Sydney Animal Behaviour Service - Staff Profiles
Our Behaviour Specialist:
Dr Kersti Seksel
BVSc(Hons), MRCVS, MA(Hons), FACVSc(Animal Behaviour), Diplomate ACVB, CMAVA, Dip ECVBM-CA
Registered Veterinary Specialist, Behavioural Medicine
Kersti graduated in Veterinary Science from Sydney University and became very interested in animal behaviour while working overseas. To further her knowledge she went back to university graduating from Macquarie University with a BA in Behavioural Sciences with a major in psychology. In 1992 she began developing the program of Puppy Preschools® in veterinary hospitals around Australia. This interest led her to complete a MA (Hons) degree by thesis on the long and short term behavioural effects of puppy socialisation and training programs. She is a registered veterinary specialist in Animal Behaviour, a Fellow of the Australian College of Veterinary scientists in Animal Behaviour, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviourists and a Diplomat of the European College of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine- Companion Animals. She is an adjunct senior lecturer at Charles Sturt University and honorary associate at University of Sydney. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Kersti is the principal of a specialist referral only practice for animal behaviour in Sydney, head of the behaviour department at the Melbourne Veterinary Specialist Centre and sees clients all around Australia. She has several residents in behavioural medicine and mentors others through their behavioural membership. She is the tutor in Behavioural Medicine Course (Distance Education for the Centre for Veterinary Education, University of Sydney. Currently she is the President of the Australian Companion Animal Council, chair of the Companion Animal sectoral group of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy, and serves on the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee of the NSW government and sits on the Animal Welfare Advisory Working group for Dairy Australia. She is a former President of the Australian Veterinary Association, President of the Chapter of Animal Behaviour as well as Council member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists.
Kersti has presented at numerous conferences and meetings in Australia, NZ UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Estonia and other European countries, USA, China, South Africa and Japan. She has published numerous papers in scientific journals, magazines and periodicals, numerous chapters in numerous text books, written a book Training Your Cat and is a regular contributor to print and electronic media. Currently she is a regular presenter on ABC radio on pet care and behaviour columnist for Dog’s Life Magazine and Your Garden, contributor to several other magazines as well as a consultant on VIN (Veterinary Information Network) in the USA.
Our Veterinary Behaviourists:
Dr Gaille Perry
BVSc, MACVSc(Animal Behaviour), PhD, DipEd, BedSt, Cert IV in Assessment and Workplace Training, CMAVA
A UQ graduate, Gaille worked in mixed practice for 10 years, as well as breeding, training and showing Border Collies, Old English Sheepdogs and Arabian horses. She returned to university to complete a Diploma of Education then a Bachelor of Educational Studies. Her lifelong interest in animal behaviour led to a membership of the College of Veterinary Scientists in 1993 and a PhD in animal behaviour at UQ with Assoc. Prof. Judith Bradshaw in 1999.
For 26 years Gaille was a principal teacher at Brisbane North Institute of TAFE, retiring from that position in 2011 to pursue her other interests. She continues as Director of Studies for the Delta Instructors Course, consultant at Sydney Animal Behaviour Service and to the RSPCA Queensland. She completed a project for the RSPCA to produce a national dog training course in 2012 and has now embarked on one to produce a validated behaviour assessment for dogs.
Gaille has held most positions in the Behaviour Chapter of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists and Australian Veterinary Behaviour Interest Group and retains membership of both groups. She has been a member of the AVA conference organizing committee for 6 years and regularly speaks at local, national and international behaviour conferences.
Dr Jacqui Ley
BVSc (Hons), MANZVCS(VeterinaryBehaviour), PhD, CMAVA, DECVBM-CA
Jacqui graduated from Melbourne University Veterinary School in 1995 and entered small animal veterinary practice. A long time interest in animals, animal behaviour and training led her to undertake a Membership to the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Veterinary Behaviour in 2000. She then combined general small animal practice with veterinary behaviour practice running a home visit behaviour practice in Melbourne. Looking to understand more about behaviour, she left small animal practice for the world of research and investigated tests for measuring fear in dogs. After a brief hiatus to produce twin boys, Jacqui returned to research and has just completed a PhD at Monash University developing a model and questionnaire for describing canine personality. Other research interests include cat ownership, the decisions breeders make when choosing to breed their dogs and the role of canine personality in successful human-animal relationships. As well she has been involved in teaching the Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare at Monash University. She has continued to see behaviour cases during this time.
Jacqui has a long time interest in competition dog training and has competed in Obedience, Tracking, Agility and Endurance. She has also been an instructor at 3 community based clubs in Victoria and been involved in doing education seminars for club instructors.
Jacqui will be undertaking her training towards becoming a registered specialist in Veterinary Behaviour, the first Australian resident in Veterinary behaviour. She is looking forward to meeting the clients of SABS.
Sydney Animal Behaviour Service thanks Hills Pet Nutrition for supporting the first residency in Behavioural Medicine in Australia.
Dr Caroline Perrin
BVSc MACVSc (Veterinary Behaviour) CMAVA
Caroline graduated from the University of Melbourne with a BVSc in 1996. She has worked in a number of small animal practices in Melbourne and the UK since graduation. This piqued an interest in the fascinating field of behaviour inspiring further study and attainment of membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Veterinary Behaviour in 2006.
Since then she has divided her time between general practice and seeing behaviour referrals in Melbourne. She has also presented seminars to vets, nurses, trainers and other people interested in behaviour.
Caroline has been an Examiner for candidates for Membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientist in Veterinary Behaviour. She is currently secretary of the Australian Veterinary Behaviour Interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association.
Sydney Animal Behaviour Service thanks Ceva for supporting Dr Caroline Perrin's residency in Behavioural Medicine.
Dr Heather Chee
BVSc(HonsI) MANZCVS(Veterinary Behaviour)
Heather graduated from the University of Sydney in 2007. She worked for 5 years in small animal private practice in Newcastle and the ACT where she developed a strong interest in behavioural medicine.
In 2012 she attained membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Veterinary Behaviour before moving back to Sydney to be part of the veterinary behaviour team at the RSPCA NSW working in shelters throughout the state.
Dr Sally Nixon
BVSc MANZCVSc (Veterinary Behaviour)
Sally has worked as a veterinarian for 14 years, working in mixed large and small animal practices in rural Australia as well as small animal practices in more urban areas. She has worked in the United Kingdom for 3 years of that time and she has enjoyed volunteering on projects in India, Kenya and the Cook Islands. She spent 2 years working for Vets Beyond Borders in the development and management of the project now known as Bylakuppe Rabies and Disease Control Programme, based in southern India.
In 2010, Sally completed a behaviour medicine course in Luxembourg, which sparked a strong interest in this field of veterinary science. Realising that more study would be required, Sally decided that she would return home to Australia to further her education.
After completing the behaviour medicine postgraduate course through the Centre of Veterinary Education at the University of Sydney Postgraduate Foundation, Sally went on to study further, completing her membership exams in 2013 and becoming accepted into the behaviour medicine chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists.
Sally now runs her own behaviour medicine consultancy from her base in northeast Victoria and travels intermittently to Sydney to offer her skills at Sydney Animal Behaviour Service.
Our Practice Manager:
Jenny originally heralds from South Africa but has made Australia her home since 1991. With experience in finance, retail, insurance and recruitment Jenny is now primarily interested in assisting animals and has been running the practise at Sydney Animal Behaviour Service since 2005. Jenny currently shares her life with a Beagle called Zeke who also assists in day to day affairs at SABS.