Meet Our Vets
Dr Deborah Williams
Practice Owner & Veterinarian
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
Ever since I was a young girl growing up on the family farm in rural NSW, I always knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. Surrounded by a menagerie of pets and animals, my love for animals and an interest in their health and husbandry was ingrained early.
After completing a Bachelor of Science majoring in immunology at Melbourne University, I started working as a veterinary nurse at a small animal (avian focused) clinic. The dream was still to become a Veterinarian, and I enrolled in a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at Sydney University in 2005, graduating in 2009 with first class honours, having completing a thesis on pain management. Throughout my degree I was fortunate enough to fill a live-in position at two separate veterinary hospitals, where I gained an enormous amount of experience dealing with the after-hours emergencies that came through the doors. I continued to work at the latter hospital for a further two years post graduation, before moving to Canberra, having met my now husband, Simon.
Fast forward 10 years and I am truly living the dream! I am incredibly blessed to be a part owner of Brudine, working with a team of fun and immensely talented colleagues (my second family!), helping the many fabulous clients and pets that visit us. I have a particular love of surgery (especially orthopedics), but equally love all the challenges and rewards general practice provides.
My first family : two gorgeous boys Finlay and Reuben plus hubby Simon, our dog and clinic mascot Jake, and cat Gecko fill my hours outside of work with laughter and fun. I am a self confessed plant-addict, which you may appreciate if you visit us at Brudine and take a peek at our waiting room! In any leftover time, I love exploring the great outdoors around and about Canberra. I can't wait to meet you and your fur-family - please pop in and say Hi!
Dr Gwen Shirlow
BVSc (Hons I)
Practice Owner & Veterinarian
I graduated Veterinary Science from Sydney University with first class honours in 2007. After graduation I worked in a rural small & large (mixed) animal practice in Wagga Wagga for a couple of years before returning to Canberra and focusing on my love of smaller animals. In amongst this I have been lucky enough to combine travel and work by locuming in a number of practices across England and Wales, Broken Hill and Queensland.
Being a vet allows me to be part of a beautiful bond between people and their animals. I enjoy both medicine and surgery and am always endeavouring to further my skills by undertaking post-graduate training in these areas. I do many of the ultrasounds at Brudine. I have also completed two years further study in feline medicine and enjoy being able to treat complex medical cases. I particularly like treating beautiful senior pets and helping them to age gracefully. I have my very own fur child, Olive (12 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!
Dr Karen Smith
I graduated from the University of Sydney and worked in small animal practice in regional NSW for a number of years as well as QLD before making the move back south to Canberra where I joined the Brundine team in 2021.
I have a variety of veterinary interests including dermatology, behaviour medicine, geriatrics and small animal medicine. I strive to tailor individual approaches and treatments to clients and their pets to get the best outcome. I am committed to reducing fear, stress & pain in all patients and happy to discuss how this can be accommodated for your pet. I aim to make life comfortable and fun for all life stages.
In my free time I enjoy running, cooking and training my charismatic cat, Ebony.
Dr Crystal Mak
I was born and raised in Sydney. Despite not having any pets growing up (apart from a few fish), I have always loved animals, and my experiences at my agricultural high school led me to pursue a veterinary degree at the University of Sydney in 2015. I graduated in early 2021, and moved down to Canberra to join the Brudine team soon after.
In my spare time I enjoy playing musical instruments, watching movies, exploring nature, and lazing around with my bearded dragon. I feel very fortunate to work with such a great team of vets and nurses, and love meeting our clients and their pets!