Dr Deborah Monks
BVSc (Hons) CertZooMed, FACVSc (Avian Health) DipECZM
After graduating from the University of Queensland in 1995, Deborah started her journey in avian and exotic animal medicine. In the following years, she worked in a variety of practices (general, emergency, avian, and small animal practice), before moving to the United Kingdom to start an avian residency. While there, she obtained her Certificate of Zoological Medicine (CertZooMed). This qualification encompasses zoo animals, birds and exotic pets and wildlife. There are only 3 people in Australia with this qualification.
DipECZM (Avian) signifies that Deborah is a Diplomate (Specialist) of the European College of Zoological Medicine and Surgery, in the Avian Section, which is the European organisation responsible for training and assessing veterinarians who wish to become avian specialists. Deborah was given Diplomate status in 2006 and is the only Australian veterinarian with this qualification having undertaken the necessary training and study required between 2003 and 2006.
In addition to her Zoological Medicine Certificate and European Diplomate qualification Deborah achieved Membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Avian Health in 1999 (MACVSc [Avian Health]) and improved on this initial qualification by achieving her Fellowship (Specialist) status in July 2006 (FANCVS [Avian Medicine]). Deborah was the only the fifth person to have attained this qualification.
Dr Sasha Miles
BVSc (Hons), MANZCVSc (Avian Health), MANCVSc (Unusual Pet Medicine and Surgery)
Sasha studied veterinary science at the University of Queensland and graduated in 2010 with honours. During her studies she completed an externship at Taronga Zoo in Sydney and also went to South Africa to complete a certificate in wildlife immobilization and conservation.
Sasha joined the BBEVS team when she was still studying veterinary science in 2008 as a veterinary nurse on the weekends. As soon as she graduated she started working as a veterinarian and BBEVS has since become her second home.
A keen interest in continuing education has seen Sasha obtain a Membership in Avian Health in 2014 and a Membership in Unusual Pet Medicine and Surgery in 2019. She regularly attends and presents at conferences with other avian and exotic vets throughout Australia and overseas. She has also written a text book chapter on Turtle Shell Repair in the book ‘Reptile Medicine and Surgery in Clinical Practice’ published in 2018. Her special interests at work include surgery, and creating a lifelong bond with pets and their owners to ensure her patients receive the best care both at home and in the clinic.
Apart from veterinary work, Sasha loves to work to maintain the BBEVS team’s cohesiveness and mental health. She is a qualified Mental Health First Aid Officer, the BBEVS social coordinator and a member of the recently formed environmental committee which is reducing the clinic’s waste and improving our recycling protocols.
At home she has plenty of pets to keep her busy: Tiago the cheeky blue fronted amazon parrot, Spike the Macquarie River turtle who lives in a beautiful outdoor pond and Mia the naughty tortie cat. In her spare time Sasha enjoys music, going to concerts, bush walking, swimming, yoga, pilates, growing her own vegetables and reading novels.
Dr Emma Sciacca (McMillan)
BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (Avian Health, Medicine and Surgery of Unusual Pets)
Emma has a very keen interest in reptiles but also loves all of the feathered and furred animals we see. At home she has a 21-year-old galah called Toby, a cinnamon green cheek conure, Rica, a cheeky lorikeet called Ollie and many chickens – all of which are regular blood donors for the clinic! She also has a Darwin Carpet Python called Eve, a Ridge tailed monitor called Patch and (she had to have some furred creatures!) two dogs – Lola and Tia. Over the years she has had snakes, various lizards, frogs, guinea pigs and mice. Emma achieved her Avian Memberships with the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in 2018, and her Unusual Pet Medicine and Surgery Memberships in 2019. Outside of work Emma spends most of her time with her daughter and husband caring for their menagerie!
Dr Kimberley Tozer
Kimberley knew she was going to be a vet for as long as she can remember and has always had an interest in the more exotic and unusual creatures! In high school she completed a work experience program at Dubbo Western Plains Zoo and spent a lot of her spare time at a local mixed practice veterinary clinic. Kimberley then worked as a Wildlife Officer and volunteered as a wildlife carer while studying at university. In her final year she completed an externship at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and spent some time with Dr Bob Doneley, an avian specialist at the University of Queensland.
