Ingela Furustig

Ingela brings to VetPrac her enormous creative talent, which began by teaching herself fashion photography in high school. Since then Ingela has been working with people in the fashion industry for many years putting together campaigns and editorials in her spare time. She still works in that area, running her own business as a freelance fashion photographer. Her experience in the fashion industry is not limited to Australia! Prior to Ingela commencing her degree at QUT she held the role of art director and staff photographer for 4 years for a printed magazine called Zeum, which was published and distributed across London. So VetPrac can claim to have a truly international fashion photographer as part of the team!

Shortly after commencing work with VetPrac as our media and marketing co-ordinator in 2017, Ingela graduated from QUT (Queensland University of Technology) with a Bachelor of Creative Industries, with a major in Fashion Communication and minor in Graphic Design and Marketing.

You might be wondering why a true fashionista is working in the veterinary industry? Vets are not renowned for their high fashion sense, and glamorous trend setting attire doesn’t usually cut it while vets perform surgery or other choice procedures such as enemas! Ingela says that she loves being part of VetPrac because it gives her an opportunity to think outside the box and come up with new and creative ideas. She also thoroughly enjoys collecting cute dog videos to post on our facebook, and is definitely a dog person, despite going to school and being best mates with our Jess, a definite cat lady. She has a beautiful dog called Candi who is the happiest thing in the world and she’s basically Ingela’s little child. I’m guessing Ingela would have taken many cute photos of Candi, maybe some dressed in fashionable attire? Watch out for the cute dog photos and videos she’s produced or collected!

To contact Ingela, please email her at:

Janine Irwin

Since joining VetPrac in 2017, Janine has been using her very well practiced skills in team work and efficiency, and her experience working as a Veterinary Technician, to plan and facilitate our workshops. The team at VetPrac is constantly amazed at how much Janine can fit into 24 hours. Despite having 4 children between the ages of 11 and 3, Janine still has time to be a group training officer for the State Emergency Service; Janine has volunteered for SES since her teenage years. She has been on the Committee for Relay for Life in Ipswich for 3 years and undertook the role of MC for the 2018 edition of the event, which raised $85,000.

Over the years Janine’s tireless volunteer efforts have been acknowledged with numerous awards, including a Community Leadership Award, Queensland youth alliance awards 2006, and a Flood Citation for volunteer assistance with S.E.S during the floods in the Ipswich area 2011.

Janine even has time to bake many tasty snacks that the VetPrac team enjoy at meetings! She enjoys escaping with her family to camp off the grid in their 1978 Jayco pop up camper, which (of course) they renovated themselves. Only someone with Janine’s superb planning and time management skills could find a weekend with no work and no kids hockey to organize such trips away!

We can rely on Janine to keep the VetPrac workshops running to schedule, in her cool, calm and collected manner, and, in the case of an emergency, we all know who to call first!

To contact Janine, please email her at:

Jess Taylor

Meet Jess….

Whether it’s organising the workshops, working in the warehouse, being the women behind the computer, or sorting out whatever needs to be done…Jess is on it as Ilana’s personal assistant.

She is no stranger to the veterinary world. Jess once worked for the RSPCA and was also living at an after-hours clinic taking care of all the hospitalised patients overnight until she recently found another place to call home. When she’s not working for the VetPrac team….Or cuddling cute kittens, Jess is now well on her way to becoming a veterinary nurse as she is currently undertaking the Cert IV Veterinary nursing program.

She has a bit of a talented side to her and a couple party tricks up her sleeve including being able to lick her elbow (pun intended)! Also she openly admits to being a self-proclaimed cat lady, even though she only owns ONE of the most beautiful manx cats in the entire world, Ruben. It made me wonder….how many cats does one need to have in order to be a crazy cat lady? We would love to hear your answers.

Working for VetPrac has opened a lot of different opportunities for her outside the nursing world. Some of which include “working with and learning from some of the most amazing practitioners in Australia and worldwide “ says Jess. When the workshops are up and running, it’s Jess’s busiest time of the year! Even at her busiest time, we couldn’t appreciate her calm, collective and very humorous personality which is why Jess and Ilana are a great team!

When Jess is winding down, she may decide to pick up her favourite book “Smoke and Mirrors” by Neil Gaiman or she may be planning her future vacation to free dive with the sharks off Cape Town.….Oh, and did we mention that she really likes cats??

Well Jess, we don’t have many cats for you to play with, but we do think you’re a Purrr-fect fit and couldn’t be happier to have you as part of the team.

To contact Jess please email her at:


Tyng is a bit of a mystery to all of us and we are not quite sure what his actual “position” is a VetPrac, but he has been helping the team out in all different ways since 2015.  Don’t let him fool you (because he’s a bit of a jokester at times) but he is seriously funny!  He is a certified vet nurse by trade and when he’s not working for us, you may find him working his way around Sydney doing locum work or he may be hiding behind the computer writing up something for other clinics/companies in the veterinary community.


