Mental Wellbeing for Veterinary Teams Symposium | Centre for Veterinary Education

Mental Wellbeing for Veterinary Teams Symposium

Mental Wellbeing for Veterinary Teams

This exciting one-day symposium is aimed at promoting wellbeing within veterinary teams and tapping into resources we may not know we have.

Coming from a range of professions, our speakers will provide bite-sized insights with a focus on positive action you can take to build resilience and support colleagues.

Hear Dr Anne Fawcett share why it would be GOOD FOR YOU to come along to this event:


In addition to their talks, each speaker will give FOUR WORDS of advice to help us move forwards with our lives and careers. We feel that any small, suggested change can be summarised in four words. Not all of these will be for everyone, but if each person can take away one or two pieces of “four words” advice that will lead to positive, tangible changes in their daily lives, then we’ve made a difference.

This initiative has been made possible by proceeds from the Vet Cookbook, a collaboration designed to promote sharing of stories and snacks, published by the CVE in 2017,  as well as our generous Vet Cookbook sponsors​ . This is a unique initiative and we have negotiated a subsidised rate to ensure an affordable experience.

This event is not just for veterinarians and nurses, we encourage everyone involved in the industry to come along.

To secure the nurse rate please call the CVE customer service team +61 2 9351 7979

Please email us to express your interest in this course


Wednesday 16 October 2019
8.00 - 6.00
TAG Family Foundation Grandstand
Regimental Drive
(Opposite the Veterinary Science Conference Centre)
Camperdown NSW


Ben Bjarnesen joined the Queensland Police Service in 2007.  Throughout his career, Ben has served in outback Queensland, including the rural community of Roma where he spearheaded the development and implementation of the community support group, “Anything but Straight”. This group provides support, education and referral services to LGBTI clients and in 2011 Ben was nominated for the Young Australian of the Year Award for this initiative.  In 2012, Ben moved to Brisbane and has since been stationed in Fortitude Valley.  On top of his operational duties, Ben is the assistant coordinator of the Queensland Police Service LGBTI Support Network, which was developed to support LGBTI Police Officers, staff members and their families. The work of the Support Network saw them become finalists in the Australian LGBTI Awards in 2017 and 2018.  Ben is the Regional Coordinator (Brisbane Region) of the Queensland Police Service LGBTI Liaison Officer Program and in 2017 was named as one of the top 50 most influential and inspiring LGBTI Australians by Cosmopolitan Magazine.  In 2017 Ben headed the Qld Police Services’ involvement in the “It Gets Better” project which attracted international media attention and over 2.5 million views and was later awarded the 2018 Qld Premiers Awards for Excellence (Leadership) and the highly commended award for the overall Premiers Awards for Excellence.  As a recipient of a fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, in 2017 Ben travelled to the USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands researching ways for Police forces to enhance the way in which they respond to domestic violence incidents in the LGBTI communities.  Ben is a member of the Qld Government LGBTI Roundtable which will inform government engagement with LGBTI communities and provides a mechanism for communities to highlight issues, challenges and opportunities with Qld government agencies.  He is also the vice-chair of the Queensland Police Union of Employees Inclusion & Diversity Committee.     

Dr Yumiko Kadota graduated from UNSW Medicine in 2010 and worked as a Plastic Surgery registrar. She found herself burnt out and unable to negotiate safer working hours at the hospital. Eventually she resigned in June 2018 and became hospitalised after continuing to decline in physical and mental health. She now works as an Academic in Anatomy and advocates for wellbeing amongst health professionals.


Dr. Barry Kipperman is a board certified specialist in internal medicine and animal welfare, and is staff internist and the founder of a 24 hour specialist/emergency practice in the San Francisco Bay area.

After 26 years in practice, Dr K decided to devote the remainder of his career to animal welfare and ethics. He received a masters degree in animal welfare,ethics and law in 2017 from the University of Edinburgh. He teaches veterinary ethics at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and animal welfare and ethics for the University of Missouri.

Dr Kipperman serves on the Board of Directors of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, and MightyVet. His research interests include the influence of economics on animal welfare and veterinarian well-being, and the ethical dilemmas and moral stress faced by veterinarians.

Dr Helen Stallman is an award-winning Clinical Psychologist, Senior Lecturer at the University of South Australia and Hospital Research Foundation Fellow at the Basil Hetzel Institute. Dr Stallman is a specialist in the development and evaluation of interventions aimed to optimise health and wellbeing. Her focus has included suicide prevention, university health and wellbeing, parenting, and e-psychology. The quality and impact of Dr Stallman’s research has been recognised with 11 awards and honours, including Uniquest Trailblazer and an Education Association of Australia Award.

