About Us

Our Veterinarians

Dr James Tiernan


James was raised in country Queensland. After growing up with lots of pets, becoming a veterinarian was a natural progression for James.

Following graduation with a Veterinary Science degree from the University of Queensland in 2001 James moved to the UK and worked in several busy small animal clinics dealing with dogs, cats, and many other small furry patients that are common in the UK such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice and birds. Whilst in the UK James successfully passed examinations in a General Practitioner Certificate in Small Animal Medicine [GPCert (SAM)] through the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies. This was extremely useful in helping James to further build his skills in small animal medicine.

After spending eight years in the UK, James returned to Australia with Jane. On returning to Australia, James spent a short period of time at the University of Queensland Veterinary Small Animal Hospital before moving to Victoria and starting employment at the Western Animal Emergency Centre based at Werribee which is part of the Melbourne University Veterinary Hospital in 2009.

In June 2010 James and Jane were very excited to take over ownership of the Highton Veterinary clinic; it had long been their dream to have their own clinic. They have enjoyed working with the very capable staff and meeting all the clients and their pets.

James’ main interest is mostly in small animal medicine, especially emergency medicine. He also has a soft spot for cats (particularly British Short Hairs) and loves Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Outside of work James keeps busy with his young children Seamus, Niamh, Aislin and Declan and enjoys cycling and the odd run. His pets Abbie, Paddy, Fergus & Sebastian keep him busy.

At the clinic you can see James for just about anything related to your pets health, but in particular general medicine and emergency cases, as well as all pocket pets.

Dr Jane Tiernan


Jane is originally from Drysdale and always wanted to be a veterinarian from a very early age after growing up surrounded by animals. She attended school in Geelong before starting her Veterinary Science studies at the University of Melbourne. After attaining her Veterinary degree in 2000 Jane worked in mixed practice in Bendigo before moving to the UK for seven years. During her time in the UK Jane worked in several locum positions around England and Wales before taking a job at a busy Veterinary Charity Hospital in London.

After Jane married her husband James, they left the UK and moved back to her hometown Geelong and Jane took on a job at the Corio Veterinary Clinic before coming to Highton. Jane and James took over ownership of the Highton Veterinary Clinic in mid-2010.

Jane has done postgraduate studies in Small Animal Medicine and has been admitted to the Medicine Chapter of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. She has also done additional study in small animal surgery with the University of Sydney Post Graduate Foundation course. Jane enjoys both small animal medicine and surgery cases.

Jane and James have a very spoilt dog called Abbie, who is often seen around the clinic and their cats Paddy, Fergus and Sebastian. Lucky Paddy was brought back with Jane and James from the UK and is thoroughly enjoying his new Australian life.

At the clinic you can see Jane for just about anything related to your pets health, but in particular general medicine and surgery cases.

Dr Susanne Jacker


Sue is a local Geelong girl, growing up in Highton. After finishing her secondary schooling in Geelong she went to the University of Melbourne and completed a Veterinary Science degree graduating in 1997. After graduation Sue moved back to Geelong and has now been working at the Highton Veterinary Clinic for over ten years. During her time at the clinic she has gained a wealth of knowledge in the veterinary world and has developed a strong rapport with many of the clients and their pets. Sue is known for her bubbly personality and caring nature.

Sue’s special interests are feline medicine and ultrasonography, and she has done numerous courses on these subjects. Having two Birman cats herself, she has been known to spend ages doting on these cats given the opportunity. However Sue enjoys all animals brought into the clinic, especially the dogs she’s taught in puppy class that have gone on to mature into lovely pets and companions.

Sue works part time as spends the rest of the time being Mum to her little son Jay.

At the clinic you can see Sue for just about anything related to your pet’s health, but in particular ultrasonography and feline medicine cases.

Dr Marion Vince


Marion moved to Geelong two years ago from Gippsland. Since then she has been thrilled to be part of the team at Highton Vet Clinic.

Marion graduated from Murdoch University in Western Australia in 2008 and since then has immersed herself in a variety of large and small animal veterinary care. The personal and unique bond between humans and their furry family members has drawn her to focus just on small animal medicine and surgery (although she does miss tubing horses and pulling calves at midnight!).

In her spare time Marion enjoys running her dogs on the beach, bike-riding at the Youies, and swimming.

At the clinic you can see Marion for just about anything related to your pets health, but in particular, she has a keen interest in emergency medicine and feline medicine and likes to keep updated on all the latest research.

