Dr Narelle Walter grew up in the Western District of Victoria, in dairy country. Graduating in 1996 from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, Narelle started her veterinary career as a large animal veterinarian. Over the next ten years she travelled extensively around Australia and the United Kingdom.
In England, Narelle worked in a large small animal clinic and treated an increasingly large number of rabbit patients over three years. Returning to Australia it became obvious that rabbits where increasing in popularity, especially as inside house rabbits. Narelle opened the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic in June 2006 to cater for the growing number of pet rabbits in Melbourne. This was located in Hallam, sharing space with an emergency centre. As the popularity of rabbits in Melbourne increased the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic moved to its own standalone hospital in Ferntree Gully in 2010. This is the first rabbit and guinea pig only clinic in Australia.
Narelle lives in the leafy Dandenong Ranges with her husband and two children. They share their house with two goats, six chooks, two cats, two dogs, six goldfish and of course two rabbits! This is actively instilling a love for all animals in their two children.
Narelle has worked exclusively with rabbits and guinea pigs for over ten years and is devoted to these little creatures. She regularly provides lectures and information for veterinary students, vets and others in the animal industry promoting rabbits and guinea pigs.
Dr Zoe Feigen joined the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic family in 2014, moving down from NSW where they grew up and studied at the University of Sydney. Zoe has owned rabbits for over 20 years and decided at a young age to become a vet so that they could ‘fix all the bunnies’. They are delighted to have the opportunity to work with bunnies and guinea pigs, and is enthusiastic about improving the welfare and appreciation for these small friends. Zoe is a self-professed nerd and enjoys participating in queer, Jewish and disability activism in their spare time.
Zoe’s interest in illustration and design has lead to them creating a number of diagrams and posters for use in the clinic and for sharing with other veterinarians. Their hope is that we can one day have as many resources for rabbit and guinea pig medicine as there are in general practice, so that clients and veterinarians can better understand behaviour, anatomy and illness in these species.
Zoe currently lives with a tiny Netherland dwarf called Freddy and an extremely buff rex x called Amelie. They are not very good models for Zoe’s drawings as their attention spans are very short and they love to run all over the house.
Sharn is a senior nurse at Melbourne Rabbit Clinic, with her Certificate IV in veterinary nursing and over ten years of nursing experience under her belt. Sharn has been part of the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic family since 2009.
Sharn has always had pet rabbits and guinea pigs. She used to be involved in responsible breeding of pedigree rabbits and guinea pigs, showing and participation in pet expos. She has done a lot of her own research on these special species through reading books, websites, chatting to reputable people and always thinking critically for herself. Sharn runs her own boarding facility in her home in Frankston and makes her own healthy treats for bunnies and piggies.
Sharn has a lot compassion for owners and special interest in the extensive (but sometimes hard to find) range of toys and grooming products for rabbits and guinea pigs. She always has an eye out for new merchandise and also has an interest in marketing. Sharn currently shares her house with her son Rhys, her Chihuahua Diesel, and Rocko, Frida and Josie, her very fluffy guinea pigs. Sharn’s hobbies include shopping (she has expensive taste), cooking entrées, travelling and socialising.
Hollie is one of the senior nurses at Melbourne Rabbit Clinic. She fell in love with rabbits at the young age of four, after holding a rabbit at kindergarten. Unable to have a pet rabbit at the time, Hollie adopted her very first rabbit at sixteen and has not been without one since.
Hollie has her Certificate IV in veterinary nursing and over ten years experience in small animal nursing, as well as several years in exotic animal nursing. After studying at Goulburn Ovens, Hollie hopes to go and one day acquire a diploma of veterinary nursing. Hollie is absolutely thrilled to be part of the team at Melbourne Rabbit Clinic, achieving her dream goal of working solely with guinea pigs and rabbits.
Hollie shares her home with a small indoor menage including several beautiful cashmere lops, an adorable angoras, assorted other bunnies, a guinea pig, two big tabby cats, two Cavalier King Charles spaniels and a short neck turtle. Her daughter Pearl is currently simultaneously learning to talk and to medicate their furry family.
Karen is the creator of the Australian rabbit online resource website www.boingonline.com and is very passionate about responsible care of rabbits and promoting indoor housing. She and her partner Nimal are both vegan and are kept very busy with their many beloved rescued rabbits. Many of them are now senior bunnies between 9-11 years of age that she nurses at home. Karen also has a few adopted head tilt bunnies that she adores and has a keen interest in the disabled or elderly.
Karen initially became involved with the clinic as a client. She joined the clinic many years ago as a receptionist and is now part of the team as a vet nurse having completed her Certificate IV in veterinary nursing.
Karen also loves gardening, composting all that delicious bunny hay and is developing her garden into a decorative edible oasis using vegetables, herbs and fruit trees to enjoy all year round.
Rach is a trainee nurse who is currently studying Certificate IV in veterinary nursing at Box Hill TAFE. She has a background in entomology, having completed her Bachelor of Biological Science with Honours, studying invertebrate communities in Sherbrooke Forest. She hopes to one day work as a research scientist studying ecology.
Rach has two dwarf lop sisters called Muffin and Marcy, who love each other very much. Rach’s favourite pastime is watching them play in their sandpit!
Meg is a trainee veterinary nurse currently finishing her Certificate IV in veterinary nursing. Before starting as a nurse at Melbourne Rabbit Clinic, she was a client for many years. She has studied a range of things before veterinary nursing, from music to pathology collection. She loves to learn all she can about rabbits and has a keen interest in the medical side of nursing. Meg loves lop eared rabbits especially.
Having grown up on a ‘mini farm’ in Menzies Creek (with rabbits and guinea pigs) and having a vet as a father, Katrina has always had a keen interest and love for animals and their welfare. She has a background in veterinary nursing and one of her degree majors is zoology. These days Katrina is part of our cheerful reception team, and is busy taking care of her children, half a dozen cheeky chickens and a cat of all cats (!) and a tankful of tropical fish.
Katrina is also fascinated by the healing arts and is a practising Reiki Practioner.