Otago Polytechnic

Head of Department

  Francesca Brown
Programme Leader francescam@op.ac.nz

Francesca is a qualified veterinarian, who graduated from Massey University in 1998. In addition she holds a Bachelor of Science, National Diploma in Adult Education and Training, Certificate in Mata a Ao Maori and Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Practice . She is a strong advocate for veterinary nurses and technicians and is on the education advisory board for the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association, focusing on the content and delivery of paraprofessional training in the veterinary industry. Francesca is also the sustainability champion for the School of Veterinary Nursing.

Publications and Research

Matthews, F. (2011) Educating Sustainable Practitioners - Perspective of a Veterniary Nursing Educator. Scope: Contemporary Research Topics, learning and Teaching, November 2011.

View more research here


  Trudie Aicken Davies
Operations Administrator trudiead@op.ac.nz

Hello my name is Trudie, I have been working at Otago Polytechnic since 1996 in the School of Veterinary Nursing. I have a Certificate in Business Administration, Level 4. I look after the lovely Technicians who are part of my team in our school helping them with the daily running, enquiries, applications and enrolments. I also look after student results, contracts, financials and graduation.Graduation is the time I enjoy the most and is when I finally get to meet our distance students.I have 15 year old twin boys who keep me busy.

  Jan Kirby
Operations Administrator JanK@op.ac.nz

Hi my name is Jan. I am new to the staff team at Otago Polytechnic and am very excited for my role as Administrator at the Vet Nursing School. I studied here at Otago Polytechnic and graduated in 2012 with a NZ Diploma in Business. Since completing my studies I have had such roles as Operations Manager in Wellington and an AdministratorRecruiter here in Dunedin. I have a house with my husband Matt and two furbabies (Golden Labradors) Cruz and Roo.

Programme Managers / Coordinators / Professors

  Jennifer Hamlin
Programme Manager Diploma in Veterinary Nursing JenniferH@op.ac.nz

Jennifer is a Registered Veterinary Technician and Registered Veterinary Nurse with over 20 years experience in veterinary practices overseas and in New Zealand. She has worked in many different clinical environments including companion and production animal, equine, avian, exotic, equine, wildlife, critical care and referral practices. Jennifer is a Senior lecturer and Programme Manager in the School of Veterinary Nursing and has been coordinator for the National Diploma in Veterinary Nursing since 2005. Jennifer is also Consultant Editor of the UK Veterinary Nurse Journal, and an editor of Vetstream Lapis. She is an executive board member on the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association and is the Chair of the Allied Veterinary Professional Regulatory Council of New Zealand. She has been instrumental at establishing New Zealand's first register of veterinary nurses and is active in working to change the Veterinary Act to include regulation of all allied veterinary professionals.

  Steph Mann
Cert..Rural Animal Technology Coordinator, Senior Lecturer StephM@op.ac.nz

Steph is a NZ Registered Veterinary Nurse and Rural Animal Technician. She has a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching, and National Certificate in Equine (CC, L3 SPA). Steph has been working with Otago Polytechnic since 2004 and is now a Senior Lecturer for Animal Care, Veterinary Nursing and Coordinator of the Certificate in Rural Animal Technology. She has a background in equine, deer, sheep and beef, and studied at Taratahi Ag Training Centre before becoming a mixed animal practice veterinary nurse and rural animal technician. Steph has been nominated in 2013, 2014 and 2015 for the annual OP Excellence in Teaching Award, and received this award in 2014

  Catherine Rice
ON MATERNITY LEAVE catheriner@op.ac.nz

After spending 13 years abroad, Catherine returned to New Zealand with a wealth of experience under her belt in the animal healthcare industry. She has worked in a wide range of clinical settings, both equine and small animal. A Registered Veterinary Nurse (UK) her special interests include diagnostics and medical nursing. She is the programme coordinator of the oncampus NZCAT Veterinary Nurse Assistant course and lectures on the National Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. Catherine is on the Allied Veterinary Professional Regulatory Committee.