Kimberley has been at BBEVS since she graduated with honours from the University of Queensland’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science. She loves the wide variety of creatures we see, but has a particular soft spot for small mammals, reptiles and ducks. At home, she has a wide variety of furred, scaled and feathered friends to keep her busy!
Since graduating, Kimberley has continued her education in the avian and exotics field. She has completed continuing education courses in exotic small mammal medicine and dentistry and small mammal abdominal ultrasound. In 2018, Kimberley was awarded a scholarship to attend the Unusual Pet and Avian Vets conference in Adelaide to present her paper on urolithiasis in guinea pigs. Here, she also attended a workshop on small mammal head/ear surgery.
Kimberley is currently working towards her Memberships in the Medicine and Surgery of Unusual Pets.
Dr Rebecca Taylor
BSc (Vet Biol) BVMS MANZCVS (Avian Health)
Her love of animals only grew when she was given her first pet, Aussie the talking budgie at age 9, and since that time Rebecca has kept numerous parrots, bred a few species of native frogs.
Rebecca joined the veterinary industry in 2006, working as a Veterinary Nurse in small animal practice in Brisbane, and in 2008, she moved to Perth, Western Australia, where she completed her Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVMS) at Murdoch University.
After returning to Queensland in 2013, Rebecca worked as a Veterinarian in a mixed animal practice in a rural town, where she gained experience in many companion and hobby farm animals from dogs and cats, to goats, sheep, alpacas, pigs, horses and cows. Rebecca trained at Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Service through a 12 month internship programme in 2014, and there her love for strange and unusual pets grew and grew.
Since then, Rebecca has spent the last 4 years working with birds, exotics, dogs and cats in Brighton Queensland, before her recent return to BBEVS.
Last year Rebecca studied to attain Memberships from the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Science in the Avian Health chapter for caged and aviary birds.
Rebecca loves practicing yoga, mindfulness, gardening, weekend markets, antiquing and travelling. She spends her spare time with her friends and family, and her favourite companions – Jaz the 12 year old kelpie X cattle dog, Mick the human, and during the week shares her nest with Rosebud the naughty galah.
Veterinary Nurse (Certificate 4)
Alana has been involved in the veterinary industry since finishing high school in 2004; working as a trainee veterinary nurse in Australia and the United Kingdom before completing her Certificate IV in 2011 to become a qualified veterinary nurse.
Alana joined Brisbane Bird and Exotics in January 2013 and she thoroughly enjoys the wide variety of species and interesting cases that are seen. Alana is a member of the Parrot Society of Australia, and has a special interest in parrot behaviour and training. She is a member of the Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia and joined the voluntary AVNAT registration scheme when it began in 2019. In March 2020 she obtained a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing of Zoological Species from a training organisation in the United Kingdom.
Alana and her husband are owned by a flock of parrots, a Centrallian Carpet Python, two ‘foster’ dogs and a ‘foster’ cat… fosters that arrived for short-term care and never left!
Veterinary Nurse (Certificate 4) Captive Animals (Certificate 3)
Maddie loves all things animal related, particularly eggs! She first started incubating eggs at the age of fourteen using a cardboard box and a desk lamp. Her love of eggs was so great that she actively started researching eggs and incubation at a young age. Since then Maddie has obtained formal qualifications including a Certificate 3 in Captive Animals, a Certificate 4 in Veterinary Nursing and is part way through a Bachelor of Wildlife Science. She has attended a workshop with Operation Nest Egg (ONE) in Kiwi egg candling and incubation as well as a workshop in Avian Artificial Incubation with the Durrell Conservation Academy. Maddie has incubated eggs from both domestic and wild species, many of which were a mystery until they hatched. This has included tiny pardalotes, finches, swans, brush turkeys, sea birds, raptors and everything in between! After hatching, Maddie also hand raises most of these birds on her own. Conservation of endangered and threatened Australia species is something that Maddie would love to be involved with in the future. Maddie also actively participates in rescuing and caring for native wildlife, and also dog, cat and battery hen rescue work. At home Maddie has a cockatiel, lots of chickens, 3 dogs (Toy Bulldog, Boston Terrier and a Great Dane) and 3 cats to keep her busy!
