Otago Polytechnic


  Jan Kirby
Placement System Advisor Jan.Kirby@op.ac.nz

Hi my name is Jan. I am currently on a secondment at the School of Midwifery as the student practice coordinator. In October I will returning to 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. I then completed a New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care, which provided me with valuable experience as a distance learner and how our students juggle study, work & placements. I love animals and have 2 golden Labradors, Cruz & Roo, a Collie x, Watea who you will see about campus or in vet nursing reception, and a ginger cat, Arnie.

  Trudie Aicken Davies
Administrator Trudie.AickenDavies@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 help 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.

Head of Department

  Francesca Brown
Head of Programmes Francesca.Brown@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 and is currently studying towards a Masters in Professional Practice (Leadership) . 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 allied veterinary professional training for the veterinary industry. Francesca is also the sustainability champion for the School of Veterinary Nursing.

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Aimee Duke
  Aimee Duke
Lecturer Aimee.Duke@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.

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Angela Young
Lecturer Angela.Young@op.ac.nz

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  Audrey Campbell
Senior Lecturer Audrey.Campbell@op.ac.nz

Hello my name is Audrey and I am a senior lecturer on the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care here at Otago. My background is in human nursing, then veterinary nursing and more recently in canine behaviour and psychology, dog training and the human-animal bond. I have been involved in dog training for almost 30 years, some of it in search and rescue where I help my husband train search and rescue dogs (we are currently on our third SAR dog). I have a real passion for anything canine and my dog CuChulainn who is a year old, comes to work with me most days, it's one of the reasons I love working on the animal care program so much, the other being I can help students make a positive difference to the lives of animals, there can't be anything better than that. Hugs & Licks Aud & CuChulainn.

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  Cheryl Johnstone
Senior Lecturer Cheryl.Johnstone@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.

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  Deborah Murphy
Senior Lecturer Deborah.Murphy@op.ac.nz

Deborah studied veterinary nursing at Otago Polytechnic and on completion of the programme began work at clinics in Dunedin. She returned to Otago Polytechnic in 2013 as a lecturer, working mainly with the Animal Care programme.

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Donna Lindqvist
Lecturer Donna.Lindqvist@op.ac.nz

Emma Simpson-Boyce
Technician Emma.Simpson-Boyce@op.ac.nz

  Felicity Hull
Senior Lecturer Felicity.Hull@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.

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  Holly Kendrick
Senior Lecturer Holly.Kendrick@op.ac.nz

I am the Learning Advisor for the Blended NZCAT VNA programme based in Dunedin.
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 am involved in animal welfare in the Cook Islands and am a regular volunteer for the Cook Islands SPCA and recently delivered an animal welfare education progamme to schools in both Rarotonga and Aitutaki.
I look forward to supporting you on your journey into what is an exciting profession!

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  Jen Evans
Senior Lecturer Jennifer.Evans@op.ac.nz

Jennifer is a Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Nursing. 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.

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  Lisa English
Lecturer Lisa.English@op.ac.nz

I am a learning Advisor for the New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing Programme. I graduated in 2003 with a Certificate in Veterinary Nursing from Otago Polytechnic, then went on to complete the Diploma in Veterinary Nursing in 2004.

I have spent eight years in specialist practice, both in Auckland and Christchurch, with short externships overseas and completed my Veterinary Technician Speciality- in small animal internal medicine in 2010.

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  Sara Best
Lecturer Sara.Best@op.ac.nz

Kia ora

I joined the OP team in the veterinary nursing department in 2018, transferring over from clinical practice where I have worked for 22 years. I am passionate about gold standard hospital care for our furry patients, and I am enjoying working with learners who are entering this exciting industry!

  Tania Chaney
Lecturer Tania.Chaney@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 sixteen years and currently works 0.7 being a Lecturer, a Learning Advisor and the work placement coordinator. She has a Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching and a Certificate in Mata a Ao Maori.

