Our Specialist(s):
Dr Charles Kuntz
Dr James Simcock
Dr Linda Abraham

Diplomate ACVIM:
Dr Anne-Claire Duchaussoy

Surgical Registrar:
Dr Alex Santamaria

Our Resident Vets:
Dr Kath Duncan
Dr Abigail Brough
Dr Stephanie Colthurst

Our Rotating Internship Vets:
Dr Charlotte Davis
Dr Chloe Breakwell
Dr Clara McMahon
Dr Sarah Wallace
Dr Sarah Leber
Dr Jessica Farrugia
Dr Hayley Thompson

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Careers at Southpaws

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Our Team

Best Veterinary Nursing Employer of Choice, Southpaws, Melbourne, Australia
Best Specialist Veterinary Hospital For Dogs and Cats
Best Specialist Veterinary Surgery for Dogs and Cats Melbourne

At Southpaws specialist veterinary surgery, our team is at the core of the loving support and care that we provide to your family pets. We are immensely proud of our hard-working team, some of the industry's best veterinary nurses backed by dedicated support staff, protecting the well-being and health of our patients around the clock.

We love your pets just as much as you do and in partnership with our referring veterinarians we work tirelessly for the best outcomes for your family members. Our staff are highly trained and we pride ourselves on our continuing education and on-the-job training. Southpaws is an employer of choice in the Australian veterinary industry.

Leading Specialist Veterinary Surgeons, Melbourne, Australia
Australia's Best Veterinary Surgery, Victoria, Melbourne
Best Cancer Surgery for Dogs and Cats Veterinary Surgery

Our Specialist Vets

Dr. Charles Kuntz Best Specialist Veterinary Surgeon, Melbourne, AustraliaSurgery: Dr. Charles Kuntz
DVM, MS, MACVSc, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Registered Specialist of Small Animal Surgery, Fellow of Surgical Oncology.

Southpaws founder and director, Dr. Charles Kuntz, graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. He did an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City and completed a residency and Master's degree in surgery at Virginia Tech in 1994. He achieved specialty board certification in surgery in 1996 on his first attempt. Charles then did a one year fellowship in cardiovascular research and surgery. He completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at Colorado State University and was then a professor of Orthopedic Surgery there before moving to Northern Virginia where he started one of the busiest surgical referral practices in the Washington DC area. He was the program chair and a member of the Board of Directors of the District of Columbia Academy of Veterinary Medicine.

Charles moved to Australia in 2004 and is the director and owner of Southpaws Specialty Surgery for Animals in Melbourne. He is an internship director, surgical residency advisor and program director for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Charles has published many scientific articles, abstracts, proceedings and book chapters on topics of surgical oncology. He was the chairperson of the oncology section of the National Meeting of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. He is the editor of the oncology section of the current edition of Slatter's Textbook of Small Animal Surgery. He was the surgical expert on panel discussions of feline vaccine associated soft tissue sarcomas at meetings of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He was asked to write a chapter for a human surgical oncology textbook on bone cancer because of his reputation and expertise in cancer surgery. At Southpaws Charles started Australia's first deep radiation therapy unit for animals, one of only two in Australia today.

He has personally performed and interpreted over 5,000 CT scans on small animals. He has five United States patents for devices used in the treatment of diseases in animals. He has personally operated on over 5,000 patients with cancer with local control rates of over 95%. Charles has won numerous awards and appeared on national TV and radio and in newspapers and magazines. He receives referrals from all over Australia as well as consultations by phone and email world-wide.

Charles received the honour of being accepted as a Founding Fellow in Surgical Oncology by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons for his “Exemplary training, experience and practice in the multidisciplinary approach to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of cancer patients and his devotion to cancer research.” He is one of the first people world-wide to receive this honour.

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Dr. James Simcock Best Specialist Surgeon for Dogs and Cats, Melbourne, Victoria, AustraliaSurgery: Dr. James Simcock BVSc (hons), MANZCVS (Internal Medicine), Registered Specialist of Small Animal Surgery, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons

James graduated from the University of Melbourne with honors in 2005. Following graduation he worked for 12 months in a busy small animal general practice. He then completed two, twelve month internships in both Small Animal Oncology and Small Animal Surgery along with a 3 year American College of Veterinary Surgeons residency program under the direction of Dr. Charles Kuntz. In 2010 James achieved membership to the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists Internal Medicine Chapter.

