At Camvet, we have a full staff of veterinary professionals. From our highly trained Veterinarians to our capable Vet Nurses and our compassionate office staff, we are all here to provide your pet the best care.


Gavin Rippon

Veterinarian and Hospital Director (Bachelor of Veterinary Science BVSC)


Gavin graduated from the University of Queensland in 1991. In 1992 he moved to Port Macquarie to begin working for Frank Arnell at the Port Macquarie Veterinary Hospital. Frank also had a practice in Laurieton called the Camden Haven Veterinary Clinic.

Gavin worked between here and the Port Macquarie clinic until January 1995 when he purchased the clinic in Laurieton. In 2013 it was time for a change so he renamed the  clinic 'Camvet'.

Gavin has developed a special interest in reptiles over the years and has many snakes of his own, as well as  "Chase" the Collie, "Henry" the Golden Retriever, and cats Kendall and Dude.

Chris Simmonds

Veterinarian (Bachelor of Veterinary Science BVSC)


Chris studied Master of Veterinary Science at both Universitites of Sydney and Murdoch (Perth).

Chris is a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists.

Even after 30 plus years as a Vet, Chris still wakes up each day looking forward to working at Camvet.

Chris enjoys working with animals and helping pet owners.

Claire D'Alpuget

Veterinarian (Bachelor of Veterinary Science BVSC)


Claire originally grew up in the southern suburbs of Sydney and has always been passionate about animals.

After leaving Claire travelled to Wagga Wagga Nsw where she completed an Animal Science degree at Charles Sturt University. From there she worked as a Vet Nurse in Sydney for a year before moving to Townsville QLD to study Veterinary Science.

Claire has always played a volunteer role in animal rescue groups and local wildlife groups to help the local community.

Claire has a keen interest in all species both great and small, and particularly loves establishing a relationship with clients and their fur babies.

Claire can be seen walking and hiking sound the Camden Haven with her cocker spaniel Tilly 

Shelley Smith

Practice Manager

A passion for all creatures big and small has led Shelley to work with animals in different capacities for her entire life. Having worked as a Veterinary Nurse with Camvet since 2016, she is the perfect fit for her current role of Practice Manager/Senior Veterinary Nurse.

Shelley has a special interest in reproduction, neonatal care, wildlife and emergency/ critical care. 

When not at Camvet, Shelley enjoys spending most of her time with her horses and dogs.

Annette Payne

Administration Manager


Annette came to Camvet in December 2020, she is from a little town in southern Sydney and has been living on the Mid North Coast for 18 years.

Annette balances her time between Administration and Reception. Annette started in Vet Nursing and then went into the horse industry breeding, training and as a riding instructor.

Annette is a qualified dog & cat groomer, but her background is primarily in the Banking and Finance industry.

Annette holds a Diploma in Accounting and runs her own meat goat farm.

Annette enjoys spending time with her family relaxing on their property, with all their goats, horses, chickens, dogs and cats.

Donna Wheeler



Donna has recently joined Camvet as a Receptionist.

Donna has a background in Customer Service and is an avid Penrith supporter.

Donna loves animals and has 3 dogs of her own.

Cassie Shaw

Veterinary Nurse


Cassie joined Camvet in 2019 and completed her Certificate 4 in Vet Nursing in 2020.

Cassie enjoys working with all types of animals and absolutely adores bulldogs.

Cassie loves getting to know the clients and all their beautiful pets

Faith Catania

Veterinary Nurse


Faith started working at the clinic as a teenager. She completed her Certificate 4 in Vet Nursing at Tamworth TAFE in 2013.

Faith has a special interest in Emergency Nursing enjoying the fast pace and more intensive cases.

Kylie Bruyn

Veterinary Nurse

Kirstie Appleby

Veterinary Nurse


Kirstie came to Camvet back in 2017 as a work placement student.

Kirstie is currently studying a Certificate 4 in Vet Nursing.

Kirstie has experience in dog grooming and enjoys horse riding in her spare time.

Melanie Edwards

Veterinary Nurse


Mel has been with Camvet for over 16 years, she started in Year 10 as a work experience student and in 2005 went on to complete her Certificate 4 in Vet Nursing at Tamworth TAFE.

 The last couple of years has seen Mel more on reception where she enjoys greeting clients and their fur babies and assisting them with any questions or concerns.

Mel has a passion for all animals great and small and this has extended to her home where she has 5 cats, 2 dogs and many exotic fish.

Sophia Harman

Veterinary Nurse


Sophia grew up in North Island New Zealand, before moving to Australia in 2009. She has worked all over Australia including a large outback cattle station in Western Australia, and equine breeding and veterinary facility.

Sophia is now living in Camden Haven and joined Camvet in 2019. 

Sophia enjoys working at Camvet and has a special interest in reptiles and wildlife and is currently studying with Taronga Zoo.

You can often find Sophia fishing on the beach catching dinner.

Laura Austin

Trainee Veterinary Nurse


Laura studied at the Australian College of Vet Nursing and also at TAFE NSW.

Laura came to Camvet for her work placement whilst studying  and has stayed on as a Vet Nurse.

Laura enjoys providing hospital patient care and has a special interest in horses.


Clinic Cat


Kevin is Camvet's resident cat and is loved by all who meet him.

Kevin spends his days relaxing in the clinic and helps our boarding cats to settle in with his chilled out attitude.

Kevin's favourite past time is eating and sleeping and loves getting chin rubs.

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