United by Purpose

Driven by compassion.

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United by Purpose

Driven by compassion.

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Doctors

Dr. Jocelyn Birch Baker, BVSc (Hons)

Business Owner/Senior Veterinary Surgeon

Qualifications: Bachelor of Veterinary Science Hons (BVSc)

Dr. Jocelyn grew up in Cawarral where she rode ponies to school and developed a great love for animals. She commenced her Veterinary career in the 1980s working for Lester Torenbeek before moving out of town to live and work on a cattle station. Jocelyn enjoyed being busy with cattle and horses, raising her two daughters and taking on numerous roles within the beef industry.

  • Board Member of The Queensland Beef Industry Institute
  • Member of The North Australian Programme Committee, For Meat and Livestock Australia
  • Chairman of The Education Committee for Beef ’87
  • Chair of The Local Beef Improvement Association
  • Quality Assurance and Veterinary Chemical Trainer

Jocelyn returned to Rockhampton and the Veterinary profession in 1996, working as a Locum and part-time vet at many central Queensland vet clinics. She spent a year working for a Melbourne company doing IVF work in cattle in Queensland and Victoria. Since raising and educating her daughters, Jocelyn has focused on her veterinary career, taking ownership of High Street Veterinary Surgery in July 2012. In 2014 High Street Veterinary Surgery was awarded the Best in Business in Central Queensland. Every day Jocelyn proves that local women can do very well in this great part of Queensland and no dream is too big or too small.

“I love being a Veterinary Surgeon because it is totally captivating. There is so much that you can do, from preventative work through to diagnosing, medical workup, treatment, surgery and rehabilitation. The meeting, developing trust and developing friendships with the people who come to us for help is very humbling.”

Interest/Hobbies: Jocelyn has a particular interest in developing new pathways and flexibility in clinics, for mothers returning to the workforce. To this end, Jocelyn founded a new business, ‘Smooth Operating Vets’. She also enjoys being out on the water with a nice glass of wine and her partner, watching the whales frolic around their boat.

Pets: Jocelyn owns a beautiful Border Collie named Billie-Jean, a Labrador-retrieve, Lucy Lulu and Ben the cat.

Meet Dr. Jocelyn Birch Baker

Dr. Kirsty Downing, BVSc (Hons)

Veterinary Surgeon

Qualifications:  Bachelor of Veterinary Science Hons (BVSc).

Kirsty spent most of her childhood in South Africa. In 2007 her family decided to migrate to Australia, where they lived in parts of NSW and QLD. Due to her love of interacting with animals and supporting the human-animal bond, Kirsty started her biggest adventure, pursuing a Veterinary career. In 2014, Kirsty graduated from the University of Queensland with Honours in a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. After spending time in western NSW working in a mixed animal practice, Kirsty joined the High Street family in December 2017 as a veterinarian.

Kirsty is a great addition to High Street where she is valued for her caring nature, problem-solving skills, passion, commitment, and sharp mind. In 2020, Kirsty and her husband welcomed a gorgeous little boy into the family. Kirsty took some time off work to care for her son and then returned to work as a part-time veterinarian.

“I love being a Veterinary Surgeon because I can help to improve a pet’s quality of life and have a significant impact on their overall health. No one day is the same as another and you can never predict what will walk through the door. I love chatting with the owners and hearing of their pets’ antics. The veterinary industry is constantly changing and evolving as science progresses and I love to be constantly challenged, continuing to learn and grow as a veterinarian and expand my skill set.”

Interest/Hobbies: On her days off Kirsty is busy caring for her little human and spending time with her husband. Kirsty also enjoys horse-riding, camping and when the opportunities arise, setting off with her family exploring Australia.

Pets: Kirsty also has a fluffy, cheeky Jack Russell called Jaffa, who was their first fur baby who is a very much loved family member.

Meet Dr. Kirsty Downing

Dr. Frances Dahl, BVSc

Veterinary Surgeon

Qualifications: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)

Fran grew up on a cattle property in North Queensland, where she developed her love of caring for small & large animals. She graduated from The University of Queensland in 2008 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. She began her career working at a busy mixed vet practice near Beaudesert for just over 2 years, before moving north to Rockhampton, where she worked in a mixed practice for 4 & ½ years. Fran took time away from the profession to have 2 children and joined the team at High Street Vet Surgery as a part-time Veterinarian in January 2019.

