Meet our veterinary team!

We’re a team of people that have dedicated our lives to caring for your pet. We know that your pet is a member of your family, and we’ll be treating them as such during every single visit. Scroll down to learn more about our team.

To Meet The People Who Make Us A Top Rated Veterinarian In The Southern Highlands

We love coming to work every single day and ensuring that the pets we see receive the attention and care that they deserve.

Diederik Gelderman

Diederik Gelderman

Owner / BVSc, MVS

Diederik Gelderman BVSc, MVS, graduated from the University of Sydney with First Class Honours in 1977.

He established Greenhills Veterinary Hospital in 1990 and transformed it from a struggling one-man practice into a burgeoning regional veterinary hospital servicing the wider Hunter Valley.

This business won many Australian Veterinary as well as non-Veterinary (customer service) awards from 1996 till 2005 when Diederik sold it to move to The Southern Highlands. He took over HIGHlands Veterinary Hospital in May 2018.

He has a passion for pets (as can be seen by the number of horse, dogs, cats, birds, and many other ‘rescues’ he and his partner Jennifer look after at any one time), the environment, and competes at ‘A’ level squash.

Leianne Jones

Leianne Jones

Leianne has over ten years of experience in caring and nursing for animal health and welfare.

A keen pet owner herself, her 11-year-old Chocolate Labrador called Hudson, 4- month-old Cavoodle called Tilly, and 15-year-old Baxter the cat (who is boss of the house) keep Leianne in line at home.

Her obvious love of animals motivates her career, and she gets immense satisfaction from helping a pet and their owner in times of need. The biggest concern for Leianne is to raise awareness of the full-time commitment that taking on a puppy or a kitten can mean to new owners.

Young pets need socialising and training to be at their best, which takes time and a lot of patience. If you have any questions, Leianne and Felicity are your first port of call at HIGHlands Veterinary Hospital. Warm and friendly, these two experts will assist you and can direct you to the professional you need.

Carmelina Scheenan

Carmelina Scheenan

Carmelina joined HIGHlands Veterinary Hospital in September 2018 and has an Advanced Certificate in Veterinary Nursing with Distinction and over 14 years of experience working as a Veterinary Nurse.

Carmelina has her Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services with Delta Society and is a certified MindDog Australia Trainer. Carmelina runs her own puppy and pet dog training business called ‘For Paw’s Sake’ alongside her Veterinary Nursing work, so she is one busy lady. She loves the fact that she has the privilege to nurse and help sick pets in their time of need and help owners train their puppies and dogs.

Carmelina is an owner of a Pug called Charlie and a Rottweiler called Sapphire, who conspire to keep Carmelina on her toes. Her driving force is to educate people about the importance of being a good guardian to their pets & making sure that their pets are safe, healthy, and happy. She also believes that a well-trained and socialised puppy/dog is less likely to be given up or rehomed, which means that the puppy/dog, thanks to an owner’s devotion to training, will have a forever home. Come in and meet Carmelina; you may even get some good tips about training and behavioural issues!

Katherine Loubry Muddle

Katherine Loubry Muddle

Katherine began her studies in 2017, starting her Cert II in Animal Studies. While studying, she volunteered at various wildlife parks in Sydney, working closely with native Australian animals. After assisting with different procedures, her interest in veterinary nursing was sparked. And so Katherine began her Cert III in Animal Studies in 2018.

Katherine joined the Highlands Veterinary Hospital team in 2019 when she began her Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing, which she completed in 2020.

She finds particular interest in surgical nursing and has always aspired to help animals.

Katherine likes to spend her spare time taking her own pets for bush walks and swims at the beach!

Felicity Sutherland

Felicity Sutherland

Felicity grew up in the Southern Highlands and always had a passion for animals. Throughout her high school years, she volunteered at animal shelters working with both dogs & cats.

Felicity completed her Cert II in Animal Studies then moved away to Kiama with her then-future husband, where she completed her Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing.

In 2015 Felicity, her husband Dave, and their pug x beagle Franklin traveled to the UK, where they lived in Scotland for 12 months. From there, they moved to New Zealand for another 12 months, where Felicity again volunteered with the local SPCH.
When it was time to expand their family, Felicity, Dave & Franklin moved back to the Southern Highlands, where they had their son Henry.

Felicity joined the HIGHlands Veterinary Hospital team in May 2018, initially as a receptionist but has since gotten back into her real passion for veterinary nursing.

Shanna Brough

Shanna Brough

Shanna joined the HIGHlands Veterinary Hospital team a few months ago.

She has extensive experience working with the public and animals. Shanna has provided force-free dog training and behavioral consultation for over 25 years. She also competed in agility, dog obedience, herding, and sledding at all levels with her Border Collies and Belgian Shepherds.

Previously, Shanna was a dog handler for the NSW Police Dog Squad, working with bomb, drug, and cadaver detection dogs as well as the general policing and tactical canines.

Shanna has also trained and competed in equine sports such as dressage and show jumping. She is retired from all canine/equine competition now and enjoys living life to the fullest with her adorable Border Terrier, Muppet, as well as running her own graphic design business.

Shanna is an all-rounder at the clinic and provides assistance in marketing, HR, reception, OH&S, and vet nurse duties. She loves all animals and feels privileged to be working toward improving the health and well-being of our pets.



Team Motivator


As in Ava Gardener, the famous actress – because she had black hair and was sultry.

Ava is, as Diederik calls her, “My car dog.”

She goes everywhere with him – to the hospital every day and out on all the farm calls – day or night.

She loves scaring people when she greets people with her ferocious bark but would not hurt anyone.

At the practice, she spends a lot of time babysitting any sick or injured younger and smaller dogs. She gets on with all of them, and her companionship helps them relax.

She’s ball and stick obsessed and is also known to chase a leaf when someone throws one.

Her only ‘bad behaviour’ is that she loves tearing out the in-ground sprinkler system at Jennifer and Diederik’s house. It’s almost like she lies in wait – waiting for him to repair it and then pounces…