Dr Lucy Collins
Kyabram Veterinary Clinic
Originally from South Gippsland where her family own a contracting business, Lucy always knew she wanted to work with livestock. She studied agriculture at the University of Melbourne before pursuing a career in veterinary science.
Lucy joined the KVC team in December 2015, and enjoys the variety rural mixed practice has to offer. She has a strong interest in cattle medicine and surgery, as well as pocket pets.
Outside of work Lucy loves playing netball, kayaking, hiking and chilling with her pet rabbit Daisy.
Dr Matt Peterson
Southern Riverina Vets
Matt focuses mainly on working with the local dairy cattle industry and has recently completed advanced cattle reproduction training. He is one of less than 20 people recognised as an advanced InCalf advisor in Australia. Matt also provides mastitis and milk quality advisory services to the dairy industry, and is an accredited Countdown Downunder advisor.
Before coming to Finley, Matt spent 18 months working in a busy small animal clinic in South Australia. Matt was performing a lot of surgery and dealing with challenging medical cases in dogs and cats. His favourite small animal surgery is performing dog caesareans as they are challenging and instantly rewarding.
When asked about his motivation to become a vet he said “every day I try to find new ways to implement the latest research and modern techniques to improve animal health, farm productivity and efficiency.”
- Australian Veterinary Association
- Australian Cattle Veterinarians
- Australian Small Animal Veterinarians
- Australian Veterinary Association Practice Management
- National Cattle Pregnancy Diagnosis Scheme tester
- Advanced InCalf advisor
- Countdown Downunder mastitis advisor
Dr Erica Schmidt
Mixed practice & equine vet
Warrnambool Veterinary & Southwest Equine Veterinary Group
Erica grew up in a farming community in central California where her family raised black Angus beef cattle. She started riding horses at age 6 by helping her father round up the cattle. Erica’s interest in horses extended to showing in both Western and English pleasure riding during her elementary school years and eventually to her chosen career in Veterinary Science.
Erica studied Animal Science at California State University, Fresno, and gained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University in 2016.
With her partner, Ben, also a vet, Erica moved to Australia in May 2016, and commenced working at Warrnambool Veterinary in June 2016. Apiam Animal Health assisted both Erica and Ben through the Visa Application process, ensuring their applications were managed quickly and efficiently.
Warrnambool Veterinary is a mixed-practice clinic based in the southwest of Victoria in prime dairy country. Erica’s work at Warrnambool Veterinary encompasses small animal and large animal clients, including equine, providing her with experience across species in-clinic and on-farm with both routine and emergency cases.
Apiam Animal Health is committed to providing on-going training opportunities for staff and Erica’s attendance at an Equine Dental Training Seminar, a hands on workshop held at Apiam’s Deniliquin practice, Southern Riverina Veterinary, rekindled her keen interest in all things equine. Erica has been seconded, two days per week, to work at Southwest Equine Veterinary Group, also located in Warrnambool and part of the Apiam Animal Health Group.
When Erica is not working she enjoys home DIY projects and hiking and camping with her husband Ben and dog Oliver.
Senior Vet Nurse
Deniliquin Veterinary Clinic
I have been working at the Deniliquin Vet Clinic since finishing School at the Deniliquin High School in 2006. I started working part time then moved onto full time work before starting and completing certificate 4 in Vet Nursing through the Box Hill TAFE in Wangaratta. I have then gone on to complete the Diploma of Vet Nursing through Provet learning online. Some highlights during my time here include raising wildlife and orphaned puppies and kittens, rescuing two mini ponies and being nominated by my fellow staff members for Vet Nurse of the year in 2015. My job is very rewarding and everyday is always different.
Outside of work my partner Kevin and I have designed and built our home on a small farm just outside of Deniliquin where I have many animals including three Jack Russell dogs and my six performance horses (amongst the other animals that I take home from work). I regularly attend events with my horses, my particular interest is Showjumping where I have competed to World Cup competition level. I am currently competing with great results on a stock horse called “Knackers” that I saved from the knackery earlier in the year.
