At the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic we hope to be more than just your vet, nurse and receptionist. We feel privileged to be able to walk with you through your journey with your pet rabbit and guinea pig helping and sharing in the highs and lows of life. We hope to be your pet’s extended family.

Veterinarians

Dr Narelle Walter

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 Cathy Wong

Dr Cathy Wong graduated from University of Queensland and has since moved away from the rabbit-less state. She started her first job as a new graduate in central NSW, where she happens to be one of the very few vets who is keen to look after rabbits and guinea pigs. She then moved to Melbourne to pursue a more small animal and pocket pet focused career, ended up catching the “Melbourne bug” and getting hooked on coffee.
Cathy is a strong believer that all good pet names come with a theme – she currently lives with Pumbaa the Queensland reject she adopted from NSW border, and Simba the chihuahua cross.

Dr Lydia Xu

Lydia’s love of small pocket pets started at an early age and she grew up with a few rabbits and guinea pigs. Lydia graduated in 2009 from The University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science then working in both small animal General Practices and RSPCA where she had more opportunities to treat Bunnies and Guinea pigs. After a few years, Lydia commenced working in various Emergency centers both in Perth and Melbourne, before moving back to General Practice. Lydia joined the MRC team in Nov 2020

Lydia loves most small furry creatures and has special interests in ophthalmology, feline medicine and emergency medicine and is looking forward to learning more about Buns and Piggies! Outside of work Lydia enjoys travelling, hiking, camping, playing piano and spending time with family and friends.

Nurses

Sharn Farrugia

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.

Linda Mosley

Linda has been a Vet Nurse since 2016 starting out nursing in a general practice clinic, mainly seeing cats and dogs. Linda  first met the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic team in 2017 during her placement hours whilst studying her Associate Degree of Veterinary Nursing.

After finishing her placement, Linda kept in touch as a client bringing both her Guinea Pigs and Rabbits to the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic. In February 2019, Linda was thrilled to receive a call from Dr Narelle offering her a position at Melbourne Rabbit Clinic!  You will see Linda around the clinic on Wednesday and Thursday now.

Linda is kept very busy at home with her 3 cheeky bunnies and 7 Guinea Pigs, most of them are seniors now. Pictured with her are Charlie and Ginger.

Karen Vondruska

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.

Administration

Katrina Kouris

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.

Evana Miles

Coming from a diverse background managing across multiple industries, Evana joined the MRC team in October 2020. She loves spending her spare time in the gym or out exploring new places whether that be inside or outside.

After growing up spending most of her holidays on her grandparents farm, Evana developed a lifelong love of all different animals. She has two cats (Charlie and Dexter) at home and has no doubt that a rabbit or two will be added to the family with time! Charlie and Dexter’s favourite toy is a rainbow caterpillar that they constantly wrestle with and drag around the house.

Trainees & Other Staff

Shayne Gatt

Shayne has grown up always knowing she wanted to work with animals, and as such, she has completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience and is currently completing a Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing.

Shayne has a keen interest in exotic animals and owns 4 rabbits at home along with a Border Collie.

Shayne’s four rabbits are named Eevee, Beanie, Ollie and Bluebell who love nothing more than chilling out watching netflix with Shayne.

Ellen Pieper

Ellen is currently completing her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Melbourne. She has a unique background, having worked as a genetic counsellor at the Parkville Familial Cancer Clinic. Ellen has owned guinea pigs and rabbits throughout her life.

In her spare time, Ellen looks after her three mischievous guinea pigs. Her first guinea pig; Iggie, was rescued from the RSPCA four years ago. Iggie swiftly became famous, starring in the PETstock calendar and then featuring on Pet Rescue in 2018. Iggie behaves like a celebrity now, and we wonder if she remembers her best friends, Willow and Poppy.