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  Vicki Letchford
Lecturer Vicki.Letchford@op.ac.nz

Hi I am Vicki, I am new to the school of Veterinary Nursing and to New Zealand. I lived and worked as qualified Veterinary Nurse in the UK for 17 years both in clinical and teaching settings. I hold the Veterinary Nursing Diploma (UK). I have enjoyed working in a wide variety of settings from private clinics, referral hospitals and large charity hospitals both as an employee and a locum nurse. I completed an internship in America studying and promoting wolf behaviour and conservation. I have an interest in companion animal hydrotherapy and have 4 years experience as a hydrotherapist working with patients in both the hydrotherapy pool and treadmill. I enjoyed 5 years of teaching the Veterinary Nursing Diploma in the UK. I am excited to be using my clinical and teaching experience at the school of Veterinary Nursing and starting my new life in this beautiful country.

Programme Managers / Coordinators / Professors

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  Barbara Dunn
Senior Lecturer Barbara.Dunn@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, Certificate in Designing and Facilitating E-Learning and an Advanced Practitioner Certificate in Educational Technology.

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.

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  Catherine Rice
Senior Lecturer Catherine.Rice@op.ac.nz

Hi, I'm Cat. I have worked with the on campus students at OP for 9 years now. I have enjoyed working both in the classroom and in a clinical setting over these years. Having left NZ on my big OE, I unintentionally spent 13 years in Northern Ireland before moving home, first working with horses and then training and working as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in both small animal and mixed practice.

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  Jane Craker
Senior Lecturer Jane.Craker@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 is currently based in North Canterbury.

  Jennifer Hamlin
Senior Lecturer Jennifer.Hamlin@op.ac.nz

Tēnā koutou.
Ko California te tūrakawaewae.
I tipu ake au ki Ukiah
I rora i te maru o kā rākau Redwood
I te taha o te moana o Mendocino
Kei te noho au ki Otautahi
Ko Pomo te iwi
Ko Hamlin rāua ko Vest kā whānau.
Ko Elizabeth rāua ko Robert kā mātua.
Ko au tēnei.
Ko Jennifer Hamlin tōku ikoa.
Nō reira, tēnā koutou katoa.

Kia ora! I am Jennifer. I am a senior lecturer and have been a programme leader in the School of Veterinary Nursing at Otago Polytechnic since 2005.

Professionally, I am a USA trained Registered Veterinary Technician and Registered Veterinary Nurse and am currently working on my PhD. I have over 20 years' experience in veterinary practices overseas and in New Zealand. I have worked in many different clinical environments including companion and production animal, equine, avian, exotic, equine, wildlife, critical care, surgical, referral practices and the UC Davis teaching hospital. My undergraduate degree major was in Neurobiology, Physiology & Behaviour and I also have a degree in Chemistry. My clinical interests are in nursing practice, wound healing, surgical recovery, quality improvement, research, evidence-based practice, fluid and electrolyte balance, nutrition, animal welfare and animal learning/behaviour.

Since 2010 I have been the Consultant Editor of the UK peer-reviewed journal, The Veterinary Nurse, and I am also an editor of Vetstream Lapis. I have been an executive board member on the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association since 2010 and the Chair of the Allied Veterinary Professional Regulatory Council of New Zealand since 2015 where I have been instrumental at establishing New Zealand's first register of veterinary nurses, working to change the Veterinary Act to include regulation of all allied veterinary professionals.

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  Nic Hughes
Lecturer Nic.Hughes@op.ac.nz

I'm Nic and I work as a Lecturer and Learning Advisor in the School of Veterinary Nursing. I thoroughly enjoy watching my learners grow and gain skills throughout their chosen field of study.

  Steph Mann
Senior Lecturer Steph.Mann@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 (SPA, SPC). Steph has been working with Otago Polytechnic since 2004 and is now a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader of the Certificate in Animal Technology, Rural Animal Technology strand. 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

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