“I love being a Veterinary Surgeon because it gives me great pleasure being able to problem solve, help, care for & treat pets in a variety of ways & the joy it brings their families when they improve. I love meeting new clients & their fur babies & developing the relationship with them as their pets grow up. I also enjoy the variety of the job, every day is different & keeps things interesting & challenging. It is a very rewarding profession for me in general in many ways.”

Interest/Hobbies: Fran enjoys both small animal medicine & surgery, with a particular interest in problem-solving medical cases & performing soft tissue surgery. On her days off she is busy caring for her three young girls and on weekends she enjoys spending time with her husband & children in the outdoors. She also enjoys photography, gardening & team sports if she finds the time amongst her busy schedule.

Pets: Dr. Fran loves her miniature longhair dachshund called ‘Pippi’, who was their first fur baby & is very much still a part of their family.

Dr. Libby Tapscott, BVSc

Veterinary Surgeon

Qualifications: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)

Libby grew up on a cattle property in Theodore and was comfortable working with animals from a very young age. After studying Education at the University of Queensland, Libby taught primary school children for a year before deciding that a career with animals was her first love. She moved to Townsville to study Veterinary Science and, after graduating, worked at a mixed animal practice on the Sunshine Coast.

After taking a break to get married and raising her three children, Libby and her husband purchased a hobby farm outside Rockhampton. As a result, we were lucky enough to have her join our team at High Street Vet Surgery in 2020.

Libby is a reliable, thorough, open and honest team member, and her teaching skills are invaluable for helping her communicate effectively with clients.

“I love being a Veterinary Surgeon because I enjoy interacting with animals and being able to help them. The investigative process is particularly interesting, and it’s so rewarding to see them bouncing back after medical or surgical treatment.”

Interests/Hobbies: When Libby is not busy treating patients, she can be found spending time with her children and making home improvements to their farm block on the river. Although it is difficult to find a work-life balance with a young family, Libby says she is lucky to work for a practice that is so supportive of mothers returning to the workplace.

Pets: Libby has a Kelpie dog named Ruby and is gradually adding more cattle to her farm. She also has guinea fowls, which are excellent for deterring snakes.

Dr. Virginia, BVSc & BSc (Vet)

Veterinary Surgeon

Qualifications: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) & Bachelor of Science {BSc (Vet)}

Virginia grew up in Sydney and spent most of her childhood in the horse paddock at the end of her street and looking at things in the garden. She commenced a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at The University of Sydney in 1990. After finishing her third year, the possibility of a research career interested her. To test this out (and take a break from relentless exams), she spent a year away from veterinary science and completed a Bachelor of Science (Vet). This involved a collaborative research project into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (otherwise known as SIDS or cot death) between the Veterinary Physiology Department and the Neonatal Department at King George V Hospital for Mothers and Babies. This valuable year (involving many hours of observing sleeping piglets) gave her a permanent appreciation of how veterinary science can inform and progress human medicine.

Upon graduating from Veterinary Science in 1995, Virginia worked in metropolitan Sydney for several years before relocating to rural northwest NSW with her husband and two small boys. As their family grew, she decided to take an extended break from veterinary work to raise their five children before returning to a part-time job at a mixed rural veterinary practice concentrating on small animal medicine and surgery. In 2015 her family drove across the Nullabor to start a new chapter of life in regional coastal Western Australia. She spent six years working in a small animal practice that also maintained a dedicated focus on birds and wildlife. She was privileged to spend the last three months in WA working as a locum in a bustling small animal emergency clinic before joining the High Street family in February 2021.

“I love being a veterinary surgeon because it brings together many things that I deeply value. Most importantly, being a vet allows me to do my best to alleviate suffering for pets and owners alike on a daily basis. What this looks like in practice is highly varied, which is another wonderful aspect of veterinary life. The scientist in me also loves to be challenged by the truth that no matter how complex or puzzling an illness is, the answer is right there in front of me, held entirely within that little furry (or feathered, or scaled) patient – and all I have to do is figure it out!”

