Dr Victoria Balnave
Sentient Veterinary Member, Practice Owner
Dr Vicky grew up in Baulkham Hills, and graduated in 2008 from The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, and has worked since 2004 as a veterinary nurse from both a traditional small animal/wildlife to emergency referral hospital background. Vicky has have always wanted to be a veterinarian, a career path nurtured by her father, who has been her childhood influence in handling animals gently, and her late grandfather and late mother who taught her the lessons of love and respect for all living things and, on a bittersweet note, about the circle of life, and that we fundamentally are here to help one another until the end.
Upon graduation Vicky went into private small animal practice, and followed this by working with the RSPCA as a small animal veterinarian, and the ARH as an emergency veterinarian to consolidate her experience as a small animal all-rounder, before embarking on the challenge of becoming a small animal practice owner at Mt Druitt Veterinary Clinic in 2013. Vicky enjoys all aspects of being a small animal practice owner, and seeing the human-animal bond with clients and their pets, and her fellow vets and nurses growing professionally and into good people, is a daily restoration in humanity. Vicky works with the RSPCA, Blacktown Animal Holding Facility, Animal Welfare League, National Desexing Network, Cat Protection Society, Butterfly Wings Animal Rescue, and countless other rescues/societies, with the aim of helping with the issues of animal overpopulation, welfare and disease management in Western Sydney. The clinic has a strong welfare focus, with the aim to look after both clients and their pets as one caring family unit.
The main issues Vicky feels needs addressing are a lack of education revolving around animal disease prevention (ie vaccinations to help with ‘herd’ immunity for parvovirus and feline panleucopaenia), and the need to find strategies for human welfare and generational class and resource management issues, the associated emotional frustration of which can spillover into depression, substance abuse, and violence directed at animals, and/or humans.
Vicky has always had a special interest in pocket pets/exotics from her father, as he raised finches, quails, fish, and rehabilitated native Cockatoos and Rosellas, and her previous pets have included snakes, lizards, frogs, budgerigars and rescued chickens (the first rescued from prac placement at uni) which she extends to her work with WIRES, and catering to a clientele of avian/pocket pets through education on basic husbandry and veterinary care.
Vicky currently owns 2 JRT’s (one very old, and one very young- a recent rescue from the pound, with behavioural issues from previous abuse), 3 cats (2 adopted as strays), 5 chickens and 2 tanks of tropical fish. In her spare time, Vicky is an avid gardener, grows perennial flowers, vegetables and orchids, does random things like donating her hair to charity, has done the Oxfam trailwalk and raised $10K, and is the treasurer for the Blacktown City Orchid Society, receiving a Meritorious Award in 2015 for her service.