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We do our work because we love animals - Our nurses are the ones doing the behind-the-scenes caring, ensuring a comfortable and low-stress visit. Constantly training and learning, they are a truly valuable, and valued, part of the team.




Dr. Donna McGrath BVSc (Hons)        

Dr. Donna McGrath grew up in the Hills District with an array of family pets. She studied Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, graduating in 2001 with First Class Honours.

Over the last 19 years she has worked in small, country clinics in regional NSW and big, busy veterinary hospitals here, in Sydney, and in the United Kingdom. This has allowed her to gain a broad range of experience and develop the knowledge and skills she needs to provide the best possible care for your pets.

Donna has a particular interest in the health of senior pets as she believes it is an area where she can make a big difference. She is passionate about caring for all animals and helping them to live long, happy, healthy lives.

Donna lives in Castle Hill with her husband, 2 young daughters, a rescue cat - Coco and their 2 dogs Monte & Carlo, the Hungarian Vizsla's.


Dr. Eleanor Tuffley BVSc

Eleanor has more than 20 years experience working as a small animal veterinarian. After graduating, she worked for several years in the UK before moving back home to Sydney in 1996. She relishes a diagnostic challenge in medicine, and enjoys surgery. More recently she has developed a special interest in animal behaviour after diagnosing her own dog with anxiety. She has completed postgraduate studies in behavioural medicine and is a member of the Australian Veterinary Behaviour Interest Group (AVBIG).

Eleanor is married with three young children and understands the joys and hard work involved in maintaining a home full of kids and animals. Eleanor loves playing sport including soccer, ultimate frisbee and tennis as well as coaching her daughter’s netball team.


Dr. Katie Syms BVSc (Hons)

Katie grew up in the Hills district, after being a Student at James Ruse Agricultural High School she followed her love of animals and interest of science to Sydney University. Here she graduated with second class honours from Veterinary Science in 1992.

She has worked in and around Sydney looking after the health and well-being of many a dog  and cat. She likes forming a relationship with  both the animal and their owner. 

Katie enjoys all aspects of being a veterinarian, and has a special interest in internal medicine. She continues to see and learn new things all the time.

Katie is married with 2 adult children, 2 beloved Border Collie's, a pair of young Burmese (brother & sister) and a very old Burmese cat.

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Dr. Nagisa Hiraoka BVSc (Hons)

Dr.Nagisa Hiraoka graduated from the University of Sydney in 2009.


Whilst enjoying all aspects of veterinary medicine Nagisa has a particular interest in complimentary therapies. She has completed a Foundation course in Veterinary Herbal Medicine (UK) and is a member of the Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association (VBMA) and the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies. She has also completed a Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine at CIVT.


Nagisa offers herbal medicine consultations at Dural Veterinary Hospital to treat or manage a range of conditions including skin disease, gastrointestinal disease, liver disease and chronic kidney disease.

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Dr. Tanya Rajkumar BVSc (Merit)

Since graduating from the University of Sydney in 2011, Tanya has practiced at several small animal clinics across Sydney before joining us here at Dural Veterinary Hospital.  


She loves getting to know your pets and the owners they bring with them. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary practice both medicine and surgery, with a special interest in dentistry. She is passionate about animal welfare and improving the human-animal bond in all situations. She always endeavours to make vet visits as stress – free as possible so patients leave with their tails wagging.  


Tanya’s own fur family of four keeps her busy outside of work, including a trio of mischievous rescue cats and a bouncy dog named Roo.

Dr. Elissa Shinozaki

Prior to completing her Bachelor of Science (Veterinary Science) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Adelaide in 2023, Elissa earned a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience (Hons) from the University of Sydney in 2017. Her passion for caring for pets originates from the companionship of a cherished childhood bunny and the unwavering support of Layla, a beloved canine companion who journeyed with her through her academic years.

With a keen interest in pathology, dermatology, and ophthalmology, Elissa strives to collaborate with pet owners as a team to provide the best possible care for their furry companions. She is dedicated to ensuring both owners and their pets are well looked after, aiming to make the experience as stress-free as possible

Veterinary Nurses


Courtney, Head Nurse

Courtney has been a Veterinary Nurse for over 10 years and has completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at TAFE.