Veterinary Nurse (Certificate 4)
Kelsey has always had a special interest in birds which led her to start volunteering at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in 2009. Here she spent her time cleaning, feeding and providing enrichment for the sanctuary birds. She completed a Certificate III in Native Animal Rehabilitation which required her to also work alongside the nurses and vets in the busy Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. It was there that she realised her dream of becoming a veterinary nurse and she promptly started her studies.
While completing her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, Kelsey spent her spare time continuing her nursing duties at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, driving the RSPCA Wildlife Ambulance and working at a dog and cat clinic.
Kelsey didn’t hesitate when she was presented with the opportunity to join the team at BBEVS in 2012. Here she has been able to expand her knowledge on all the exotic creatures seen at the clinic. She has a particular interest in avian enrichment and will happily pass on the tips and tricks she learnt from her years owning and working with captive birds.
She shares her home with a large number of active and noisy parrots, a small flock of bantam chickens, a pond full of fish and yabbies, a room full of various invertebrates, a very lovely olive python, and a mischievous Cattle Dog cross. In her spare time she can be found reading, crafting, researching insects, incubating and hatching wildlife eggs, and making copious amounts of bird toys to keep her flock busy!
Veterinary Nurse (Certificate 4)
Tiana is very passionate about the patient and client care, and has her certificate IV in veterinary nursing. She has been studying and volunteering in veterinary, zoological and animal related fields for the past few years, including spending a year at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Since joining us here at BBEVS, Tiana has continued to gain skills and knowledge across a wide range of species. She is especially interested in ducks and wildlife, and enjoys being constantly challenged by the variety of animals we see here at BBEVS.
Tiana shares her life with a range of animals. She adopted a Lorikeet called Pablo, and also has a pygmy bearded dragon, a cockatiel, 1 duck and a flock of chickens. She’s also kept extra busy with her sock-stealing Beagle, Dobby, and her three-legged cattle dog Sarsha.
Veterinary Nurse (Certificate 2)
She is always very excited about new toys and products for birds and guinea pigs! In her spare time Meri likes road trips, scouring the markets for vintage treasures, decorating her new house and catching up with friends and family. Meri lives with her boyfriend Jamie, her blind cat Cricket, three-legged cat Molly, a little mouse family and a cheeky sulphur crested cockatoo Alan.
Receptionist / Trainee Veterinary Nurse
Charlotte joined us as a receptionist and is studying to be a Vet Nurse.
She has a great love for all creatures and is excited to pursue her passion.
Charlottes house is run by her two dogs and cat. She would love to expand the family with a few feathery and scaly friends one day.
Diesel, the Black-headed python came to BBEVS in 2009 with many medical problems. Her situation was life-threatening and with many months of treatment, including major surgery she is finally on the road to good health.
Petey owns our vet Deborah and just like other asiatics has a very strong personality! He has managed to convince Deb to give him treats for a variety of tricks including playing basketball, soccer and picking up a set of weights.
Licorice is a female Red Tailed Black Cockatoo that arrived on the scene in 2010. She is our resident blood donor but prefers to spend most of her time sweet talking everyone for treats.
Tiago is a male blue fronted amazon parrot who keeps Sasha on her toes at all times! He is mischievous, loving and very clever. Tiago enjoys chewing on branches, leaves, gumnuts, paper… pretty much anything! He also loves coming to the bathroom for shower time and his daily training session where he spins, waves, shakes, high fives, bows, stretches and flies between various stations on command.
Sasha has been the lucky owner of this handsome male Macquarie River turtle since 2008. He initially lived in a 6 foot tank but in more recent years he is loving life in an outdoor pond. His favourite past times are meal times, basking on rocks and walking around in the rain!