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 Administrator/Recruiter here in Dunedin. I have a house with my husband Matt and two fur-babies (Golden Labradors) Cruz and Roo.
Trudie Aicken Davies
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.
I have 17 year old twin boys who keep me busy.
Head of Department
Head of Programmes
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.
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
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.
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 dogs Finbar who is 13 and CuChulainn who is a year old, come 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, Finners & CuChulainn.
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 E-Learning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Programme Managers / Coordinators / Professors
Hi, I'm Cat. I have worked with the on campus students at OP for 7 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, working with horses and then training and working as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in both small animal and mixed practice.
As a founding member of the Allied Veterinary Professional Regulatory Council I am proud to be on the Professional Standards Committee, part of a dedicated team of VN's working towards regulation for veterinary nurses in New Zealand.
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
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.
I am a Senior Lecturer and have been working in the School of Veterinary Nursing since 2005. I have been the Programme Leader of the Diploma in Veterinary Nursing since 2006.
Professionally, I am a Registered Veterinary Technician and Registered Veterinary Nurse with 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 and referral practices. I am 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.
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