Meet our Team

Our dedicated and knowledgable team members will help guide you and your pet toward a happy and healthy life.

Meet our Reception Team

Peta

Reception

Usually the first point of contact for our clients when they come into the clinic is our super lovely, amazing receptionist, Peta. Peta has been part of the BEAC team since September 2021.

At home she is a mother to a Maltese Shih Tzu called Snoopy, a tabby cat called Florence and two Alexandrine parrots called Ptolemy and Caesar.

Peta’s hobbies include camping, historical re-enactment and various other nerdy pursuits. 

Tarryn

Reception

Our wonderful receptionist Tarryn started working at BEAC at the end of 2020 as an animal attendant and clinic helper. She is a bunny enthusiast and now has three rabbits, Bobby, Nix and Dandy, all of which she *cough* blames *cough* thanks BEAC for letting her adopt from the clinic when they needed a loving home. 

Although working at a vet clinic was one of Tarryn’s childhood dream jobs (along with being a famous singer on Broadway or in a singing group as big as the spice girls), starting at BEAC was a career change for Tarryn.  

After completing a degree in musical theatre, Tarryn studied to be a qualified kindergarten teacher and has since spent many years teaching and managing early childhood services.  

In her own time, Tarryn loves being creative and likes making stickers that people can use in their planners and diaries. Her favourite ones are, of course, ones she made using images of her own bunny!

Ava

Reception

Ava completed year 12 in 2023 and joined the BEAC team right out of high school. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing with La Trobe University.

She grew up in a family of animal lovers, but she is especially passionate about dogs, birds, and rabbits. Ava currently has Brittany, a spaniel dog named ‘Kane’ and a budgie named ‘Birdie’ (who she has had since she was about 5 years old) In her free time Ava enjoys baking, playing netball, and traveling.

Meet our Veterinarians

Dr Jaclyn Gatt BVSc MVS MANZCVS (Unusual Pets)

Veterinary Director

Dr Jaclyn Gatt graduated from Melbourne University in 2010 and worked for almost 5 years in one of Melbourne’s busiest hospitals as a small animal and exotic pet vet. She spent 2.5 years working in emergency and critical care before opening the Bird & Exotic Animal Clinic in December 2016.

In February 2015 Jaclyn completed a Masters of Veterinary Studies in Conservation Medicine through Murdoch University, covering a wide range of species including those commonly kept as pets, along with zoo animals and wildlife. As part of the masters she spent a month working at the Auckland Zoo, gaining first hand experience in an even broader range of species including Tuatara!

Jaclyn is a professional interest practitioner with a vast range of experience seeing a large number of primary and referral exotic cases. Her favourite topics include emergency and critical care of exotic pets, rabbit dentistry and soft tissue surgery.

A regular attendee at ExoticsCon, ICARE, the AVA’s Unusual Pet and Avian Veterinarian’s conference, she is a member of AEMV (Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians) and the AAV (Association of Avian Veterinarians). Add to this a lifetime of owning and caring for avian and exotic pets, and its no surprise where her passion has come from.

Dr Jacob Freilikh BVSc BAVBS

Veterinarian

Dr Jacob lived in Far North Queensland for 5 years while studying veterinary medicine at James Cook University, from which he graduated at the end of 2021. He moved down here with his wife, Gali, to Melbourne to join the BEAC team in February 2022. He is slowly getting used to the cold Melbourne weather!  

Dr Jacob and Gali have a beautiful rescue dog named Callie. When not in the clinic, he is watching marvel movies with his wife, playing Pokémon on his Nintendo Switch, or throwing a ball for his adorable doggo. He is an avid Sydney Swans, Manchester United and Roosters fan and loves his sports.

Dr Jacob is a true animal lover and has a special interest in all things birds and exotics. His favourite type of bird is a hyacinth macaw. Dr J is a nurturing and talented young Vet who wants only the best care for your pet!

Dr Selma Gotsbacher

Veterinarian

Bio to come!

Dr Wing Pong BVSc

Veterinarian

Dr. Wing embarked on her veterinary journey at The University of Queensland in Gatton. She was surrounded by exotic pets growing up, including chinchillas and hamsters—species you won’t see in Australia. To pursue her passion for exotic animal medicine, she made the move to Melbourne to join the BEAC team, bringing along her feathered companions, Pepper the chicken and Pop-pop the king quail.

Beyond her veterinary duties, Dr. Wing enjoys staying active through hobbies such as badminton and cycling. She also likes bringing ideas to life on paper, often found sketching in her free time.

Having exotic animals as cherished family members, she deeply understands the bonds shared between pets and their owners. Dr. Wing is passionate about ensuring the health and happiness of every pet she treats, forging lasting relationships with both pets and their families.

Meet our Nurses

Samantha CVN RVN

Co-Head Veterinary Nurse

Samantha has been a Registered Veterinary Nurse with the Australian Veterinary Nurse and Technician Registration Scheme (AVNAT) since its launch in mid 2019. She is also on the Victorian committee of the Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia. She has been with the BEAC team since December 2019.

Samantha has always had a passion for exotics and knew from the beginning she wanted to work with exotics and wildlife. At home she has an 18-year-old cat named Earwig and a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo called Chicken.