Publications and Research

Rice, C. (2013) Radiation Safety Practices of New Zealand Veterinary Nurses The New Zealand Veterinary Nurse, Volume 19, Issue 67, pp 18-25, Sep 2013


View more research here
Nic Smith
NZCAT VNA Learning Advisor - NCVN Course Coordinator nhughes@op.ac.nz


  Barbara Dunn
Senior Lecturer, Animal Care bkerr@op.ac.nz

I have always had a passion for animals and previously completed a Certificate in Animal Technology at Otago Polytechnic, so welcomed the chance to use these skills to combine my interest in distance education and animal care when I joined the School of Veterinary Nursing in 2007. On a continual learning journey I have also completed the Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and Learning and a Certificate in Designing and Facilitating ELearning.In a previous life I have worked in both the industry and tertiary sector as a Laboratory Technician for over 20 years, and have an NZCS in Chemistry.

  Audrey Campbell
Lecturer AudreyC@op.ac.nz

Audrey is responsible for the Anatomy, First Aid and Behaviour units at the School of Veterinary Nursing. She has been at the Polytechnic for over six years and was a medical nurse for over twenty. Her dog, Fin, comes to the Polytechnic most days and loves working with the students. Outside of work, Audrey and Fin keep busy doing search and rescue training and heelwork to music (dog dancing).

  Jane Craker
Animal Care Co-ordinator Janec@op.ac.nz

Jane is a qualified veterinary nurse and has spent over 15 years working in different veterinary clinics in England, Ireland and New Zealand. She has worked for the School of Veterinary Nursing since 2007 and loves meeting new students and sharing ideas and experiences. Jane is currently based in North Canterbury with a menagerie of animals.

  Tania Chaney
Lecturer, Learning Advisor & Work placement coordinator taniac@op.ac.nz

Tania has a Veterinary Nursing qualification from Otago Polytechnic and worked as a veterinary nurse for a small animal veterinary clinic in Dunedin for about seven years. She has been working for the School of Veterinary Nursing for almost fifteen years and currently works part time being a Lecturer, a Learning Advisor for the PTFT Dn Distance VNA students and the work placement coordinator. She has a Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching and a Certificate in Mata a Ao Maori.

  Aimee Duke
Lecturer AimeeD@op.ac.nz

Aimee has been working for the Otago Polytechnic School of Veterinary Nursing since 2008. She is a diploma qualified nurse and has worked in a small animal practice in Palmerston North and as a surgical nurse and lecturer at Massey University's vet clinic. Aimee is based in the Manawatu and has a real interest in surgical nursing and companion animal health.

  Jennifer Evans
Lecturer, Year Two Coordinator (Distance) JenniferE@op.ac.nz

Jennifer is a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of the National Certificate in Veterinary Nursing (Distance). She graduated from Massey University with a Veterinary Science degree in 2002, and after a few years of mixed animal practice both in New Zealand and in the UK, she joined Otago Polytechnic in 2006.

  Felicity Hull
Lecturer fforbes@op.ac.nz

I have been a qualified Veterinary Nurse since 2002 and during my career I have worked in a number of different clinics in New Zealand, Sydney and London, where I completed my Diploma in Veterinary Nursing from Otago Polytechnic. When I returned from overseas I wanted to give back to the industry I love to work in and that's when I started working at School of Veterinary Nursing (2013). I thoroughly enjoy teaching and seeing students grow into great Veterinary Nurses that go on and represent our wonderful career.

  Cheryl Johnstone
Lecturer cherylj@op.ac.nz

Cheryl has been with the School of Veterinary Nursing since 2008 and is a qualified veterinary nurse and teacher. Her aim is to continue to pass on her enthusiasm and passion for the veterinary nursing profession to her students, particularly in the areas of dealing with clients face to face. She has a young boxer, Mac, who frequently behaved as the class clown. Cheryl moved to Christchurch in December 2013 where she continues to work for Otago Polytechnic School of Veterinary Nursing.

  Holly Kendrick
Lecturer HollyO@op.ac.nz

I am the Learning Advisor for the Dunedin Block Course NZCAT VNA programme.I studied as distance student with Otago Polytechnic and hold my Certificate in Animal Care, Certificate in Veterinary Nursing, Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and most recently I have completed my Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education.I worked as a Veterinary Nurse in small animal clinics prior to joining the Otago Polytechnic team and have special interests in Animal Reproduction and Surgical Nursing.I look forward to supporting you on your journey into what is an exciting profession

Emma Simpson-Boyce
Academic / Technician eboyce@op.ac.nz

Donna Lindqvist
Marker donnal@op.ac.nz

Lisa English
Learning Advisor lisae@op.ac.nz

Sarah Irving