjoy quilting and gardening.
I started working for Brudine as a locum once a week in 2016 before deciding that they are such a great team I would become a permanent fixture!
I am so grateful to have found such a wonderful team of vets and nurses to work with and love being able to help and support you and your fur-family, so pop in and say hello, I can’t wait to meet you all!
Dr Charles Webb
I grew up in Young NSW where I worked on a farm following school.
My experiences with animals on the farm led me to pursue a career in the veterinary industry.
I began my studies with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Equine Studies) at CSU in Wagga. After two years I switched over to a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. During the last two years of vet school I travelled to Sydney on my weekends to work at an emergency hospital.
With this experience I changed my mind about becoming a horse vet and developed a passion for small animals instead. I graduated in 2014 and began working at Brudine.
Dr Fiona has been a wonderful help and is training me to perform more complex surgeries and am further developing my skills in orthopaedics. During my time off I have been keeping myself busy renovating my house and taking my dog Poppy for walks.
I’m a keen sports fan, I love cricket, tennis and played both Rugby codes back home. If anyone if up for a game of tennis I’m always keen.
Dr Karen Viggers
I grew up in the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley near Melbourne, riding horses, hanging out with cows and running around the paddocks with dogs. My love of animals led me to studying Veterinary Science at Melbourne University.
After graduating in 1987, I worked in mixed practice near Melbourne for five years. During this time I also worked at the Healesville Sanctuary where I developed an interest in Australian native wildlife. Since then I have worked with a wide range of domestic pets and native animals, including kangaroos in Canberra, quolls in the Snowy Mountains, and seals in Antarctica.
I moved to Canberra in 1992 to complete a PhD in Wildlife Health at the ANU while continuing to work part-time in small animal practice. I have been at Brudine since 2005. I consult one day a week (usually Fridays) and I love people, animals, children and stories.
I am also the internationally best-selling author of four novels: “The Lightkeeper’s Wife”, “The Grass Castle”, “The Stranding” and “The Orchardist’s Daughter”. I love bushwalking, skiing and camping with my family, and I also love walking with my little dog, Toffee, who is a regular visitor at Brudine.
I look forward to meeting you and your pet family on Fridays
Dr Louise Grey
I grew up between Sydney and a farm in Jindabyne. I studied Veterinary Science at Sydney University, graduating in 2004. I worked for a couple of hospitals in Sydney before heading down to Canberra for love. I worked for Inner South Veterinary Hospital for nearly 8 years, and after some time off for my new bundle of joy, I am excited to become a new part of the Brudine team in 2017!
Previously, I have worked alongside our amazing exotics vet, Dr Arianne Lowe and we are excited to be reunited again at Brudine to treat all your funky little friends.
In my free time I enjoy cycling, running, knitting, snowboarding, reading & gardening. Like Dr Ari, I have a special interest in exotic pets, from the feathery to the small & fluffy, to the scaly, I love them all (Especially Rats!). As a new mum I am only working 2 days a week, but hope to meet as many of your special family members in that time, as well as your cats & dogs.
Dr Jessica Winsall
I graduated from Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga in 2017 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and moved to Canberra to start work here at Brudine soon after! I grew up in South-West Victoria in Hamilton where I spent my entire childhood and teenage years competing on my horses. I was surrounded by a menagerie of animals from a very young age which started my love for animals and my passion for veterinary science. While finishing high school and throughout my veterinary degree, I worked as a veterinary nurse in Hamilton during my holidays which not only further increased my love for veterinary science, but gave me invaluable skills that I could bring into my career as a veterinarian.
Canberra life has been great for me and my beautiful Aussie Shepherd Narla, who enjoys brunching at cafes, dog parks and market trips. I have also quickly added to the fur family whilst being here at Brudine with the adoption of an orphaned kitten, Wesley, and the addition of a silver dapple miniature dachshund, Rupert.
I have a keen interest in behaviour medicine and have my certification as a Fear Free Veterinarian.
I am so thankful everyday to work at Brudine Veterinary Hospital and I am very excited by the opportunities presented to me to further my skills in medicine and surgery here at the clinic.
Dr Mel Closter
Working as a veterinarian has been my dream job for as long as I can remember. I tried to choose a more practical, office-job career, but after two years of study and some time spent abroad, I realized helping animals was where I really belonged. I am a Melbourne girl born and bred, but after earning my veterinary degree at the University of Melbourne, started a new adventure here in Canberra with my partner and our two big fluffy dogs, Mia and Luna. Life outside work involves lots of gardening, exercise, reading, making art and exploring.
I love treating animals of all shapes and sizes and feel very lucky to work with the wonderful team at Brudine every day, and am looking forward to meeting and getting to know all our lovely clients and their fluffy, feathery and scaly friends.
Dr Taryn Wakefield
BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (Small Animal Radiology)
I grew up in south east Queensland and graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Queensland in 2010. Subsequently I am a proud Queenslander! I love the challenges that working as a veterinarian brings (no two days are ever the same) and the wonderful pets and their people that I meet. I have worked in central New South Wales, Perth and Canberra (twice!) as my husband’s Navy career has given us plenty of adventures around the country.
I love to be continually learning and in 2019 passed the membership examinations in Small Animal Radiology with the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. My special interests are radiology and clinical pathology.
I am excited to be back in Canberra as I love the bush landscape and exploring the many hiking trails through the beautiful national parks, as well as being an amateur bird watcher and an even more amateur gardener in my spare time. My fur family consists of a gentle German Shepherd cross called Eski and a cheeky ginger cat called Calvin. I am thrilled to be working with the amazing team at Brudine Vets!