In 2013 he became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons by passing the certification examinations on his first attempt. This makes James one of the first fully Australian trained small animal surgeons to pass this examination. In 2015 James became a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. James is registered as a specialist in small animal surgery in Victoria. He is an internship director and surgical residency advisor for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

James has published on gastrointestinal and urogenital surgery and oncology and has presented a number of times at the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists, Science Week. He is actively involved in teaching students and veterinarians and is an instructor and lecturer for a veterinary of post graduate education courses in surgery.

James has recently become further involved with the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists and is an examiner for the Fellowship examinations in Small Animal Surgery. Passing the College Fellowship exam is part of the requirements for registration as a Veterinary Specialist in Australia.

James is particularly interested in orthopaedic and neurologic surgery and is a co-director and owner of Southpaws alongside Dr. Charles Kuntz.

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Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM)

The Best Veterinarians for Dogs and CatsInternal Medicine Veterinarian
Dr. Anne-Claire Duchaussoy

DVM, CEAV Med Int, Diplomate of the ACVIM

Dr Anne-Claire Duchaussoy has joined the Southpaws team to head up our newly relaunched Internal Medicine Service. Anne-Claire is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). Anne-Claire came to Australia in 2011 from Paris, France, where she had completed her internship with Honours in 2008 followed by 3 years experience as a Referring Veterinarian at a busy veterinary hospital at I'Isle Adam-Paris. From there Anne-Claire sought opportunities in Australia and completed her Residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at the University of Melbourne from 2012 to 2015. Anne-Claire has developed particular interests in the gastro-intestinal system, fungal diseases, cardiology and diagnostic imaging including echocardiography and ultrasound. To top off her busy lifestyle, she is currently a PhD student focussing on Inflammatory Bowel Disease and diagnostic methods such as Confocal Endomicroscopy.

Anne-Claire will provide a five day per week service supported by our experienced nursing team and our team of veterinarian interns. Anne-Claire is available Monday - Thursday for case discussion and support (just call our main reception on (03) 9553 1775 and will consult from our Moorabbin hospital on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday by appointment. Anne-Claire relocated to Australia with her husband Matthias and they have a one year old son, Seth. Their menagerie at home includes two cats Atropine and Api, and their dog Electre and they have been joined by their galah Bernard.Back to top

Our Other Senior Vets

Dr. Alex Santamaria at Southpaws Specialist Veterinary Hospital Melbourne, AustraliaSurgical Registrar
Dr. Alessandra Santamaria


Alex graduated with a Science degree (Major in Zoology) from The University of Melbourne in 2009. While studying science she was employed as a veterinary nurse. She then went on to graduate on the Deans Honour List from The University of Melbourne with a Veterinary Degree in 2010. Alex started working in a mixed animal practice just out of Melbourne for the first 8 months of her career and then moved to a small animal practice in the Northern suburbs.
Alex started working at Southpaws in early 2012 and completed a year long internship in Small Animal Surgery and Oncology. Alex has just recently completed and passed her Australian and New Zealand college membership exams. Alex enjoys both orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery however has a special interest in oncology surgery and particular reconstruction post large tumour removal. Alex successfully completed her 3 year residency in small animal surgery at Southpaws in October 2016 and is a senior and valued member of the Southpaws surgical team.

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Our Resident Veterinarians

Intern Veterinarian At Southpaws Specialty Surgery for AnimalsDr. Kathryn Duncan - Surgery
B. Sc. DVM (Melbourne)

Kathryn graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2015. She did a 2 week placement in 2015 with Southpaws and that helped to cement her interest in surgery. Kathryn is a keen netballer and enjoys keeping fit. She loves spending time with her dog Dexter and cat Mim. Kathryn's completed her internship in early 2017 at Southpaws and has now started her Residency program in Surgery with us. Kathryn is a busy member of the hardworking Southpaws team.

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Intern Veterinarian At Southpaws Specialty Surgery for AnimalsDr. Stephanie Colthurst - Surgery
BVSc. (James Cook)

Stephanie was born in Australia but spent her early childhood in the USA and Japan (where she became fluent in Japanese) before returning to Australia. She graduated from James Cook University in 2014 and completed an internship at Veterinary Specialist Services in Queensland in 2015. During 2015 she did a one week exchange with a veterinary practice in Singapore and also received a Young Speaker's award at the ANZCVS 'Science Week'. Stephanie joined Southpaws for a second twelve month internship which she completed in February 2017. Stephanie has now accepted a position with Southpaws as a surgical resident. We look forward to Stephanie pursuing her career goals with us over the next 3 years.