Interest/Hobbies: A great day off for Virginia would involve spending time with her husband, dreaming about home improvements, and buying just one more exciting plant. Away from work, she enjoys bike riding and long-distant running, being part of the music team at her local church, and being involved in kids’ community sport, particularly cricket.

Pets: Traversing Australia twice has sadly meant saying goodbye to various sheep, goats, koi, axolotls, yabbies, and aquarium fish. However, Virginia’s family’s constant travelling companions include, Dug the labrador and Stanley the beagle, who love life in Rockhampton and can’t believe their luck in coming to another beautiful part of Australia.

Dr. Lee Baker, BVSc

Veterinary Surgeon

Qualifications: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)

Lee grew up on a cattle property in Cloncurry QLD. She was surrounded by dogs and horses and enjoyed spending time in nature. She attended high school in Townsville as a boarder, and then returned to Cloncurry to work a few different jobs and explore her options. Although she was intrigued with biology and the science of how things work, Lee didn’t know at that point that she wanted to be a vet.

At 23, Lee enrolled in Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland and graduated in 1999. She had a job at a mixed practice in Rockhampton (large and small animals) and did some locum work at a small animal clinic in Mt Isa. In December 2003, Lee took maternity leave. The vet practice where she’d been working had recently been sold, so instead of returning Lee decided to start her own business—an equine breeding centre—in 2004. She continued to work a gruelling schedule while simultaneously raising her young children. So, after re-evaluating her career, Lee decided to close the business in 2018.

In December 2018, Lee started work at Central Queensland University as a part-time University Veterinarian and Animal Welfare Officer. By this time, Lee was studying for a Masters of Education and rediscovered her love of veterinary medicine. Having known Dr Jocelyn for years, she approached her for a job and started work at HSVS in September 2021.

“I love being a veterinary surgeon because I like knowing that I can make a difference. I enjoy the challenge of working in science and biology, and the team is very welcoming and easy to work with. It was wonderful to see someone like Jocelyn thinking outside the box and building a team of part-time vets while still supporting family responsibilities. I was so grateful for the opportunity.”

Lee brings maturity, wisdom, and humour to her role, and we are thrilled to have her on board.

Interests/Hobbies: Lee and her family have a 160-acre property at Stanwell where she is working on renovating some spare accommodation for family visits. She loves sitting on the verandah with a cuppa and reading a good book with her dog close by. She also practices karate and likes to go camping on the local islands with her family.

Pets: Lee is Mum to a 5-year-old German Shepherd called Enzie. Enzie is very smoochy and loves to put her head on Lee’s lap.

“One small cat changes coming home to an empty house to coming home.”

-Pam Brown

Nursing

Jamee

Practice Manager/Senior Veterinary Nurse

Qualifications: Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, Certificate III in Business Administration

Jamee started in the Veterinary industry after she decided to fulfill a lifelong dream “working with animals”. Jamee joined the High Street Family as a trainee nurse in 2014. While working, juggling family life and raising her son, she completed her studies and became a fully qualified veterinary nurse by 2018.

Her love of animals started as a young girl growing up in the region always bringing home all types of injured and stray animals. Jamee has always felt the need to love and care for all animal types volunteering her time at Rockhampton Zoo, Quoin Island Rehabilitation Centre and even travelling to a Veterinary Clinic in the Cook Islands.

“I love being a Veterinary Nurse because no two days are the same. Every day you face a different challenge, a different tongue lick and a waggy tail.”

Interest/Hobbies: Jamee has a fascination with oral hygiene and dental care and loves to channel her knowledge on to our clients. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time on her parent’s farm with her family.

Pets: Jamee has two dogs name Maxx a Bull Arab and Moo Moo a Staffy, a fresh water Turtle named Myrtle, a feline named Alice and two four-legged beasts named Ella and phoenix

Mikayla

Head/Senior Veterinary Nurse

Qualifications: Bachelor in Applied Science, with a major in Veterinary Technology.

Mikayla grew up in Yeppoon & after finishing secondary school, she enrolled in the University at UQ Gatton Campus. She graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor in Applied Science, with a major in Veterinary Technology.

