Meet Our Team

The high-achieving team at Greater Springfield Veterinary are caring, kind, and treat your pets like their own.

Our Incredible Boss Lady

Dr Jeannet Kessels

(BVSc Hons)

Director and Owner

Dr Jeannet Kessels graduated from UQ with First Class Honours in 1986 and has enjoyed her 30 year veterinary career immensely.

Jeannet’s passion for developing staff was a predominant factor in her decision to retire completely from clinical work in 2017. She now mentors and coaches the Greater Springfield Veterinary team from behind the scenes; her forward-thinking and strong leadership creating a culture that promotes sustainability and professional satisfaction amongst her 28 staff.

Jeannet’s Springfield Hospital is an AVAPM ‘Practice of Excellence’ and was a finalist in the QLD Telstra Small Business Awards. Her Augustine Heights Hospital (built in 2015 ) is an ASAV accredited ‘Hospital of Excellence’.

Jeannet was a member of the AVBA board for two years, involved with reconciliation of AVBA and AVAPM, running business breakfasts in Brisbane, and organising a mental Health day at the Melbourne conference.

Jeannet has had several AVA speaking engagements on topics such as ‘Thoughts on Excellence’ and ‘Practice Culture’, and presented at the Clinical Coats Ceremony at the University of Queensland, where she is a current member of the Veterinary Curriculum Committee.

Her entrepreneurial mind has created the community ‘Groodles Australia’ program, donating over $475,000 to charity so far.

Jeannet’ has deep concern for the current national shortage of vets, which has reached absolute crisis point, and is both cause and effect for serious mental health issues within the profession. She has participated keenly in the Veterinary Shortage Think Tanks in Sydney and has strong and creative ideas for a collaborative way forward.

*Footnote; Jeannet is an ardent supporter of action on climate change. She has four wonderful adult children and her staff liken her to an Irish Setter…

Our Fabulous Vets

Dr Josh Gardner

(BVSc Hons)

Veterinary Surgeon

Josh graduated from the University of Queensland with Honours before being snapped up as an intern at the Veterinary Specialist Services Centre. It was here that he learned directly from specialists in areas of Internal Medicine, Surgery, Emergency & Critical Care, Dentistry, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Oncology and Anaesthesia. Josh began his position at Greater Springfield Veterinary in 2016 and brought forth all of his knowledge and gold-standard techniques. 

Josh is well loved by our staff and our clients. He has a huge client following and shows empathy, in-depth knowledge, compassion and gentleness towards the patients he treats in our practices, every day. He is passionate about working-up complex medical cases and attends multiple veterinary conferences each year.

Outside of work, Josh loves to ‘Netflix and Chill’, attend CrossFit, go hiking, and train for Tough-Mudder championships. He is also a mean karaoke fiend and loves belting out the classics (especially behind the scenes at our hospitals in the treatment and surgery rooms.

Dr Karen Burnett

(BVSc Hons)

Veterinary Surgeon

Karen graduated from the University of Queensland with First Class Honours in 2007 and has worked at Greater Springfield Veterinary ever since. She is a particular, kind and thorough veterinarian and has a large client base.

Karen’s main interests include general practice medicine, surgery and complex dentistry.

Karen loves horses and spends her leisure time riding and training her thoroughbred, ‘Pete’ for local competitions, where the duo have had many successes.

Dr Erica Young

(BVSc Hons)

Veterinary Surgeon

Erica graduated from the University of Queensland in 2013. She grew up in the cold climate of New England in NSW but has made sunny QLD her home since graduation. Prior to becoming one of Greater Springfield Veterinary’s most outstanding staff members, she worked at a busy mixed animal practice in Jimboomba.

Erica has a keen interest in surgery and spends a lot of time outside of work studying from some of the best surgeons in South East Queensland. While surgery is her special interest, Erica loves all parts of general practice. She strives to provide an ‘all-around’ approach to her work, and values being able to provide the best care for her patients in all circumstances.

During those rare, quiet moments at work, Erica likes to create colourful bandage art for our hospital patients, drawing inspiration from nature, photos, cartoons, and comics. Keep an eye out for her next fabulous design!

When Erica isn’t working or studying, she can often be found enjoying snuggles from her two cats, Hamish and Rory, and catching up on the latest sci-fi shows. You may also find her at the rifle range (target practising for a state championship!) or at the gym working on her Aerial Silks performances.

Kylie McDonald

(BVSc Hons)

Veterinary Surgeon

Kylie graduated from the University of Queensland with honours in 2012. Before joining our team in 2018, Kylie worked in busy small animal practices in South East Queensland where she built up a loyal client base.
Kylie is passionate about complex anaesthesia cases, fluid therapy management, and the administrative side of veterinary work. She is currently our Clinical Co-Director and works collaboratively alongside Dr Josh to ensure our policies, procedures, staff training methods and standards of care are up to date.