Intern Veterinarian At Southpaws Specialty Surgery for AnimalsDr. Abigail Brough - Internal Medicine
B.Sc, BVSc (Adelaide)

Abi graduated from the University of Adelaide vet program at the end of 2014 and has spent 2015 as an intern and emergency clinician at Queensland Veterinary Specialists in Brisbane. Abi then joined Southpaws for a second internship for the 2016 year and has now accepted a position as a Resident in Internal Medicine. In her spare time Abi enjoys horse riding, running and cooking and she provides a wonderful supportive resource to our senior internal medicine clinicians.

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Our Rotating Internship Veterinarians

Intern Veterinarian At Southpaws Specialty Surgery for AnimalsDr. Clara McMahon
Veterinary Medicine (Hons) (University College Dublin)

Dr Clara McMahon graduated from University College Dublin in 2014. She moved to Australia and has worked in Veterinary ICU and Emergency departments since 2014. Clara joined Southpaws in October 2016 and officially started her internship in January. Clara has a keen interest in surgery of all types but especially cardiothoracic and brain surgery. Clara's best fur friend is Cine who is a "stunningly clever Staffy". Clara's experience as a GP vet will add to her internship in 2017.

Intern Veterinarian At Southpaws Specialty Surgery for AnimalsDr. Chloe Breakwell
DVM (Melboune)

Chloe graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2015, and spent 2016 gaining veterinary experience all over the world. She spent the first half of the year working with wild animals and cats and dogs in Africa – some highlights of which included learning to dart elephants from helicopters, being chased by an angry rhino, and working with Masai villagers to keep their pet dogs and donkeys healthy. While staying with the village she also lectured local animal science students in common animal diseases, and demonstrated how de-sexing procedures are performed. In the second half of the year Chloe worked in the USA, as well as trying to complete a research paper for publication to aid her future goal of specialisation. Chloe has often spent time at Southpaws over the past four years and is enjoying her internship in 2017.

Intern Veterinarian At Southpaws Specialty Surgery for AnimalsDr. Sarah Leber
DVM (Melbourne)

Sarah graduated from the University of Melbourne DVM in 2016. She has dreamed of becoming a vet for as long as she can remember and hopes to eventually pursue a career as a specialist surgeon. During 2016 Sarah joined Southpaws for a one week placement as part of her final year. Sarah's hobbies include swimming, playing squash, watching Grey's Anatomy and baking gluten-free desserts (very welcome at Southpaws). Sarah is looking forward to adopting a dog in 2017 and is shown here wrangling her family cat - Winston.

Intern Veterinarian At Southpaws Specialty Surgery for AnimalsDr. Sarah Wallace
B.A.Psych (New York), B.V.M (Murdoch), M.Psych (New York)

Sarah is a native New Yorker who graduated from Murdoch University (WA) in 2016. She has a keen interest in small animal medicine - particularly endocrine disorders and ophthalmology. Sarah holds a Masters in Psychology which has played an important role in better understanding the human-animal bond as pets become more central to our families. She has also spent the last year honing in on her surgical skills by participating in spay/neuter trips to remote communities, including Ooty, India and pictured here, in the aboriginal community of Burringurrah, with rescued pups, "Billy" and "Marcie." Sarah has slotted in well as one of our busy interns for 2017.

Intern Veterinarian At Southpaws Specialty Surgery for AnimalsDr. Jessica Farrugia
DVM (Adelaide)

Jessica graduated from the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program from the University of Adelaide in 2016. During her studies Jessica was on the Equine Special Interest group committee but came to love small animal practice. She has a particular interest in surgery and internal medicine and is looking forward to learning more about these areas during the Southpaws internship. In her free time, Jess enjoys spending time with her dog Yogi, running and travelling whenever possible.



Intern Veterinarian At Southpaws Specialty Surgery for AnimalsDr. Hayley Thompson
BSc. (Hons) (Queensland) BVSc. (Sydney) MSc. (Southampton)

Having recently graduated from Sydney University, Hayley is excited to embark on her new role at Southpaws. Prior to studying veterinary medicine, Hayley worked in molecular research, in various fields including plant virology and human cancer and autoimmune diseases. After her honours year she did a subsequent masters in breast cancer vaccine development. Hayley spent a decade living aboard, finally settling in the UK where she met her now husband. Her love of animals and endless study lead to a move back to Australia to complete a veterinary degree. During that time, Hayley and her hubby have adopted a rescue cat, called Su and a blue tongue lizard called Blu. Hayley joins the Southpaws internship team in April 2017 allowing her to train and share knowledge with our next group of interns when they arrive in 2018.


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