Mikayla first came to High Street Vet Surgery as a student whilst doing her veterinary nursing placement. After graduating, she joined the High Street Vet Surgery family. Mikayla always knew she wanted to have a career working with animals.

Over the past few years, Mikayla has shown her dedication & commitment to our clients & their pets, which promoted her to a full-time position, taking on more responsibilities within the surgery.

Mikayla’s attention to detail, efficiency & enthusiastic attitude makes her one of our strongest assets at High Street Vet Surgery.

“I love being a Veterinary Nurse because I get to work with animals as they can’t help themselves and being an advocate for their health & well-being is my ultimate goal.”

Interest/Hobbies: Mikayla has a particular interest in Marine Studies and hopes to one day fulfill a dream of working in the industry while exploring and traveling around Australia. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, playing women’s rugby & spending time with her partner.

Pets: Mikayla has a gorgeous Border Collie called Pippa.

Kate

Senior Veterinary Nurse/Cat Advocate

Qualifications: Certificate in Veterinary Nursing IV

Kate is one of our most well-known faces at HSVS, having been with the clinic since 2014. Her veterinary nurse skills span over a period of 14 years, having started her nursing role in 2006.

Kate started her Vet Nursing career in the UK in 2006 in small animal practice. She then spent some time night nursing post-surgical patients at an orthopaedic clinic, followed by a number of years doing nights and weekends at an emergency clinic in Greater London. Kate returned to Australia in 2014 where she joined the HSVS team.

In a world that is forever evolving within the animal veterinary science world, new medical research and techniques are being discovered Kate loves working alongside the vets whilst they do their medical detective work.

“I love being a Veterinary Nurse because it is a very gratifying job, especially when they go home, bright and happy after coming into the clinic being very unwell.”

Interest/Hobbies: Kate thrives on learning new things whilst the vets put pieces together to solve and treat ambiguous cases. When she’s not at work, Kate enjoys spending her down time reading and studying.

Pets: Kate loves to spend quality time her cats Prim and Loco.

Megan

Veterinary Nurse/Customer Service Representative

Megan and her family made the move from Batemans Bay to sunny Queensland in 2019 where she joined the HSVS family. Megan has an extensive background working in the animal industry and has performed many roles throughout her career. From working in pet retail for 9 years, then veterinary nursing for another 9 years, Megan has specialised as a Puppy Pre- School Instructor, Pet Groomer and Receptionist in former vet clinics.

“I love being a Veterinary Nurse because I get to interact with animals, I love to help people and their pets, no two days are ever the same. Being a veterinary nurse allows me to learn new things which I love.”

Interests/Hobbies: Megan has a special interest in helping people and their animals, she loves to talk and interact with clients and their pets. In her spare times Megan loves to potter in her garden, going to the beach, snorkelling and spending time with family.

Pets: Megan has two beautiful German Short Haired Pointers named Alice and Lexi along with Cosmo the cat.

Renee

Veterinary Nurse

Qualifications: Cert IV Veterinary Nurse, BSc (Wildlife)

Renee’s love of animals has led her down a career path filled with travel, adventure, and plenty of studies! After completing her Certificate II in Animal Studies at Rockhampton Zoo, Renee went on to study her Bachelor of Applied Science major in Wildlife Science at the University of Queensland. After finishing university, she moved to Hamilton Island to assist with running their local wildlife park.

After completing her work on the island, Renee moved back to the mainland, appointed Head Mammal Keeper at the Billabong Wildlife Sanctuary in Nome. She predominantly cared for koalas, wallabies, bilbies and wombats, but sadly, her time there was tragically cut short when she was attacked by a crocodile and almost lost her arm.

Determined to pursue her career working with animals, Renee embarked on a further course of study to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinary nurse. She moved to South Australia and worked at a veterinary clinic in the Adelaide Hills while completing her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

Renee then returned to QLD and worked as a Zookeeper at Magnetic Island Wildlife Park until COVID hit, and the island was subsequently closed down. She moved back home to Rockhampton and resumed nursing at a local vet clinic before successfully applying to High Street Vet Surgery in February 2021.

“I love being a Veterinary Nurse because I love caring for animals. Even though I’ve worked with wildlife for a long time, I always wanted to be a vet nurse.”

