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.
Meet The People Who Make Us A Top Rated Veterinary Clinic 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.
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.
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 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!
Belinda has always had a passion for working with and helping animals – she’s realised that even at this stage in life, it’s never too late to follow your dreams!
She has extensive customer service history and loves working with the public, having worked 30 years assisting people in need.
Belinda, her husband, and two children escaped the hustle and bustle of Sydney life 17 years ago to the Southern Highlands. She is an avid animal lover, having two fur babies: British and Aussie bulldogs Luna and Chomper, along with chickens, ducks, and now four children. In the past, her family has included a pig called Doris, some goats, and two ponies.
She loves camping and spending time with her family and fur babies.
Alycia has completed her Animal Studies Certificate III and Small Animal Nutrition Certification. She will be completing her Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing while working at Highlands Veterinary Hospital.
Alycia previously worked as a vet nurse before moving to the Southern Highlands. Previous to coming on board with Highlands Veterinary Hospital, Alycia was a Store Manager for Petbarn for 8 years. She has a wealth of knowledge in both products and nutrition. Alycia has also completed her adoption accreditation through the RSPCA.
In her spare time, she enjoys taking her dog, Mia, on walks.
Olivia has completed her Cert II in Animal Studies and is currently completing her Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing.
Since beginning her career in Veterinary Nursing, Olivia’s favourite part of her role is assisting in surgical procedures. Being a competitive horse rider, Olivia aspires to be an Equine Nurse in the years to come
Olivia has a strong passion for animals and assists her family in running a farm, which is home to horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, and chickens. When she’s not working, Olivia competes with her off-the-track thoroughbred horse ‘Nova’ in eventing.
TJ started her career in the animal industry as a Zookeeper in 1996. After studying Zookeeping, caring for Australian natives, feeding reptiles and hand-raising marsupials, TJ completed her Vet Nursing Cert IV in 2000. She developed extensive experience in veterinary hospitals in Australia as well as New Zealand. Most recently, TJ was Head Vet Nurse at a practice on the stunning South Island of New Zealand for 2.5 years.
TJ also acquired business management skills by running her own boarding kennel business for 9 years and continues to manage her and her husband’s contracting business.
Her special interests include: surgery and protocols, communication, pet/client bereavement management, clinical medicine, animal behaviour and Australian wildlife.
Outside work, TJ likes keeping fit, camping, photography, reading fabulous books, cooking amazing food, drinking wine and spending time with her best canine sidekick and constant shadow, Maverick.
Shanna has extensive experience working with the public and animals. She 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, and vet nurse duties. Shanna provides assistance in marketing, graphic design, and various administrative duties.
Living on a lifestyle acreage that kept a flock of black-faced sheep, she enjoyed the company of a ginger cat called Ginger (what else), a black cat called Panther, and a golden Labrador named Velvet.
Jean eventually moved with her family to Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast of Australia. She then followed up on her passion for writing and art. For the last 10 years, Jean has written pet and business-related articles and as a sideline, she does pet portraits in pencil and pastel. Roughly 2.5 years ago, Jean joined the HIGHlands Veterinary Hospital team as their newsletter writer.
Jean is the nana to a vivacious Spoodle called Evie, whom she loves to pieces. Evie is often used in her stories, articles, and art.
Animal welfare is an important part of Jean’s life and living near a reserve inhabited by koalas and kangaroos is her dream come true!
As a receptionist, Michele is the first to greet you with a warm smile and assist with your needs, ensuring a smooth experience for both you and your furry companions.
But Michele’s passion for animals doesn’t stop at the reception desk. With a knack for digital savvy, she also manages our practice’s social media presence and digital marketing efforts, keeping you informed and engaged with the latest updates and essential pet care tips.
Outside of the clinic, you might just spot Michele in her vintage caravan on weekends, serving up delicious hot donuts and coffee.
At home, Michele is a proud parent to two lovable dogs, Ruby the Labradoodle and Bailey the Cavoodle, as well as a cat named Cookie.
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…