Paula holds a Bachelor of Education (teaching) in Early Childhood Education from the University from Otago, a Diploma in Child Protection (with Excellence) from Child Matters, and a NZ Certificate in Project Management from Otago Polytechnic. Her work encompasses all facets of operational administration for the NZ Certificate in Animal Technology - Veterinary Nursing Assistant (L5) programme. Helping people is her favourite part of her role.
Trudie Aicken Davies
Hello my name is Trudie, I have been working at Otago Polytechnic in the School of Veterinary Nursing for a number of years now and have graduated with a Certificate in Business Administration, Level 4.
I am part of the Operations Team in the School of Veterinary Nursing and help with the daily operational running including enquiries, applications and enrolments. I also look after student results, contracts, financials and graduation and work closely with the NZ Certificate in Animal Care, NZ Certificate in Animal Technology - Rural Animal Technician and the Certificate in Avian Wildlife Healthcare programmes.
Graduation is the time I enjoy the most and is when I finally get to meet our distance students.
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 Māori, Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Practice and a Master of Professional Practice (Distinction) . She is a strong advocate for veterinary nurses and technicians and is on the education advisory board for the Allied Veterinary Professionals Regulatory Council, focusing on the content and delivery of allied veterinary professional training for the veterinary industry. She is also on the Vet Futures Aotearoa Steering Group focused on a 2040 vision for a sustainable veterinary industry. Francesca is also the sustainability champion for the School of Veterinary Nursing and a member of the New Zealand Veterinary sustainability group.
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.
I joined Otago Polytechnic in 2018. I hold responsibilities across the DVN and BVN programmes.
I completed my Bachelor in Veterinary Science at Massey University in 2002. I then moved to Auckland and went into Feline only Practice for a couple of years. In 2005 I went onto spend 6 years in general practice. During this time I spent a lot of time mentoring veterinary nursing students as part of my role and realised that my passion was in teaching. I pursued this path in 2011 and have gained a Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Teaching.
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.
I am a registered vet nurse and part of the DVN team as a learning advisor and marker. I graduated in 2001 with a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing from Massey University. I then worked in clinical practice in NZ and UK including back at Massey University as a surgical nurse supervisor in the companion animal hospital before moving in tertiary learning and teaching. I am very keen to see progress within the veterinary nursing industry and help to produce well skilled and capable veterinary nurses!
I am currently undertaking a research project around reflective practices and how this looks within the veterinary nursing education sector and how we can best use reflective techniques to help create a sustainable work practice.
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.
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!
I joined Otago Polytechnic in 2021 as a Lecturer for the NZCAT RAT course. Prior to this, I was a casual marker after completing the course in 2019. I also hold a Bachelor of Science which I completed at Massey University in 2003. I am a member of the LAVT branch of the NZVA.
I currently work 0.5FTE as a Lecturer and the other days can be found working as a RAT at my local clinic. I have been with the clinic snice 2010.
I am passionate about the industry and love my job as a RAT. I am excited to be able to work with learners to help and support them in their journey to becoming a qualified RAT
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 eighteen years and currently works 0.8 being a Lecturer, a Learning Advisor and the work placement coordinator. She has a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching and a Certificate in Mata a Ao Maori.
Hi, I am Vicki, I lived and worked as a qualified Veterinary Nurse in the UK for 22 years both in clinical and teaching settings. I hold the Veterinary Nursing qualification (RCVS). 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 am interested in companion animal hydrotherapy and have 4 years of 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 in this beautiful country.
Programme Managers / Coordinators / Professors
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.
Hi, I'm Cat.
I started my veterinary nursing career working with horses and training as a RCVS VN in Northern Ireland. I practiced mostly in a small animal and equine hospital, later working in rural practice and as a locum. I moved home to NZ about a decade ago and have enjoyed working at OP since then. I work both with on-campus students and distance learners. My area of interest is the connection between human and animal welfare. I have recently joined a 'One Welfare' working group developing free access guidance for veterinary, medical and social services professionals on the link between animal and human abuse and neglect.
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.
Kia ora tātou.
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 Ōtautahi
Ko Hamlin tōku whānau.
Ko Jennifer tōku ingoa.
Ko au tēnei.
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. I grew up in a small Northern California town, under the majestic Redwood trees, near the beautiful coastline of Mendocino. My whakapapa traces back to the Pomo tribe of native americans, and the first European settlers of North America. I now live in Christchurch having moved to New Zealand from California almost 20 years ago. Aotearoa New Zealand is my home.
Professionally, I am a USA trained veterinary technician and NZ Registered Veterinary Nurse. I have over 20 years' experience in veterinary practices overseas and in New Zealand. I have worked in many different clinical environments. My undergraduate degree major was in Neurobiology, Physiology & Behaviour and I also have a degree in Chemistry. I am currently working on my DPP.
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. I have been an executive board member on the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association since 2010 and am the Chair of the Allied Veterinary Professional Regulatory Council of New Zealand since 2014 where I have been instrumental at establishing New Zealand's first register of veterinary nurses.
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 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 originally studied at Taratahi Ag Training Centre before becoming a mixed animal practice veterinary nurse and rural animal technician. As well as agriculture, veterinary nursing, rural animal technology and tertiary education, Steph has also studied equine quite extensively, including through NZ Pony Clubs. Steph is an H-Certificate instructor and B-Certificate examiner. Steph has been nominated in 2013, 2014 and 2015 for the annual OP Excellence in Teaching Award, and received this award in 2014
Emma is a Registered Veterinary Nurse and has worked at the School of Vet Nursing since 2016. She has worked in small animal practices, with a brief foray in working in a human operating theatre. Her interests include anaesthesia and analgesia, and looking into ways to improve sustainability.
Kia ora koutou. I am working in a new role at the School of Veterinary Nursing as a Placement Co-ordinator. I graduated from Otago Polytechnic in 2012 with a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. I have worked as a Veterinary Nurse in Dunedin since my own clinical placement back in 2009, so have learned a real appreciation for the importance of my new role to support our students entering this industry.
I have a son and live in Dunedin with a house full of animals. While I love all creatures, my passion is working with birds. We are so lucky to have such an abundance and variety of our native wildlife right here on our doorstep in Otago.