Renee is a hard-working, proactive and well-respected team member. She is an excellent listener and enjoys helping people with their pets. We are delighted to have her on our team.

Interests/Hobbies: Renee volunteers as a foster carer, and in her spare time, she enjoys going to the gym and playing sport.

Pets: Renee is Mum to Jack, a 3-year-old rescued German Shepherd dog, and a Bearded Dragon called Peri Peri.

Grace

Veterinary Nurse

Qualifications: Cert III Veterinary Nurse

Born in New Zealand, Grace moved to Yeppoon in QLD with her family when she was still a child, and then to Rockhampton in 2020. Grace always wanted to help animals from a very young age, and that didn’t change as she got older. After leaving school, she worked in hospitality and eventually became a functions manager at a restaurant, where she stayed for the next five years.

Grace met Dr Jocelyn one day when she came in to arrange a business function at the restaurant. They built a rapport as they continued to work together, and Dr Jocelyn was impressed with Grace’s energy and enthusiasm. Grace still really wanted to work with animals, so she found the courage to mention that she was interested in doing work experience at a veterinary clinic one day. Dr Jocelyn offered her a position, and Grace joined the HSVS team in late 2020.

Grace’s bubbly personality and her hospitality experience have helped develop her exceptional communication and social skills. She genuinely enjoys helping people and is always willing to lend a sympathetic ear to anyone who needs a chat.

“I love being a vet nurse because you get to help animals who can’t speak for themselves. The positive cases make you happy, and it’s so rewarding to help families through their pet’s recovery.”

Interests/Hobbies: Grace loves to play netball, go roller skating, walk on the beach, and listen to music.

Pets: Mrs. Baggins was a stray cat when Grace adopted her and brought her home. Grace originally thought she was a boy, until she took her to the vet for desexing and found out she was a girl. Grace changed her cat’s name from “Mr.” to “Mrs.” and they have been living happily together for the past 5 years.

Brittany

Veterinary Nurse

Bio Coming Soon!

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Master of High Street Vet Surgery

Zaraffas

Zarraffas otherwise affectionately known by staff as Z -Man, is our clinic’s very own permanent resident.

Zaraffas has been with High Street Vet Surgery for almost nine years. He was picked up after a man found him under a vending machine on his way to get his morning coffee at Zaraffas in Stockland Shopping centre. On his way down from getting his coffee, this little kitten was still there, so he was brought in to see us at High Street Vet Surgery.

In his early days, Zaraffas used to lounge around the clinic on the front desk and on the shelves, greeting each patient as they arrived. One day he decided he was bored, packed his knapsack and took off with his catnip and went off an exploration around North Rockhampton. Nine weeks later, we received a call from a local government official, letting us know that our Z-man had landed himself behind bars. After his mugshot was taken and details entered into the system, his microchip showed that he belonged to High Street Vet Surgery, so he was returned safely to his quarters.

After his expedition, Zaraffas adapted to life in the clinic again and has his very own king suite perched on top of all the other suites’ in the clinics back domain. He likes to keep a close eye on the daily going on’s of the patients within the clinic. At the end of the day, he will sometimes take a wander around the clinic, sniffing his way through, making sure everything is in order.

Since being with the clinic, he has certified himself as the master, observing his servants where he performs a cat scan upon their entry into his quarters. His other qualifications include sleep expert, stylist, abstract artist, negotiator and food disposer. His favourite meal includes the Hill’s Science Diet C/D range.

“I love being Master of the clinic, because I get to use my charm and abilities to schmooze my way through the clinic receiving lots of pats and attention from anyone that comes my way. As part of my initiation process for new staff, I like to give them a love bite. If I do this, it means you are now part of my domain and you are obliged to feed me and pat me when I require it. I only eat the highest quality of food being the Hill’s Science Diet C/D.

Interests/Hobbies: Zaraffas enjoys sleeping his days away and spending time in his very own holiday house at the back of the property where he lounges around basking in the sun and watching the world go by. He also enjoys going for strolls around the clinic, brushing against anything he feels is worthy of his scent.

Pets: Staff at High Street Vet Surgery.