Samantha’s hobbies include cosplaying, sewing, 3D printing/modelling, gaming, motorbike riding and pole dancing (its going to the gym but a lot more fun!) In October 2022 she went to Africa for 8 weeks travelling and volunteering in a wildlife hospital!

Alesha AVN

Co-Head Veterinary Nurse

Alesha has been a nurse at BEAC since September 2019 after completing placement here while studying towards an Associate’s Degree in Veteinary Nursing. She grew up surrounded by all things birds and aquatic so has always had an interest in exotic creatures.

Alesha has a vast background working with wildlife in shelter and rescue settings alike. Her main areas of  interest are fish, axolotls, wildlife and birds of all shapes and sizes!

Outside of work, Alesha enjoys spending time with her beloved dog Archie, camping and travelling to new and exciting places all around Australia.

Dorothy BVN

Veterinary Nurse

Dorothy (or more commonly known as Dot) has been nursing at BEAC since 2019 and has completed her Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing degree in 2021.

She has a special interest in exotic medicine, but guinea pigs (potatoes on legs) in particular, never cease to amaze her. She is a mum to 4 piggies of her own; Mille, Ruby, and Ellie, and a naughty kitty called Betty who also loves to eat hay when nobody’s watching.

In her own time Dorothy likes to power lift at the gym, read, and cluck back at her chicken patients.

Lucy

Veterinary Nurse

Bio to come!

Alex

Trainee Veterinary Nurse

After serving in the Royal Australian Navy, Alex moved to South Africa in 2009 to work with wildlife. She initially started in anti-poaching before moving to research, guiding and reserve management, specialising in the population, identification, and management of the Spotted Hyaena.

With various qualifications in wildlife care and management, she has spent the last 7 years working in the veterinary field on South Africa’s Wild Coast where she loved community animal health, captive wildlife care, and game capture so she is back in Australia to get her formal Veterinary Nursing qualifications. She is currently studying for a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at Kangan Institute.

In her spare time Alex loves to play fetch with her Jack Russell, Squigs, practice photography, and is always keen to go to the cricket in summer

Sam

Veterinary Nurse

Sam has been with the BEAC team since April 2022 and has a Certificate IV of Veterinary Nursing from The Gordon Institute of TAFE in Geelong. His area of interest primarily involves birds, reptiles, and fish.

He has always loved animals (especially the weird ones) and has a passion for educating people about our pet’s amazing superpowers. Sam’s hobbies include reading, gaming, and drawing.

At home, Sam is the father of 5 snakes, 2 cats and 1 gecko; Lana and Violet are Childrens Pythons, Dandy Mott and Sister Mary Eunice are Stimsons Pythons, Honey is a Woma, Catherine is a Northern Spiny Tailed Gecko and Cowboy and Rudy are the cats!

Monique

Client Liaison

Monique joined the BEAC team in early 2024 after having travelled all around Australia chasing her love for animals and wildlife. From handling snakes and reptiles in Northern Territory to rehabilitation and turtle tours over in far north Queensland to being an animal council ranger in Sydney, she has always brought her love for all things furry, scaly, and feathery wherever she goes. Her love for animals started at a young age when she would go exploring in the bush that her backyard led into, looking for animals to catch and bring back to the house. 

In her spare time, Monique likes to keep active with camping in her 4WD, Bouldering and Rock Climbing and even Pole Dancing.

Meet our Leadership Team

Shirley! PhD in Attitude

Clinic Manager

Our amazing clinic manager is Shirley! Shirley has been with us since the beginning of 2019. Her past is a bit of a mystery as she refuses to tell us anything as she came to us as a stray and was never claimed. Oh, we forgot to mention, Shirley is a Shingle-Back Lizard!

If you’re ever in a consult room with her, she will either be asleep under her rock or scratching at the glass of her enclosure begging for food. She knows the day of the week and will be at the glass demanding food because she knows it’s a feeding day.

If you are lucky enough to be around when she is taking a stroll (you may have seen her sign “BEWARE THE LURKING DINOSAUR” because she likes to hide behind the door) she may mistake you for food and try to eat your fingers, so be careful. She also will show her displeasure about being held for longer than 0.001 seconds by weeing on whoever is holding her. 

She is a bit of a grump, but it is part of her charm, and we love her.

Sue CVN DipECC

Practice Manager

After High School, Sue decided to study film-making and journalism, and worked a very varied career in up to 10 disparate jobs (from weight loss consultant to short order cook to hotel housekeeper) before finally choosing Veterinary Nursing. She started in GP but after 8 years there, discovered a love of emergency and critical care work, and went on to work as an overnight ICU nurse for 9 more years. During that time, she grew passionate about ensuring that ALL animals receive the care they need, including wildlife, homeless pets and of course – exotic animals.

Having worked sporadically at BEAC for over a year, she was delighted to start full time as the Practice Manager in November 2024. She hopes to support the wonderful BEAC team to achieve even greater levels of excellence.

In her spare time, she enjoys watching and reviewing movies, writing her novel, reading, cooking yummy vegan food, and lots of socialising!

She has quite the menagerie at home with 5 cats (Wolfgang, Davey Rae, Eugenie, Scout and Huckleberry), 3 green cheek conures (Asa, Stanley and Roebuck) and 3 guinea pigs (Boston, Eartha and Lana).