Hello and welcome! This is where you can find out a bit more about our team.
Our hospital was founded in 1983 by Dr Gary Boston, who established its reputation as a caring, honest, and first-class veterinary hospital right from the beginning. Dr Margot Horder joined him in 1994 before becoming a partner owner with him in 2000. Our hospital entered a new era in 2015 when Dr Lewis Hunt and Dr Caroline Wood, both of whom were working at the clinic and well established in local life, took over ownership. Dr Gary & Dr Margot have since retired from the practice, though Dr Margot is the onsite volunteer veterinarian for Sydney Wildlife, so she is hardly relaxing! Please check out a detailed description of our staff members below.
We also host veterinary nurse students as volunteers who require work experience for their qualifications, and veterinary medicine students from multiple universities. It’s another small way we can give back to the veterinary community and support the locals involved in the day to day care of all animals.
Dr Caroline Wood
Dr Caroline is our resident medical genius, and owns the clinic along with Dr Lewis. Going straight into uni after high school, she worked as a local veterinary nurse at Pittwater Animal Hospital & occasionally at CPVH throughout her veterinary medicine studies until she graduated from the University of Sydney in 2011. She initially spent three years working at a busy veterinary hospital in Castle Hill before returning to her beloved Northern Beaches at CPVH in late 2014. It didn’t take her long to realise that Lewis’ surgical skills complemented her medical and practice management abilities, and so their brilliant business partnership was formed in 2015.
Caroline is the ultimate crazy cat lady at heart, and has raised and re-homed a plethora of orphaned kittens since embarking upon her veterinary career, including her own two cats, Susan and the slightly neurotic Benjamin. Caroline’s other great passion is cooking, and apart from the frequent amazing cakes she brings in to the clinic she has also gotten the entire staff list addicted to her homemade chilli jam. Caroline & her husband have two young children which keeps her more than busy when not at CPVH.
Dr Lewis Hunt
Dr Lewis is our resident surgeon, as well as co-owner of CPVH. His father, Dr Tony Hunt, owned Figtree Veterinary Clinic in Lane Cove for many years, so veterinary medicine &practice management flows strongly through his veins. He graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2007 and spent the next six months working in the Gold Coast prior to accepting a Surgical Internship in Melbourne.
Following his internship he spent three years locuming around the UK, before settling into a small animal practice in London, coincidentally owned by another Australian! He returned to Sydney in 2013, with a wide range of medical and surgical experience under his belt, to work in both emergency medicine and general practice before joining CPVH in 2014. When Caroline and Lewis met that year they soon realised that they complemented one another perfectly as business partners, and so took over the hospital together in late 2015. Lewis has also recently starred as one of the new Bondi Vets in Bondi Vet: Coast to Coast on Channel 9.
In his (infrequent) spare time, Lewis can be found enjoying the outdoors with his family, speeding around on a mountain bike, and playing with his mischievous cat Boston.
Dr Ellen Bailey
Dr Ellen grew up near the Northern Beaches, in Mosman, and has always aspired to living in the area. After graduating from the University of Sydney in 2013 she moved to Canberra with her husband (also a vet!) and has spent the past six years working in a busy small animal practice there, minus a one-year hiatus to work in the UK and travel around Europe. Whilst living & working in our nation’s capital she fostered her interest in internal medicine, and discovered a love for performing ultrasounds, which she brought over to us when she joined our team in 2019.
Ellen is just about to go on maternity leave with her second child, and we are looking forward to her return later in the year. In what little downtime she has, Ellen can be found curled up reading on the couch with her ever-faithful cats, Colin and Arthur, and her loyal rescue Pug Cross, Topsy. Ellen also loves netball and yoga, and is looking forward to a time again soon when she can keep exploring the world.
Dr Alex Prentice
Dr Alex is yet another one of our multi-talented vets; not only is she a fully qualified experienced veterinarian, but she is also studying a degree in Theology!
Alex grew up on Sydney’s North Shore, and met Caroline at university where they studied veterinary medicine together. They bonded over their love of books, strong tea, and all things veterinary. After graduation, she worked a number of clinics around Sydney for a few years prior to moving to Yorkshire in England for a wonderful stint of medicine, rolling green hills, and (you guessed it), more tea!
When not busy working or studying, Alex enjoys cuddling up with her geriatric (and slightly cranky) Cocker Spaniel Bailey, spending time with family and friends, knitting, reading, and being active.
Dr Emma McCarthy
You’d be forgiven for thinking the Northern Beaches produces an abnormally high number of vets, as we have yet another homegrown local on our team! Dr Emma graduated from the University of Sydney in 2020, and is the newest of our veterinarians.
Emma loves to travel the world, especially when she gets to combine her two loves and work with native wildlife when overseas. She has worked with lions, rhinos, cheetahs, giraffe, and wild dogs in South Africa, and Asian elephants in Thailand. Emma has a particular interest in canine medicine and surgery, and in particular loves large breed dogs, and has two Weimeraners of her own – Storm & Apollo.
Dr Zoe Mendham
Dr Zoe grew up on the Northern Beaches and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, so following graduation from the University of Sydney in 2020 (with Dr Emma) she looked for a local patch to settle down in. After working at two Sydney based small animal veterinary hospitals Dr Zoe joined our team in February 2022 where she has settled in as if she has always been here.