Kylie has recently been appointed the veterinary role at ‘Groodles Australia’ ensuring all of our lovely pups are happy, healthy and have had all elevant veterinary work completed prior to their adoption.

In her spare time, Kylie loves spending time with her young family, baking delicious treats, playing netball and making cards and invitations for her small hobby business. Kylie’s extended ‘fur family’ consists of ‘Ellie’ and ‘Jimmy’ (two Border Collie Crosses) and ‘Tipsy’ and ‘Turvy’, two cheeky rescue cats! She also keeps an unusual pet – Bee’s! – From which she often collects delicious, fresh honey!

Our Brilliant Nurses

Sandra Miotto

Head Veterinary Nurse

Sandra is one of Greater Springfield Veterinary’s most dedicated and longest standing staff members. She worked as a human nurse for many years before deciding to take her career in a different direction. In 2009, she obtained a receptionist position at our Springfield Hospital, then enrolled in a veterinary nursing course shortly thereafter, and hasn’t looked back since!

Sandra completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing with flying colours and has attended numerous nursing symposiums and short courses covering a myriad of topics. Her main areas of interest include emergency and critical care, pathology, radiology and wound management. Sandra is also passionate about education and she loves to share her knowledge with our staff and clients.

Sandra continues to develop her skills and keep up to date with the lasted evidence-based veterinary information. This year, she arranged our first ever practice ‘symposium’ and presented lectures on multiple topics. Her aim is to continually improve the standards of care within our two hospitals, leading by example and educating our staff to ensure our patients receive the best care possible. She thoroughly enjoys nurturing junior nurses and students, guiding them to ensure they reach their full potential.

Outside of work, Sandra loves to spend time with her husband and two daughters, go horseback riding, garden and cook. When time permits it, she also enjoys scrapbooking and arts and crafts.

Sandra has an extended fur baby family – Poppy (a gorgeous Golden Retriever – previously a ‘mummy’ in our Groodles Australia program), Romeo (a handsome Miniature Poodle), Leo (a domestic cat) and Chilli (a beautiful Groodle, bred from our Groodles Australia program).

Bec Apps

Senior Veterinary Nurse

Bec is an incredibly committed member of the Greater Springfield Veterinary family, demonstrating patience, motivation and consideration in everything she does. She is close to completing her Certificate IV in veterinary nursing and has a particular interest in breeding and orthopaedic surgery.

Bec adores the furry members of her family, including ‘Mia’ the Bull Arab cross, her foster-fail cats ‘O’Malley’, ‘Bonnie’ and ‘Sampson’ and her Great Dane pup, ‘George’.

Stevie Clark

Senior Veterinary Nurse

Stevie is a qualified Veterinary Nurse, who also holds a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Queensland. She provides an invaluable contribution to our team with her kindness, compassion, and cheerful and steady nature.

Stevie, also known fondly by our team as ‘Saint Stevie’ brings a high level of patient care and exceptional client communication skills.

Her furry family includes her two senior cats ‘Tris’ and ‘Seb’ and two staffy crosses ‘Duke’ and ‘Boston’.

Sam Bayley

Cert IV

Senior Veterinary Nurse

Sam is an incredible member of our team who has really grown with the practice! She is nearing completion of her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, having worked full-time whilst studying part-time for the past six years.

Sam is passionate about surgery and works almost exclusively with Dr Ryan Middler, our membership qualified surgeon, maintaining anaesthetics and keeping all of our fancy equipment in check for complex procedures.

Sam is the proud owner of ‘Red’, a beautiful standard poodle who has since retired from our Groodles Australia program, and Reid the Mini Poodle, a current ‘dad’ in the Groodles program!

Sam is a fantastic advocate for our Groodles program and works as a visiting puppy nurse, ensuring our litters are healthy, and that our guardian families have everything they require.

Sam was the recipient of the Veterinary Nurse Student of the Year for 2014.

Leah Gaeta

(BAPLSC Vet Tech)

Veterinary Technician

Leah Gaeta is a veterinary technician with a keen interest in and a deep understanding of animal behaviour. She has a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services through DELTA institute and is our go-to lady when it comes to questions of animal behaviour.

Leah currently runs some of our puppy classes and assists owners in achieving the best possible results and incresing thier human-animal bond.

Leah lives on the Gold Coast with a huge collection of beautiful reptiles, including a variety of dragons, skinks, pythons, and elapids (such as a red-bellied black snake named ‘Rubius’!). Two pets that are very close to her heart are her Spencer’s Monitor ‘Percival’ and her Border Collie ‘D’artagnan’, who was named after the fourth Muskateer.

Meegan Batkin

Veterinary Nurse

Meegan holds a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, and currently works as one of our emergency nurses (often into the wee hours of the night!). She has a keen interest in critical care and emergency nursing and is our current blood donation program coordinator.

