Board members

The Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria has nine members and is constituted as follows:

  • four veterinary practitioners
  • a veterinary practitioner employed by the Crown
  • a veterinary practitioner employed by the University of Melbourne
  • a lawyer, and
  • two persons who are not veterinary practitioners.

Board members are nominated by the Minister of Agriculture and appointed by the Governor in Council. Appointments are for a three-year term and Members are eligible for reappointment.

Eighth Board 2019-2022

The eighth Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria commenced its term on 18 June 2019. 

The members of the eighth Board are:

See biographical information about the members of the eighth Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria below.


Professor Ted Whittem
President; Veterinary member; University of Melbourne appointment (appointed to the Board June 2019)

Professor Ted Whittem is appointed to the Board as the University of Melbourne nominee. Professor Whittem is currently the Professor and Chair of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the University of Melbourne, having previously held the positions of Head of School and Associate Dean of Clinical Programs. Professor Whittem’s academic focus has been on problems in veterinary clinical trials and drug residues. He has served as Chairman of the Examination Committee of the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology and as Head Examiner (Fellowship-Pharmacology) for the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists Chapter of Pharmacology. He is an endorsed specialist in veterinary pharmacology. Professor Whittem brings extensive experience as a veterinary practitioner in private practice, academia and industry. He has provided expert opinion for investigations and cases such as in the Magistrates Court of Victoria and has sat on many disciplinary panels for organisations including Harness Racing Victoria. 



Dr David Colson
Deputy President; veterinary member
Dr David Colson has been reappointed to the eighth Board as Deputy President. A graduate of the University of Melbourne with a Masters in Dairy Cattle Medicine and Management, Dr Colson has worked in mixed practice in South West Victoria for over 28 years. Dr Colson brings clinical experience as a small animal and production animal veterinary practitioner. Dr Colson is currently a Senior Veterinarian in the companion animal team for The Vet Group, where he contributes to formation of strategy and policy and maintenance of clinical standards. A member of the Cattle Chapter (Ruminant Nutrition) of the ANZ College of Veterinary Scientists, Dr Colson has held honorary or Board positions with WestVic Dairy (Dairy Australia Regional Development Program) and the Australian Veterinary Association. 



Dr Charlie Blackwood
Veterinary member

A graduate of the University of Sydney with a Master of Veterinary Science (Small Animal Practice) from Murdoch University, Dr Charlie Blackwood has had a 30-year career as a veterinary practitioner with a focus on small animals, horses and cattle. At Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic, Dr Blackwood’s work involves surgical and medical treatment of small animals, with additional work in beef and dairy cattle. Dr Blackwood is a Member of Australian and New College of Veterinary Surgeons (Ruminant Nutrition). Dr Blackwood also brings significant experience and qualifications in governance, as a graduate of the Australian Institute of Directors, Member of the Board of Moyne Health Service for 12 years, and Director at Warrnambool Veterinary for over 20 years. 



Dr Tracey Bradley
Crown appointment; veterinary member

Dr Tracey Bradley is reappointed to the eighth Board as the Crown nominee for the Board. A graduate of the University of Melbourne, Dr Bradley has worked as a veterinary practitioner in mixed practice in Australia and the United Kingdom. She joined the then Department of Agriculture in Victoria in 1995, working in field and laboratory roles including management of the Johne's disease laboratory at the Victorian Institute of Animal Science. In 2007, Dr Bradley was appointed Principal Veterinary Officer, Aquatic Animal Health, covering areas of research, policy and national strategy.



Dr Kate Clarke
Veterinary member             
A graduate of the University of Queensland, Dr Kate Clarke has worked as a veterinary practitioner in mixed and small animal practice since 1998. Dr Clarke is a Member by examination of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinarians in Small Animal Medicine. One of 80 women in science from around the world to participate in the Homeward Bound 2018 voyage to Antarctica, Dr Clarke brings strategic planning, legal and financial governance skills from her work in the community and with the Australian Veterinary Association’s Australian Graduate Mentor Program for young veterinary practitioners. She is currently undertaking a full-time MBA. 



Ms Raelene Harrison

Ms Harrison is appointed to the Board having nearly 20 years’ experience as a practising lawyer. She has a number of undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in law, governance and animal science. She started her career in financial services law and is now Managing Director and Principal Lawyer of a law firm specialising in animal, equine, veterinary and agricultural law, welfare and ethics. She has recently completed a postgraduate research project in international veterinary ethics and equine welfare. Ms Harrison also has practical experience in working within legislative and regulatory frameworks including those which govern veterinary practitioners in Victoria and Australia-wide. She brings experience in administrative, dispute resolution and litigation management. Ms Harrison sits on several ethics and animal welfare committees.



Dr Fiona Hendrie
Veterinary member

A graduate of the University of Queensland, Dr Fiona Hendrie has worked as a veterinary practitioner in small animal clinical practice for 20 years. A founder of the Beleura Veterinary Hospital, which now has 17 staff, she brings experience in personnel and business management to the Board.  


Ms Kathryn Johns
Non-veterinary member             
Ms Kathryn Johns, reappointed to the eighth Board, holds a Bachelor of Economics (Accounting Major) from Monash University and is a Certified Practising Accountant. Ms Johns has over 20 years’ experience within the Health Industry as a Senior Finance Professional. She has experience within a range of other sectors including hospitality, hotels, tourism, arts, media, publishing, entertainment, retail, insurance, health and fitness and mining. Ms Johns is a Director at Flemington Financial Services (Bendigo Bank) and is Chair of Directors at Yarra Ranges Enterprise Centres, a business incubator giving new businesses help to get started and develop. Currently, she also works as a finance consultant and small business manager in the tourism sector.



Ms Ellen Kittson
Non-veterinary member             
Currently a senior Policy Officer at the Department of Education and Training (Victoria), Ms Kittson brings experience in the assessment and determination of disputes as the inaugural Chair of the West Australian Agricultural Practices Disputes Board. Ms Kittson had ongoing interactions with veterinary practitioners as a Senior Lead Technologist for 3 years at a veterinary pathology laboratory. She also brings committee experience as a current member of one animal ethics committee and two human research ethics committees.