Zoe loves all kinds of animals but has a particular soft spot for Greyhounds, which she developed after adopting her own Grey, Misty. She also has a tennis-ball loving mischievous Kelpie Cross called Tai. When not playing with her pups in her spare time, Zoe loves running around the netball court and testing her non-vet knowledge at trivia nights with friends.
Eloise is our very beloved Practice Manager, who keeps us all in line (including Butternut, no easy task!) and ensures everything at CPVH runs smoothly. She started her practice management career in the human sector many years ago, but in more recent years decided to make the change into the veterinary world and has never looked back, as she loves being part of a compassionate and motivated team of individuals who share her love for animals.
Eloise and her family made the Northern Suburbs of Sydney their home in 2010, after emigrating from the UK. She shares her home with her husband and two lovely daughters, as well as their canine best friend, Willow the Schnauzer, and two mischievous free range Chickens. When not at CPVH or running around between after-school activities, you’ll find Eloise in the kitchen cooking for her family & friends, or going on numerous walks, as sitting still doesn’t come naturally!
Looking for some work-life balance after owning her own business, Nicky joined CPVH in late 2019. With a background in hospitality and marketing Nicky loves chatting with people, and adores animals. She is known to many of our patients as the treat lady, welcoming everyone with a smile, with the ultimate goal of making every visit to the vet a good memory.
Nicky has been a local to the beaches for over 20 years, and lives with her two teenage daughters, husband Pete, and furbaby Molly the Moodle. She loves going to the beach, trying out all our amazing restaurants, and catching up with friends.
Nicky says working at CPVH has been the most rewarding job she has ever had, and she considers being there for people and their furbabies a pleasure and a privilege.
Elyse joined the hospital as a casual nurse in 2017, and has since become an integral part of the team at CPVH. She graduated as a Veterinary Nurse in 2012, and worked at a number of veterinary clinics gaining invaluable experience before having her beautiful daughter Indi. Once a mother, she decided that some stability was in order, so she settled with her young family in Collaroy and has been with us at CPVH ever since. Since then, her common sense and ability to keep her head in a crisis has made her an invaluable part of the team, and we couldn’t imagine life without her!
Elyse has lived on the Northern Beaches her whole life, and, like any true local, adores her time at the beach. She shares her home with her husband and children, an enthusiastic Australian Shepherd puppy, Chester, and an ever-growing collection of indoor plants.
Chelsea grew up locally in Manly, in a household full of animals, including a dog, birds, snakes, lizards, turtles, chickens, and mice! After high school she studied a Bachelor of Communications at UTS, though her love of animals never left her, and after working casually at Taronga Zoo during her studies she realised she wanted to switch career paths to work with animals full time.
Following the completion of her degree she became a qualified zookeeper with Taronga and has spent time in a variety of keeping areas, including carnivores, reptiles, Australian fauna, and marine mammals.
Although her favourite animal is the Australian sealion she decided to expand her knowledge of domestic animals, and her horizons, by studying Veterinary Nursing and working with us at CPVH. She is the proud mumma of two gorgeous Tonkinese kittens, and spends her spare time reading, cooking, and visiting the beach as often as possible.
Growing up on acreage with dogs, sheep, and goats, with a dog groomer & trainer for a mother, working with animals was always in Kyla’s future, though it wasn’t her first career path. Prior to studying veterinary nursing Kyla worked as a nursing assistant for people with disabilities on the Northern Beaches, and although she loved the medical side of nursing her passion for animals never left.
Kyla joined our team in May 2021 as a veterinary nurse trainee and is looking forward to continuing her studies to become fully qualified. Since working at CPVH she has adopted numerous stray animals to live on her property, and currently has a menagerie of four dogs, sheep, goats, mice, and rabbits. Her two free-roaming rabbits, Scruffy and Wally, are her special favourites, and she can often be found spending extra time with any bunny patients we have visiting.
Ali is our most recent addition to the CPVH veterinary nursing team, after making the brave decision to embark on a complete career change in 2020.
A Northern Beaches local, Ali use to work in an admin position in hospitality, however her passion & love for animals, wildlife, and large breed dogs in particular motivated her career change. In just a short time since joining us, Ali’s nursing skills have increased exponentially, largely due to her passion and willingness to give everything a go.
When Ali is not at work or studying veterinary nursing, she spends time with her family and friends, and her Great Dane Maremma Cross, August. Ali and Auggie love long bush walks and running.
Super Supportive Clinic Cat
Where would we be without the daily antics and cuddles of our beloved resident cat? Butternut, our young tortoiseshell cat, is always on hand to offer up hugs and affection, put dogs in their place, judge us from her perch above the consult rooms, and donate blood when we need to perform a blood transfusion on a hospital patient. On a perpetual diet, she is much larger than we would like (or like to admit), but at least we know when her tummy is full the bags of prescription food on our shelves are safe, as she has been known (on more than one occasion) to slash open a bag and help herself. Whilst her stomach might not agree with much prescription dog food, at least our clients are happy & very understanding when a Butternut-discount needs to be applied for packaging damage!