She loves all animals and finds a new favourite patient every week. All of our patients receive extra cuddles and kindness when Courtney is in and you will often find her with a furry ‘helper’ under her desk.

At home Courtney has Ayla, a large Staffy who thinks she is a cat, 3 cats, a rabbit and so many foster kittens we have lost count.



Very much a local, Karissa grew up on acreage in the Hills district. She was surrounded by all types of animals and played an integral role in their care. Karissa started her nursing career here at Dural Vet way back in 1998. She left in 2004 to start a family and has since worked in a large Sydney veterinary hospital and has also been an office manager for 2 (human) osteopath practices. Karissa returned to Dural Veterinary Hospital in 2013.

Karissa is married and has twin girls. Her hobbies include working with her horses and dogs. Every Christmas she dresses in red and leads Santa's deer through shopping centres!



Heather studied a Bachelor of Biodiversity and Conservation at Macquarie University before continuing her career in caring for animals by training as a Veterinary Nurse.

Heather has always had a passion for all animals including family pets and wildlife. She enjoys the variety and challenges of working in a veterinary practice and loves using her skills to help the animals in her care.

At home Heather lives with her Border Collie named Atlas, and her cat Milo.

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Paula graduated as a Veterinary Nurse and has joined the team as a permanent member after doing work placement with us.

After starting her career in customer service, Paula realised her love of animals can be combined with great customer care and is a valued member of our team.

Paula has a passion for all animals and shares her home with her husband, 2 kids, a Boxer named Poppy and a cat named Coco.



Louise has 13 years of Veterinary Nursing experience, working in a variety of clinics across Sydney and the Central Coast.


She is passionate about building client relationships and loves to give your furry friends a welcome cuddle or snuggle after surgery.


When Louise isn’t vet nursing she’s chasing after her 3 girls or her fur children Cleo the cat and Pretzel, the Chihuahua.

She also runs her own Florist from home, so always has fresh flowers in her house!


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Courtney M

Courtney has completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. Prior to this she completed a Bachelor of Science, studying Zoology and Animal Science at Western Sydney University.

Courtney has always had an interest in the animal industry and making a positive impact, and what better way than making sure our furry friends are healthy and happy! 

Courtney lives with her rescue cats Freddie and Astrid and her dog nephew Henry.



Abbey started working here as a work placement student when she began her Certificate III in Animal Studies. Abbey has completed her work placement and has now attained her Certificate IV in Vet Nursing.

We are very happy to now have Abbey as a permanent part of our team as a Vet Nurse

Abbey enjoys all aspects of vet nursing, especially when cats are involved!

At home, Abbey lives with her family and her three cats, Lego, Beckham and Shadow.


​​​Karen, Practice Manager

Karen has many years experience in the animal industry, always knowing that pets and their people was the area she wanted to be in.

Karen currently shares her life with her partner, 3 dogs and 3 cats, Pookie, Jack, Indiana, Cruikshank, Tibbles & Kymmi.

Veterinary Nurses in Training



Ashley started with us as a work experience student whilst still at school and studying Animal Care Certificate II, which she passed with flying colours! Ashley is now working with us part time and completing her work placement while she is studying to complete her Veterinary Nursing Certificate IV.

Ashley enjoys spending her time helping the team with caring for animals in the clinic.

At home Ashley and her family have quite the menagerie! 2 Chocolate Labrador's Milo & Halo, a cat called Tigger, a Macaw named Macca, Chickens, 2 Horses Teddy & Priscilla and a Deer, aptly named Bambi!

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Caitie is currently studying her Veterinary Nursing Certificate.

Caitie loves spending her time helping and caring for animals in the clinic.


When Caitie is not in the clinic she is helping groom dogs or house-sitting for pet parents who are away from home.


At home Caitie has 2 Cavoodle's - Pikelet and Buddy and a budgie.

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