BA (Psych) Hons, D (Clin) Psych

Dr Michelle McArthur is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Animal and Veterinary Science at the University of Adelaide. She developed and leads the clinical communication and wellbeing program across the veterinary bioscience and DVM degrees. She is called upon nationally and internationally to provide skills-based communication workshops as well as mental health and wellbeing seminars in the veterinary medicine setting.  She actively researches and publishes in the field of wellbeing in veterinary medicine. She is also a practicing clinical psychologist. In her spare time, she loves being with her family, friends as well as exploring new places and foods.

BVSc (Hons) CertZooMed, FACVSc (Avian Health) DipECZM

Graduating in 1995, Deborah initially worked in small animal practice before starting an avian residency in the UK in 2002.  She passed her Fellowship Examinations in Avian Medicine in 2006, as well as her European College Zoological Medicine Avian examinations.  She also obtained a Certificate in Zoological Medicine (UK) and a Avian Membership along the way.  She started her own practice in October 2006, which now has 5 full time veterinarians, 7 full time nurses and three part-time nurses. 

Ed Annand is an equine veterinarian and epidemiologist who attended the first two known cases of Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV) in horses (2013). Ed obtained his Bachelor in Veterinary Science with Honours from the University of Queensland (UQ) (2007). Since then he has worked in referral, stud and first opinion equine practice in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the UK including thirteen equine breeding seasons. He has performed clinical teaching of equine reproduction and general equine practice for UQ and the University of Sydney as well as lectured in epidemiology. Ed has held great interest in mental health issues over the last decade with involvement including engagement with the Suicide Prevention Pathways (formally CAPS) organisation for which his father is chairman, first-hand experience with burnout and other occupational stress, mentoring of fellow veterinarians and trombone performances in the name of veterinary mental health.

Jenny has worked as a dairy cattle clinician in private practice and then back at Massey University for about 20 years. She coordinated the final year clinical rotations for several years and was then appointed Academic Dean in the Veterinary School in 2016. She has been a member of VSAAC since 2013 and has participated in seven site visits for AVBC accreditation. Her research interests include a range of infectious diseases of cattle as well as veterinary wellbeing, and the demographics of the veterinary profession in NZ.

BExSSc. MExerSc(Strgth & Condg)

Miles is a passionate Exercise Scientist with a drive to improve the health and performance of everyone he works with. He holds a Masters in Exercise Science Strength and Conditioning. Miles is a Fitness Instructor for the Asian Football Confederation running courses throughout Asia and works day-to-day as a Strength and Conditioner at the Arena Gym and teaches nutrition on campus here at Sydney Uni as well as coaching endurance athletes. Miles played Futsal as a professional in Brazil, Portugal and Japan as well as representing the National Team for a number of years. He also played Football in the old National Soccer League before the A-League.

Helen Willoughby has had more than 20 years experience working at senior executive levels in the public and private sector.  Helen began her career as a journalist before becoming a Ministerial advisor in Federal and State Governments.  She was the first Chief Executive Office of the Outdoor Media Association and has managed groups of up to 400 people as a senior public servant.  Helen has worked across a range of portfolios including health, transport and climate change.  She is also an accredited Iyengar yoga teacher who has been teaching yoga for more than 5 years. Helen is married with two adult children and a cattle dog.

Ed is an accidental speech pathologist, linguist, and start-up founder, and has practiced across rural and remote Australia for the last decade advocating for the Rogerian person-centred approach to supporting people with disabilities and mental illness in the bush.

Ed is Co-Founder of Umbo (an online therapy service), Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Faculty Health Sciences at the University of Sydney, Councillor at the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA), and Non-Executive Director at Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH).

In his spare time, you’ll probably find Ed playing cricket, talking cricket, or watching cricket (with his cat, Katich, who is named after his favourite cricketer of course). He has also been known to integrate cricket and cricket trivia into his work with clients who share his passion.

Ed is keen to learn from people with disabilities and mental illness about how allied health can support them to live the life that they want and would like to support them to advocate on their terms, especially in rural and remote areas. In doing this, he is inspired by the words of everyone’s favourite Czech existential anarchist, Franz Kafka, who said

“Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.”

After nearly 20 as a change management consultant Frances retrained as a therapist six years ago.  With a specialist interest in the mental health of wildlife carers and others that work with animals she works with grief, loss and trauma recovery.  This interest came out of working with animals as a volunteer carer for domestic and wildlife rescue and forming close friend and working relationships with vets across the East Coast.  Frances has spoken at the 2018 Australian Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference and teaches self-care and mental health awareness training in Sydney, Canberra, Hobart and Launceston. 

Member typeFee
Non-member / eMember member$160

*Members include: Practice, Professional, Part-time, Recent Graduate and Academic members. Nurses are encouraged to register for this workshop by calling the CVE customer service team +61 2 9351 7979