My other interest is retraining off the track racehorses to competition level and then selling on. In the future I would like to continue with “Knackers” education and then place him with an eventing home where I am sure he will excel and compete to a high level.
Echuca and Moama Veterinary Clinic
I have been working here since May 2015, after previously working within the horticultural industry. I have really enjoyed my time working as a vet nurse. There are always interesting cases coming in, and every day is different, providing plenty of opportunities to learn new skills. I particularly enjoy running puppy preschool classes, and love watching how my puppy preschoolers grow into well mannered dogs as they come in for their regular check ups.
Outside of work, I am kept busy with my husband and daughter and our two dogs, on our small property just outside of Echuca. When I’m not at home or at work, I am practicing martial arts at Wickham’s Martial Arts Centre, where I do Zen Do Kai, and teach women’s self defence classes. I have been hard at training this year, preparing to grade to my second degree black belt at the end of October.
Apiam Animal Health Business Support Network
Jen’s background is in marketing, advertising and printing with experience running advertising agencies in Melbourne and then as Advertising and Brand Manager at Deakin University, a role she held for over 11 years. Based in Warrnambool, Jen managed the advertising and brand portfolios across all Deakin campuses located in Melbourne Geelong and Warrnambool.
Seeking a move away from the education industry Jen accepted a position at Warrnambool Veterinary, as Practice Manager, in late 2014. The role combined her marketing and management skills with her love for animals – Jen breeds and shows Boxer dogs.
Warrnambool Veterinary, with 50 staff spread across 4 locations in the southwest of Victoria, is one of Apiam Animal Health’s veterinary practices.
Two and half years into her role at Warrnambool Veterinary Jen was identified by Apiam Veterinary Services Management as having skills that could work across the Apiam Group. Jen’s experience prior to Warrnambool Veterinary combined with her experience as Warrnambool Veterinary Practice Manager provided a unique perspective to the newly established Marketing Coordinator role at Apiam Animal Health. Jen accepted the role as Marketing Coordinator with the Business Support Network in Bendigo. Jen said the support she received from Apiam management and People and Culture in transitioning from one role to another has also been fantastic and well received. Jen enjoys working in marketing alongside Practice Managers across the Apiam Group. She said her new role is challenging and rewarding role with great scope and potential.
Jen believes the potential for career progression and development within Apiam Animal Health provides a valuable opportunity for employees in veterinary services through to financial and management careers alike.
Finance Department, Business Support Network
Afton came to Apiam Animal Health just over 5 years ago after working in the Accounts department of a local electrical retailer.
As an Accounts Clerk in the Finance team at Apiam Animal Health Afton works across both accounts payable and receivable ensuring vendors are paid on time and managing client account queries and payments are made within terms.
Another vital component of Afton’s role is managing Apiam staff credit cards, mobile and internet usage and Total Fleet management for fuel, repair and registrations across Apiam vehicles.
When Afton is not hard at work she enjoys being outdoors camping, wake boarding on the river and going to the beach.
Afton has gained extensive knowledge of the veterinary industry from a financial perspective. She enjoys working in a business that is always growing and moving forward presenting opportunities and challenges along the way that have enriched her skills and experience across her role in finance and beyond.
Dr Cindy Hayes
Companion Animal Health Vet
Gippsland Veterinary Hospital
Cindy grew up on a large beef and sheep property in Central Victoria close to the rural town of Euroa. After graduating from Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne in December 1998, Cindy worked on her family farm for 3 months before being offered a job at the Gippsland Veterinary Hospital (formally known as Maffra Veterinary Centre). This was a fantastic opportunity as Cindy had a desire to do a large amount of work with dairy cattle and was given the opportunity over the next 6 years to develop her skills in this area.
In 2005 the Maffra Sale Veterinary Centres required a veterinarian dedicated to small animals and Cindy was offered this position. In July 2006, Cindy purchased a share of the Gippsland Veterinary Hospital and enjoyed working with the other 3 partners to ensure that the customers and patients of the clinics continue to receive an exceptional veterinary service over the next 10 years. In 2015 the partners elected to join the exciting new group of rural veterinary clinics and helped to build the foundations of Apiam Animal Health.