Meet our dedicated team of staff.
Our Veterinary Nurses
Dr Matt O'Donnell BVSc MANZCVS(Small animal surgery)
Veterinarian and Hospital Owner
Matt graduated from the University of Sydney in 1992 and has been working in the Illawarra for over 20 years. His early career was spent in mixed practice and more recently Matt has developed a keen interest in small animal surgery becoming a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Surgeons (Small Animal Surgery Chapter) in 2008. He also enjoys delving into radiology and ultrasound.
When not working, Matt is kept busy with 3 children, Pepper the Cavoodle and 1 gold fish! He also likes to sneak out for a bike ride or maybe the odd surf when he can.
Dr Sarah Anderson BVSc
Dr Sarah graduated from the University of Sydney as a veterinarian in 2011 and has worked extensively in veterinary specialist centres in Sydney. She brings this knowledge and experience to NIVH, as well as her interest in animal welfare, health and behaviour. Dr Sarah lives locally with her husband and outside of being a vet, she has an amazing musical background and an interest in sailing, camping, bush walking, mountain biking and yoga.
Dr Lisa Kavanagh BVSc
Dr Lisa graduated from the University of Sydney as a veterinarian in 2007 and gained a Master of Veterinary Studies in Small Animal Practice from Murdoch University in 2016. Dr Lisa has worked extensively in veterinary practices in the Sydney region and comes to NIVH with a wealth of experience and knowledge. She was most recently employed as a senior clinician in a busy practice in south west Sydney.
When not at work, Dr Lisa enjoys yoga, vintage treasure hunting, cooking, reading, music and hanging out with her Great Dane, Floyd and her gorgeous birds, Goose and Kermit.
Dr Jenny O'Donnell BVSc MVetClinStud
Jenny graduated from the University of Sydney in 1992 where she met her husband Matt and also completed a Masters Degree in Veterinary Clinical Studies in 2001. She has worked in both mixed and small animal practice and in more recent years, in between having three children, has spent time as the Executive Office of veterinary charity Vets Beyond Borders and is now Head Teacher of Veterinary nursing at TAFE NSW. Jenny loves helping out at NIVH and supporting Matt with the hospital management.
I have worked as a veterinary nurse since 2000 at several local hospitals, an emergency centre in Sydney and in the UK. I have a special interest in medical nursing, radiology and animal behaviour and am currently studying Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services with The Delta Society, which focuses on training and behaviour. I am a local girl with a young family and two fur babies -15 year old Leroy, a Border Terrier, and 10 year old Huey, a cross breed. I enjoy spending time at the beach, going on holidays and being with family and friends.
After graduating year from St Mary’s Star of The Sea College in Wollongong I was accepted into Ultimo TAFE to study Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. Since graduating I have become more passionate about my job and the health and welfare of animals. There are many rewarding aspects of being a veterinary nurse, what I love most about my job is caring for the animals when they are admitted into hospital for treatment and surgical procedures.
I have completed Certificate ll in Animal Studies and Certificate lV in Veterinary Nursing and have spent many years in general veterinary practice. The last 8 years I've been working Accident Emergency and Critical Care at The Animal Referral Hospital. I am a keen surfer and love my yoga. When not working and surfing I am mum to 3 human kids and 4 fur kids (Whimsy the French Bulldog, Herbie the poodle x, Lollie the Whippet and Twix the Burmese).
I am a northern Illawarra local girl. I have recently completed my Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at TAFE NSW at Yallah and I am passionate about all things animal! What I love most about my job at NIVH is that every day is different. Whether I am providing compassionate and professional care for our patients when they are admitted into our hospital or educating owners on maintaining good health in their pets - I love my job!.
In my spare time when I’m not at work, I am an adventurous person that loves to travel. I also love hanging out with and caring for my four beautiful fur kids (3 Chihuahuas and 1 cheeky Pug).
After starting with NIVH as a casual veterinary nurse I have recently joined the team on a regular basis. I have worked locally as a nurse for 10 years and still love it just as much as the day I started. I have also studied zoo keeping but my heart has always been set on veterinary nursing. I have a special interest in surgery, behaviour and care of neonates. Things I love about my job are no two days are ever the same, you never know what you will be caring for next. I love being able to make a difference to our clients and patients through the care they receive from us. We have a great, passionate team at NIVH and I'm very proud to be part of it. When I'm not working I'm kept busy looking after my 2 young kids and 4 fur kids, as well as 2 birds and Franklin the turtle.