Our Team – Vets

Dr Kimberley Earl BVSc (Hons) MANZCVS (Avian Health)

General practice vet

Originally from Canada, Kimberley started her veterinary career at the University of Sydney, graduating in 2005 with honours. After graduation she returned to Canada and worked for three years in a busy, mixed animal practice in northern British Columbia. In between snowy calving seasons Kimberley was busy developing skills in small animal medicine and diagnostic ultrasound. In late 2008 Kimberley and her husband decided that they missed the balmy Australian climate, and moved (with Abbi the golden retriever) back to the land down under, settling in Newcastle.

Kimberley then spent nearly 3 years developing skills and experience in avian and exotics veterinary practice. Kimberley’s main clinical interests are exotic and avian medicine, as well as diagnostic ultrasound and general medicine. In July 2016, Kimberley gained entry to the Avian Health chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists by passing a rigorous set of advanced clinical practice examinations.

Outside of work Kimberley has a young daughter who keeps life busy and entertaining. She enjoys spending time outside with the family biking, camping and climbing, and loves reading when she can find some spare quiet time. Kimberley shares her home with Kirby the Galah, Perry the Pearly Conure and Finley the Golden Retriever.

Dr Nicole Melhem BVSc(Hons) 

General Practice Vet with an interest in dentistry.

Nicole grew up mad about animals, a keen horse rider as a teenager took her to completing an Equine Science degree and working in the horse industry in Australia and overseas. It wasn’t long before she decided to study to become a vet to further her career options and subsequently graduated from the University of Sydney in 2005. She returned to her hometown of Newcastle with her husband working in several practices in the surrounding areas gaining experience in rural mixed, small animal, avian/exotic, animal welfare and emergency practices.

Nicole has a diverse range of interests but a particular passion for dentistry. she is pleased to be able to offer advanced dental options to correct malocclusion, save fractured teeth with vital pulp therapy and perform restorations for damaged teeth. A career highlight has been fitting “braces” to a dog to correct a malocclusion where previously the only options would have been to extract the problem teeth. Nicole also enjoys the challenge of avian and pocket pet surgery. Over the years she has had the pleasure of keeping a variety of usual and unusual pets but at the moment enjoys the company of a very spoilt Burmese cat, Tilda the crazy but loveable Boxer dog, a flock of chickens and some Guinea Fowl.

When she is not at work she is kept busy with her two children and when time permits she loves gardening, camping, bird watching and touring Australia with the family.

Dr Perin Patterson BVSc (Hons)

General Practice vet with an interest in surgery and oncology

After a brief career in the Air Force, Perin graduated in 2005 with an honours degree in veterinary science from the University of Sydney. Her interests include all aspects of companion animal medicine, surgery and dentistry; with special attention to the care and treatment of patients with cancer and orthopaedic injuries.

The family pets include two cats, Lexus and Tiger, who came from the RSPCA as foster flu kittens in 2014.  There is also Roger, a Stimson’s python, who is a lovely little snake, very placid and has been super popular with the cats.  The top of his heated cage has become their favourite resting place, and it appears there is some jealousy about the fact that Roger gets thawed mice delivered weekly. Most recently Bowie, a Chihuahua, has joined our family – he is both a delight and a terror, the later mostly for the cats. 

Outside work, Perin enjoys spending time with her teenage twins and trying to maintain some level of fitness. Running, boxing and horse riding happen far more often than should be the case, given the state of the garden.  

Dr Chloe Cowan BVSc

General Practice Vet with an interest in behavioural medicine, internal medicine, surgery, emergency and critical care and dermatology.

Chloe joined our team in 2019, and adds to the diversity of our EAMC team by offering dedicated behaviour consults.

Chloe loves working together with clients to make their pets as happy and healthy as they can possibly be!  She has been immersed in the veterinary world since she was still at high school, working at her local vet clinic after school and on weekends. Years later, she eagerly accepted a scholarship position to study Veterinary Science at Sydney University, graduating in 2015. Chloe always sought out more adventures during university holidays, including working with elephants and street dogs in remote Northern Thailand, trapping Tassie devils for facial tumour research, and volunteering on the weekends for the Behavioural Studies Unit at Taronga Zoo.

Chloe spent her first few years as a vet working in Melbourne and Albury before settling here in Newcastle to be close to family.  Chloe considers herself an all-rounder, with interests in all areas of general practice in addition to her behaviour interest.

Chloe likes to keep active outside of work. She plays basketball, volleyball and attends parkrun every weekend. She loves gardening, and spending time with her chickens and rescue greyhounds, Patrick and Peggy. More recently she is kept busy with a human baby in the household.

Dr Lily Simpson-Kennedy BVSc

General practice vet with an interest in avian and exotic pets

Dr Lily joined the EAMC team in November 2020 and has been a fantastic addition to our already amazing team of experienced vets. 

Lily graduated from University of Sydney in 2015 and moved into private small animal practice. In 2017-18 she travelled to Laos where she was the head vet at Laos Wildlife Sanctuary. She had the priveledge of treating all manner of exotic wildlife such as bears, binturong, crocodiles, lots of primate species, porcupine, hog badgers and a variety of birds and reptiles.

While we don’t get quite the same exotic species as she has been used to in Laos, Lily enjoys the variety of pets and wildlife we see here at EAMC including birds, rabbits, reptiles, rodents as well as being a lover of dogs and cats. 

At home, Lily enjoys the company of her rescue dog Lettie and her pet rat Splinter. She also loves spending time at our beautiful Newcastle beaches. 

Dr Bethany Staples DVM

General practice vet with an interest in Ophthalmology and soft-tissue Surgery

Bethany will be on maternity leave from May 2024, we wish her all the best and look forward to her return sometime in 2025.

Bethany joined our team in June 2022. She graduated from the University of Sydney with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2019 and has been in small animal General Practice since. She has a particular interest in Ophthalmology and enjoys soft-tissue Surgery. She is looking forward to applying her skills to the many avian and exotic pets we see here at EAMC.

A career highlight has been spending time in South Africa treating wildlife including big cats such as the Cheetah, Giraffe’s and antelope!

Bethany enjoys developing strong client relationships to work together in providing best care for pets.

She currently shares her home with 5 cats so has plenty of experience in dealing with a multi-cat household!

Dr Melanie Ngo DVM

General practice vet with an interest in avian and exotic pets

Melanie graduated from the University of Sydney with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2019 and has relocated from Sydney to Newcastle since.

She enjoys learning and has a particular interest in birds, reptiles, and pocket pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, and mice. A career highlight has been with volunteering at a turtle rehabilitation centre, with the opportunity to snorkel with a few turtles amongst the vast and wonderful array of fish species on Fitzroy Island.

Having previously worked in pet retail and as a puppy school instructor, Melanie has found a passion in working with pet parents to help improve welfare of their beloved pets.

At home Melanie enjoys aqua scaping her community fish aquarium and spending time with her rescue greyhound, Callie. She also enjoys nature and beach walks, photography and trying new foods.

Dr Kayt Playford DVM

General practice vet with an interest in soft tissue surgery and medicine

Kayt completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Sydney in 2019 and has since worked in private practice with both farm and companion animals.  Kayt joined our team in May 2024 with a keen interest in both soft tissue surgery and medicine and is excited for all the avian and exotic patients we get to see here at EAMC. Kayt is looking forward to getting to know our patients and clients and we know you will love meeting her too.