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Sydney Animal Behaviour Service - Staff Profiles

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Specialists, Residents, Interns -understanding the difference:

A specialist is a veterinarian who has done many years of extensive study, done research that has been published in peer reviewed journals as well as passed examinations covering a very high level of knowledge. They are recognised not only by fellow veterinarians but also the veterinary registration boards in each State and Territory as having the highest levels of skills and knowledge in their field of expertise.

A resident is a veterinarian who has started on their road to becoming a specialist in a particular area of veterinary medicine. A residency usually takes between 3-5 years of seeing cases under the supervision of a specialist, extensive study and research before they are ready to qualify to sit their examinations to become a specialist.

An intern is a veterinarian who has generally already undertaken additional training in their field of interest. As an intern they are starting on their journey to get further training under the supervision of a specialist in order to equip them to commence further training as a resident.

Our Veterinary Behaviour Specialist:

Dr Kersti SekselDr Kersti Seksel


Registered Veterinary Specialist, Behavioural Medicine

Dr Kersti Seksel is a boarded veterinary specialist in behavioural medicine in the Australian, American and European Colleges and Adjunct Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga NSW. She is a Fear Free Certified Professional.

She is fascinated by animals and why they do what they do. She is passionate about helping people understand animals better so she can improve the lives of people and their pets.

Kersti pioneered Puppy Preschool® and Kitten Kindy® classes, teaches the distance education course in Behavioural Medicine for CVE (University of Sydney). She presents at conferences nationally and internationally, runs webinars, writes text book chapters, has written a book Training Your Cat, is a regular presenter on radio and TV and is a consultant on VIN.

Our Second Year Resident in Behavioural Medicine:

Dr Grace Thurtell Dr Grace Thurtell


Grace graduated from the University of Sydney in 2015 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, and has since been working in a small animal practice in Penrith

Before beginning her veterinary degree, Grace worked in various pet industries - boarding kennels, pet shops and veterinary hospitals, to improve her knowledge and skills with animals. During the course of her veterinary degree, Grace worked as a veterinary nurse at Terrey Hills Animal Hospital on the North Shore. Along with this experience, Grace grew up with cats, dogs, guinea pigs, mice, fish etc. and has regularly worked on her father's family sheep and cattle farm outside of Orange NSW.

Grace has always had a special interest in the behaviour of animals, and since graduating has been aiming to further develop her knowledge in this field of veterinary medicine. To start that journey she completed an online Continuing Veterinary Education course in small animal behaviour, run by Dr Jacqui Ley, and most recently attended the weeklong Small Animal Behaviour Conference, run by Dr Kersti Seksel and Dr Sarah Heath.

Grace is undertaking her residency with SABS, and looks forward to the challenge of achieving her final goal of becoming a specialist in veterinary behavioural medicine.

Our Veterinary Nurse and Behavioural Trainer:

Jenny Head Jenny Head

Jenny is a qualified veterinary nurse, Delta accredited trainer and she is currently teaching Animal Studies at TAFE NSW. Jenny started working at Seaforth Veterinary Hospital as a veterinary nurse in 1988 where she stayed for 15 years. Jenny has been conducting and running Puppy Training Classes within vet hospitals since their inception in 1991. Jenny has furthered her studies in animal training in Australia and overseas. She has also presented at conferences and seminars for veterinarians, veterinary nurses and trainers about puppy and kitten training.

Jenny has also owned and bred Standard Poodles for 25 years. She continues to show her poodles and teaches others how to groom. At home she has a menagerie of her own animals including cats, reptiles and birds, as well as her husband and 18 year old and 20 year old children.

Jenny is in the office at SABS on Monday and Friday providing client support as well as doing administration duties. She has a passion for helping others with their animals as well as all things behaviour.

Our Practice Manager:

Jenny Edwards

Jenny Edwards


Jenny is originally from South Africa but has called Australia home for the past 26 years. She has worked in Finance, Retail, Insurance and Recruitment but for the past 12 years has worked in Veterinary practice. Jenny has always loved animals and is happiest working in this field. She shares her life with husband Anton and Golden Retriever Gracie . Jenny is returning to work at SABS after extended travel.

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Last modified: February 27, 2020