His experience varies, and although he thinks he is quite “experienced at being clinical and sarcastic”, we believe he has so much more to offer which is why he fits in so well with the VetPrac team.  Tyng says when he’s not “avoiding Ilana’s wrath”, he enjoys “working with a close knit group of people” which is something all of us value about the VetPrac team as well.


One of Tygn’s favourite quotes is “it’s not a tumour”!…Now, we don’t really know if it’s because he’s so passionate about medicine and oncology, but we have a sneaky suspicion that he has a soft spot for Arnold instead.  On his downtime you may find him enjoying his favourite book “The silence of the lambs” or he may be trying to figure out how to turn water into alcohol.  Also, we had to have a chuckle, when asked what he wants to do before he dies, his response was “dying”….We didn’t take you for a literal person Tyng!


Whatever your role is here at VetPrac, we appreciate all your hard work and we find you very “humerus”!


To contact Tyng, please email him at:

Makiko (Maki)

Maki has a Bachelor of Arts degree and is VetPrac’s very talented bookkeeper.  She has been with us for about a year and when she’s not balancing the budget, she is chasing around her very handsome 2 year old son and is the very proud mother to her two 5 year old fur babies (Jackson and Belle)!


She has a wonderful past and brings a large amount of experience to the VetPrac team.  Not only has she been bookkeeping for about 3.5 years, she can also get you places (having been a travel agent for almost 10 years) and she can keep you in line at the office….She was once an office administrator!  Is there anything she can’t do??


One of the things that the VetPrac team adores about Maki is her fun loving attitude and her graciously polite emails!  Maki states “I feel fortunate being surrounded by such a wonderful boss and colleagues”. I feel that I can speak for us all when I say that we feel the same! Although she feels that sometimes her time management is a challenge, we beg to differ because Maki can always get the job done!


She has many superstitions, and one of her favourite quotes is “practice makes perfect!” Also, if she could have one superhero power it would be to have an “Anywhere door”- A door which can take us to anywhere we want just like the one from a Japanese animation called “Doraemon”….That would certainly make travel a whole lot easier!


When she does get some downtime, she enjoys a good crime novel.  One of her favourite ones is “The Master of the Game” by Sidney Sheldon or “Devotion of Suspect” by Keigo Higashino.  Also, one day she hopes to build her dream home and travel around the world!  Well, we hope that somehow working for VetPrac can help make those dreams come true.


Maki states “I believe laughing is one of the major medicines for us to stay healthy – I am looking forward to sharing a lot of laughs with everyone”….and that is certainly something worth sharing with our VetPrac community.


To contact Maki, please email her at:

Mojgan Nazari

Many of you might recognize Dr. Nazari’s charming smile as she works her magic hosting many of our VetPrac workshops.  She is quite the academic and brings a lot of knowledge to the team being a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and having a Masters in Veterinary Science (MVSc). She also has more than a handful of publications and has a presented throughout Australia.  To add this already impressive list, outside of VetPrac Dr. Nazari is currently working on her PhD in medicine!


Mojgan’s hard work has certainly paid off and she has a lot of life experiences (and stories) to share with the VetPrac team!  She has been a former business manager, veterinarian, product manager and now a researcher.  Is there anything that she can’t do?


In saying that, it doesn’t surprise us that one of her favourite books is any of the Merck Manuals.  Also, if she were to have any power in the world, it would be to learn fast!….Mojgan, we are almost convinced that you already have that power, or are close to having it!


Although Dr. Nazari has some serious time constraints and a tight schedule, she somehow always finds time for us.  Mojgan states “meeting new participants and making friends” is what she enjoys most about VetPrac.


We admire Mojgan’s playfully professional attitude and drive and look forward to seeing her soon at the upcoming VetPrac workshops!


To contact Dr. Mojgan Nazari, please email her at:

Amanda-Lee Charman

Dr. Amanada-Lee Charman is one of VetPrac’s casual facilitators and has been a loyal team member for the last 8 years. She is a true leader in so many ways!  Not only is she a full-time veterinarian at a small animal clinic in Canberra, she is also currently completing a Masters in Veterinary Medicine through Massy University. Amanda-Lee casually teaches undergraduate vet students, Les Mills classes, Body attack for the gym goers…..oh yeah, did I mention that she is also the ACT AVA president 2016 and 2017!  Where does she find the energy to do it all?


It seems like Amanda-Lee has always had a bit of a busy lifestyle though. She has successfully completed a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and a Bachelor of Veterinary Science graduating with honours.  She also has 5 years of mixed practice, emergency and small animal experience that she bring to the VetPrac team.  In the midst of all this, she also found time to co-author a manuscript in 2014.