Dr Luke Ellis


Luke is new to Geelong and new to the clinic. He has massive interest in surgery cases, so if you need something cut off or repaired he can’t wait to see you! Luke has recently moved with his partner from Ballarat where he had been working in a local vet clinic for the past 3 years.

Luke is enjoying seeing a greater variety of interesting cases amongst our patients. He is also hoping to do more study in the area of small animal surgery and says Highton Vet Clinic really offers a great opportunity for gaining experience in the field.

Luke has a chocolate Labrador named Charlie Brown. Outside of work he enjoys exploring the wineries around Geelong and on the Bellarine. He is also a big sports fan especially of Los Angeles in the NHL hockey. Oh and he barracks for Collingwood!

At the clinic you can see Luke for just about anything related to your pets health, and particularly for soft tissue and orthopaedic related surgery.

Dr Rachael Johnstone


Rachael is another local girl, she has lived most of her life in Geelong. She graduated with first class honours from Melbourne University. Her first job was in Geelong Clinic establishing her skills in small animal practice.

After a couple of years she took the opportunity to pursue her dream of dairy cattle practice in Warrnambool. She spent over 2 years performing calvings in the wind and rain and loved every minute of it. Her next position was working in emergency medicine at the Western Animal Emergency Centre at the Melbourne University Vet Clinic and Hospital.

More recently she has worked Saturdays part time while raising her family of four young children. She has 2 young cats, Garfield and Nermal (named by the kids) and 3 backyard chooks. In her small amount of spare time she enjoys baking, especially with chocolate.

At the clinic you can see Rachael for just about anything related to your pets health, but in particular general medicine and emergency cases.

Dr Mahala Gunther

Mahala grew up in the Geelong region and after 15 years of living a working in both Australia and overseas, she has recently returned to Geelong to join the team at Highton Vet.

Mahala has a mixed background having started her career in environmental science before moving to NSW to pursue a veterinary career with a mixed practice focus; taking up additional roles in animal welfare and wildlife rescue.

Mahala’s family is always growing with Ming a giant Tibetan mastiff, Athena a tiny Pomerian X and a Lani- a medium sized good mix of everything. She is also looking forward to her two cats, two chickens and rabbit joining her and her partner soon as they settle into Geelong.

In her spare time, you will often find Mahala at the beach with her dogs, enjoying live music, mountain biking or camping with friends.

At the clinic you can see Mahala for just about anything relating to your pet’s health. Her special interests are dermatology and skin, allergy and immune-based disease, endocrinology, avian health and diseases of our older geriatric patients.

Dr Marguerite Treloar

DVM BSc (Hons)

Marguerite recently moved to Geelong from Werribee. She is excited to join the team at Highton Vet Clinic.

Marguerite was raised on a farm near Wagga Wagga in southern New South Wales. She undertook a biology degree at the University of Wollongong on the New South Wales south coast after finishing school. Motivated by the variety and challenge offered by a veterinary career, she later completed her veterinary studies at the University of Melbourne.

Marguerite has two guinea pigs and is planning on getting some chickens soon. Outside of work she enjoys swimming, the outdoors, cooking, travelling, reading, sewing and other crafts and spending time with her family and friends.

At the clinic you can see Marguerite for just about anything relating to your pets health. Her special interests are dentistry and unusual pets, particularly rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens

Dr Kristian  Danorwayan

Details coming soon

At the clinic you can see Kristian for just about anything relating to your pet’s health. Her special interests are medical cases.

Our Veterinary Nurses


Head Nurse and Surgical Corodinator




Head Nurse and Reception Corodinator



Veterinary Nurse



Veterinary Nurse 



Veterinary Nurse



Veterinary Nurse



Veterinary Nurse



Training Veterinary Nurse



Veterinary Nurse 


Veterinary Nurse 


Kennel Assistant 

Our Support Team

Jennie Deckker 

Practice Manager 






Insurance Coordinator  and Administrative Assistant










Puppy and Dog Trainer and Behavioural Consultant







Clinic Cat



Contact Us

(03) 5243 0077

Monday to Friday 8am to 7.30pm
Saturday 8am to 4pm
Sunday 10am to 4pm

Have a Question? We Can Help

3 + 9 =

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Expert pet care advice, seasonal health alerts, and special offers

You have Successfully Subscribed!