Meegan has been in the Veterinary Industry since 2012 and has since gained extra qualifications in nutrition and puppy school training. She has extensive experience in wildlife nursing (after working for two years at the RSPCA rehabilitation centre) but her true passion is in small animal (dog and cat) nursing.

Meegan is a keen advocate for enlightening staff on mental health in the workplace and is currently our resident ‘Are You Ok’ spokesperson. She has completed a lot of in-depth research on the topic, and while she adores nursing, she understands the strains which can affect members of this demanding profession.

Meegan enjoys travelling and has visited the USA, Asia and Europe (with her absolute favourite places being Barcelona, San Francisco and London) and she has also travelled domestically, to Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and North Queensland. She dreams of travelling to The Maldives and to sleep in a glass igloo under the Northern Lights one day!

Outside of the workplace, Meegan enjoys cooking, and watches, plays and supports the Brisbane Roar, Manchester United and Barcelona soccer teams.
She has two cats (Olivia and CC), and two cheeky dogs (Jackson and Marshall).

Danica Drieberg

Veterinary Nurse

Danica is a qualified Certificate IV nurse and has been a member of The Greater Springfield Veterinary family since January 2015. She is currently our 2IC Head Nurse.

Danica began her career at the RSPCA many years ago in the donations sector. She now has an involved interest in surgery – in particular, anaesthesia, orthopaedics and pain management protocols. She works closely with our membership qualified surgeon Dr Ryan Middler, monitoring complex and lengthy anaesthetic cases, and maintaining and ordering specialised equipment for our major procedures.

As well as taking on the roles of 2IC Head Nurse, and Dr Ryan’s surgical assistant, Danica is also responsible for our adoption kitten program. Never forgetting her RSPCA roots, she loves nothing more than placing our cute babies into loving forever homes.

Outside of the surgical theatre, Danica loves to play soccer. She is currently a member of the Brisbane women’s premier league team. She currently shares her home with her dogs, ‘Milo’ and ‘Zeus’ and her cat ‘Eevee’. 

Holly Fyfe

Veterinary Nurse

Holly is currently studying her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing and has a background rich in customer service. Having worked predominantly in the building industry with many global clients over the years, she finally followed her true calling in animal care. She excels in attentive patient care, client consultations, and assisting the veterinarians with a range of treatment-related duties.

Holly is super active and loves the outdoors. She recently joined a local running group and ran her first 10k race!

Holly owns a beautiful pooch named ‘Spencer’ (a Cavalier Spaniel X) and a gorgeous thoroughbred horse named ‘Carrot’.

Storm Higgins

Puppy School Manager

Coming Soon!

Hayley Girvan

Veterinary Nurse

Hayley has a deep love for animals. She began working at Greater Springfield Veterinary as a volunteer nursing student on clinical placement. She showed so much promise we just had to hire her!

Hayley is a high-achiever, and has a Certificate II in Animal Studies, a Hills Veterinary Nutritional Advocate Certificate and is currently completing her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. She has a keen interest in everything surgical and hopes to specialise in this area (specifically orthopaedics and anaesthesia) once her general nursing studies are complete.

Hayley is considered to be one of our ‘super-girl’ team members – raising her beautiful son, completing her nursing studies, working full time and keeping her handsome Siberian Husky, ‘Maloo’, out of trouble!

Hayley loves spending time with her son and dog, camping, horse riding, bush walking/hiking, reading, and socialising with her family and friends. She also has a keen interest in travel and has recently visited Fiji and Vanuatu. She has explored numerous Australian cities – but her big dream is travelling to Antarctica, hoping to observe Orcas in their natural environment.

Samara Cannon

Veterinary Nurse – Groodles
Australia Manager

Samara is an experienced, Certificate IV qualified nurse who has been in the veterinary industry for 8 years. Samara has had a colourful career, with one of her fondest memories working alongside a wildlife rescue group to assist in releasing a Platypus on the Murray River!

Samara enjoys reproductive work including artificial insemination, caesareans and neonatal care. This interest, combined with her fantastic nursing skills has made her an integral part of our ‘Groodles Australia’ breeding charity program. Samara is also a crazy cat lady at heart and loves kittens, the oldies and everything in between (even the cranky ones!). She has hand-reared countless abandoned kittens, one of which she kept for herself.

Samara recently moved to Queensland from Darwin with her husband and son. She loved her time ‘up north’ and received the Northern Territory Veterinary Nurse of the Year award in 2015 – a true career highlight! Samara enjoys making the ‘client experience’ a positive one and loves to assist in the journey of their pets’ recovery – seeing smiling faces at the end!

Samara has a menagerie of pets, including her hand-reared kitten ‘Luna’, a Singapura cat called ‘Meeko’, a Great Dane called ‘Tess’ and a Bearded Dragon called ‘Merlin’.