As you probably can tell by now, Dr Charman has her hands in pretty much everything… including owning a pig!  Charlie the pig gives Amanda-Lee a different sense of adventure, especially when she needs to sedate him to tip his tusks and give him a pedicure.  In addition to this, she also has time to snuggle her very handsome bull mastiff “Bruno”.


When asked what she enjoys about VetPrac, Amanda-Lee states “I have a passion for learning and Vetprac is all about learning!  My passion lies with helping other people learn, succeed and enjoy the process of mastering a new skill and reaching a new level of achievement. Whether that is pushing your fitness level in the gym room, learning how hyperthyroid is associated with retinal detachment with students in the classroom, or facilitating a workshop where participants get excited about finding the adrenal glands on ultrasound, being to be part of that process is very rewarding and exciting”.


Although she has already accomplished so much, Dr. Charman says if she could have any power in the world it would be to pause time “so I could fit everything I want to do into one lifetime”. Well Amanda-Lee….we think that you may already do have that power!  Also, in August this year she is planning on fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams to swim with the pigs in the Bahamas, we look forward to the photos!


To contact Amanda-Lee, please email her at:

Yumiko Fujimoto

Yumiko is VetPrac’s very own workshop assistant and has been with the team for over 4 years. Let me tell you something, this girl means business! Yumiko has a Diploma of Business Management, a B.A. English and a certificate in business….and when she’s not helping out the VetPrac team, she is a full-time mother of 2 boys and 2 pups (a 10 year old Aussie bulldog and a 5 year old Rottweiler).


In addition, Yumiko brings a lot of life experiences to VetPrac. She has been an administration manager, a Personal Assistant to a director, an Export Sales manager, a bookkeeper and a translator! This impressive list, along with her warm personality is what makes her a special member and keeps the planning of the workshops running so smoothly.


Yumiko feels like she’s a bit of a serious cast but if you’re fortunate enough….you’ll see she’s got a cheeky side that we adore. Yumiko says “sometimes I can’t stop myself from being adventurous and do things that surprise the people around me”. That’s probably why she fits in so well with the VetPrac team!


Although VetPrac is based in Brisbane, Yumiko states” our team members work from all over the world which sometimes makes it difficult to have a face-to-face meetings; however, we have a concrete and effective system which enables us to work remotely so well that we can even do our work on the beach, which is wonderful!”. She also expresses that she really enjoys working with Ilana who is very passionate about what she does and the rest of the VetPrac team members who share her passion.


Well, Yumiko, we are “seriously” happy that you are part of the team and can’t thank you enough for all the hard “workshop” that you do for us.


To contact Yumiko, please email her at:

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Ilana Mendels

Dr Ilana Mendels isn’t just another animal advocate with the talent to excel in the veterinary community.


Ilana has a background in informal education and a certificate for youth leaders from abroad. She was the national head of education and leadership for her youth movement while studying at The University of Sydney. In 2003, Ilana was in mixed practice with Dr John Dooley in Wingham, NSW. Known as one of the finest truly mixed practitioners, she gleaned skills and wisdom which stay with her today. While on the mid-north coast she defibrillated the local branch of the AVA with a regular “cases with cakes” evening and some dinners in Port Macquarie, NSW, which brought people together and introduced new ideas such as the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid in canine nutrigenomics.


To further improve her skills, Ilana returned to Sydney as the surgical intern of Dr Tony Black, Dr Bruce Smith and Dr Steve Fearnside. She also wrote a program for new graduate support during this time, bringing together financial, counselling and legal advisers to assist young vets with life changing decisions. Some of those who attended still keep in touch with Ilana and she is a proud mentor for their success.


Driven by adventure and ambition, Ilana then travelled to England as a locum.


Throughout her experiences, Dr Mendels became aware of the “isolation” a vet can feel, particularly in a rural community, when things get busy or times get tough. Known for her optimistic outlook she is an advocate of “A valuable and honourable profession” with some ridiculous and hysterical moments. This monism towards a supportive profession drives every decision of her veterinary career.


In September 2009, Dr Mendels founded VetPrac to meet the professional and social needs of registered veterinary surgeons interested in provided quality services to their clients. VetPrac workshops have provided practical training for over 300 vets.


Check out photos and reviews from our previous workshops here.


In her spare time, Ilana enjoys time with friends, yoga, horse-riding, dancing, and baking. She occasionally escapes the mayhem of work to catch some rays on Bondi Beach or sip an apple & sage martini at the local jazz club. One day she hopes to travel to India to see the Vets Beyond Borders Clinic’s which are supported by VetPrac charity auctions.


Link-In with Ilana here and continue the dialogue that bridges the gap between learning and doing. Or to learn more about Ilana read the famous Small Animal Talk Blog she was interviewed for here.

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