Hayley Tate

Veterinary Nurse

Hayley is a born and raised ‘farm kid’ from northern New Zealand. Currently studying her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, Hayley has had a passion for animals for as long as she can remember. 

Hayley began her nursing career at Greater Springfield Veterinary as part of our trainee program. It was obvious that Hayley was a quick learner, hard-worker and exuded a clear passion and love for the job. We were so impressed with her skills that she was hired after just a few months!

Hayley has found her groove in emergency and critical care nursing and always goes above and beyond to help our clients feel more at ease during high-pressured and stressful after-hours emergency situations. She often works into the early hours of the morning, nursing some of our most unwell patients back to health.

In her spare time, Hayley enjoys spending time with her husband, investing time in creative art projects, and nurturing her various species of houseplants. She is our resident ‘sighthound nurse queen’ and you’ll often find her hiding away, giving the breed extra cuddles whenever they stay with us. She has two sighthounds of her own, the delightful Whippet, ‘Riley’, and a goofy Borzoi called ‘Betty’.

Our Wonderful Administrative Staff

Kelly McGovern


Practice Manager

Originally from Fife in Scotland, Kelly spent 15 years in the 5-star hospitality management business!

Kelly has two beautiful Border Collies, ‘Ollie’ and ‘Freya’, and enjoys teaching them tricks. In fact, it was when ‘Ollie’ was diagnosed with Bilateral Hip Dysplasia and required specialist surgery that Kelly became interested in the animal industry. 

Kelly is a keen Brisbane Broncos fan and loves reading, photography and spending time with her young family.

Victoria Law

Customer Relations Manager

Victoria is a Certificate IV qualified Veterinary Nurse with 20 years of experience. She has worked in small animal practices and specialist hospitals both in Australia and overseas and enjoys sharing her wealth of knowledge with staff and clients alike.

Victoria demonstrates an unrivalled technical capacity combined with an exceptional understanding of the client/veterinary bond. She has a drive for providing outstanding customer service and sees the invaluable ‘client experience’ as the key difference between a good and a great veterinary practice.

Victoria currently oversees our staff training in customer service and regularly organises ‘behind-the-scenes’ training for our staff, which largely focuses on empathising with the customer situation and ensuring our staff members remain passionate about ‘why’ they do, what they do, every day. Victoria has also implemented communication techniques for nurse consultations, empowering other nurses within our practice to work to their full potential.

Victoria is often referred to as our resident ‘animal whisperer’ and has many sneaky techniques up her sleeve to calm unruly pets! Her passion is cats – and she is currently owned by a naughty Bengal X named Louie.

Victoria is currently working towards gaining our feline accreditation – an independent accolade awarded by the International Society of Feline Medicine, which is designed to create a specific cat-friendly veterinary environment, and which reduces stress for our feline patients.

Jasmine Gardner



Our wonderful Reception Manager, Jasmine, demonstrates great skill in the realms of administration, sales, management and customer service. Prior to working in the veterinary industry, Jasmine obtained a Bachelor of Justice from QUT, and managed a high-end jewellery store.

Jasmine has a welcoming attitude, a bubbly personality and is passionate about animal health and care. Jasmine is the lovely face of our ‘Pet Club’, but also oversees the administrative side of our business, and provides training for our reception team.

Jasmine adopted a stray kitten with special needs, ‘Mushu’, who is completely blind, and shortly thereafter adopted a second kitten ‘Sebastian’, a gorgeous longhaired floof! ‘Sebastian’ gives ‘Mushu’ the confidence to interact normally and the pair are now inseparable.

In her spare time, Jasmine enjoys reading, travelling, she is an avid gamer and has a major obsession with the Harry Potter movie and book series’. Jasmine also enjoys socialising with her friends and family (including her brother, Dr Josh – our fantastic Clinical Director).

Tara Sempf


Tara is extremely passionate about animals and their welfare and excels in helping customers choose the best care for their fur kids. Tara began her animal journey as a foster carer and volunteer for the RSPCA.

Tara has a certificate in Animal Studies but enjoys her role as our receptionist at Greater Springfield Veterinary.

She’s always happy to have a chat with our clients and give them a tour of our hospitals!

Danielle Ngamata

Administrative Manager

Danielle is a fantastic team member who’s always willing to get in there and do the hard work. As well as looking after stock across both practices, she arranges many of the clinic’s events and marketing in collaboration with our Marketing Team. She also oversees many of the practices’ crucial administrative tasks. Danielle has a Cert. IV in Vet Nursing and a Cert. IV in Frontline Management, and previously managed a grooming salon.

Outside of work, she loves outdoor adventures, and once back-packed through Europe for eight months! She has two Great Danes, which always keep her busy, and she loves to cook.

Danielle is currently on maternity leave but will be back soon!