Meet the Melbourne Bird Vet team

If you are looking for an avian veterinarian near you, we can help. Established in 2000, the Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic moved into it’s new purpose built clinic in 2009. The clinic is one of only two bird-only veterinary clinics in Australia and is the only bird-only veterinary clinic in Victoria.

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Dr Matt Gosbell
CO-OWNER - BVSc, MANZCVS (Avian Medicine and Surgery)

Matt has had a lifelong passion for ‘all creatures great and small’. After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1994 he had a stint in dairy practice in Gippsland and then headed off to work in James Herriot-style mixed practices in the north of Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.

Versatile, resourceful and loving surgery, coming back to Melbourne Matt started working at Monash Vet, a small animal practice doing cutting edge work with reproductive technologies. He then moved over to Springvale Animal Hospital, now part of the Greencross network, where avian veterinarians Drs David Madill and Doug Black had done excellent pioneering work on the veterinary care of birds. Taking over their avian caseload, Matt earned his Membership in the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) in Bird Medicine and Surgery in 2007 and went on to serve as Veterinary Director at Springvale for 17 years. He took over Dr Madill’s responsibilities teaching the Cage and Aviary Bird Medicine course to veterinary students at the University of Melbourne and began teaching nurses at Melbourne Polytechnic.

In 2017 Matt hired avian specialist Dr Pat Macwhirter, who had sold her long standing avian/small animal clinic in Burwood. While continuing his duties at Veterinary Director at Springvale, he commenced a training program through the ANZCVS working internationally and under Dr Pat’s supervision to achieve official specialist recognition in Bird Medicine and Surgery. He expects to complete this in 2021. Out of left field, early in 2019, Dr Colin Walker offered to sell Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic to Matt and Pat. After considerable soul searching they accepted, moving over to the Scoresby Clinic in September 2019.

Matt has presented and written many excellent articles, seminars and webinars on Avian Medicine and surgery, as well as teaching and writing courses in Avian Medicine from basic to post graduate level. He is a keen cyclist and has two energetic young sons, Seth and Nathan.

You know your bird will be in good hands with Dr Pat as she has worked and studied both in Australia and overseas and has been a trail blazer in Bird Medicine, being, in 1993, the first person in Victoria to gain Veterinary Board recognition as a Specialist in Avian Medicine. She descends from early American pioneers but her family moved far west, all the way to Sydney, Australia when she was twelve and she went on to graduate, with honours, as a vet from Sydney University and, afterwards, went back to the USA to complete an internship and fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

Returning to Australia in 1980, she opened Burwood Bird and Animal Hospital and owned or co-owned that clinic until 2015, when it was sold, and she enjoyed a brief year’s retirement before starting work with fellow avian vet Dr Matt Gosbell at Greencross Vets, Springvale. She has always had an interest in birds, bird watching and bird medicine and surgery and, over the years, has kept and bred budgies, Major Mitchell Cockatoos and galahs, peacocks and Quaker parrots. She has authored or co-authored numerous scientific papers, books and conference proceedings and has been an invited speaker at veterinary and other conferences in Asia, Central America, North America, Europe and Australia. She and Dr Matt are both excited about owning and working in a clinic treating birds exclusively and the opportunities this presents for helping bird owners and doing cutting edge work in the field.

Pat is passionate about getting people connected with nature and trying to stem our current global wave of species extinctions. She owns Harewood, a remarkable 150 year old heritage-listed property on Western Port and currently serves as President of the Healesville to Phillip Island Nature Link (see https://www.hpnl.org.au/ ). She has grown up children and two gorgeous little granddaughters, Heidi and Claudia.

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Dr Pat Macwhirter
CO-OWNER - BVSc (Hons), MA, PhD, FANZCVS (Avian Medicine and Surgery)

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Dr Madeleine Rowe DVM

Maddie joined the vibrant team at Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic in 2019, after graduating as a veterinarian from the University of Melbourne in 2017 and spending a year and a half practising in Shepparton. She was lucky enough to spend several months being mentored by Dr Colin Walker before the clinic was acquired by the outstanding avian veterinarians Drs Pat Macwhirter and Mathew Gosbell, who continued her mentoring.

Maddie has always loved avian and wildlife medicine; she was awarded the Anne Martin Memorial Scholarship as a student in 2016 for her endeavours in exotic animal medicine. She was also an invited speaker at the National Wombat conference in 2017 and has spoken at several wildlife community-outreach initiatives, such as the Goulburn Valley ‘Bats in our Neighbourhood’ awareness night in 2019.

Maddie enjoys seeing all creatures (be it bird, dog, rabbit, cat, or bat), but birds are definitely the highlight of her repertoire! You might also catch her birdwatching up along the Murray River, where she can still be found doing avian consults around Echuca and Shepparton from time to time.

Dr Colin Walker, who founded Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic, is an internationally recognised authority on racing and exhibition pigeons and has been a prolific author in the field. He retired in 2019 when he sold MBVC to Drs Matt Gosbell and Pat Macwhirter but continues to race pigeons and keep a wide variety of birds in his retirement. Colin still owns The Australian Pigeon Company https://www.auspigeonco.com.au and enjoys collaborating with the avian veterinarians at MBVC on challenging cases.

Dr Colin Walker


Dr Colin Walker BVSc (Hons) MANZCVS

Veterinary Nurses

Tawny has been a nurse at Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic since 2015, before this she had been studying/working in small animal practices for about 6 years. Tawny has always had a love for animals, but discovered her passion for birds when she adopted an Eclectus Parrot named ‘Ringo’ through a previous workplace. It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the personality and intelligence of Ringo and ever since then, she has been very interested in learning all she can about the health and wellbeing of pet birds. Tawny really enjoys meeting the various different birds that come into the clinic, and chatting with like-minded bird owners.

Tawny currently lives with her partner Andrew, her two rescue dogs Indi and Boris, a Yellow-Crowned Amazon Parrot named Kip and a Gang-Gang Cockatoo named Jem. When not in the clinic, Tawny also works at a pet supplies store. On her rare days off, you can find her spending as much time with her family and pets as possible.

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Tawny
Head Nurse
Cert IV Veterinary Nurse

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Tracey
Cert IV Veterinary Nurse

Tracey is a lifelong animal lover who after 20+ years of working in IT finally made the long awaited career change in 2017. Starting off at the RSPCA studying Cert 2 in Animal Studies, as well as volunteering at the Burwood RSPCA she found that she really enjoyed caring for the birds and exotics the most. Having had many animals of her own over the years, Tracey is now a Cert IV qualified Vet Nurse and loves helping treat all types of animals with a rapidly developing passion for wildlife and exotics! She enjoys studying behaviour in all types of animals and enjoys talking to Bird parents about their feathered babies’ quirks.
When Tracey was offered the position at Melbourne Bird Vet it was like a dream come true and she loves coming in to work and learning as much as she can about nursing our feathered friends!

Tracey’s family currently consists of Daisy the Jack Russell cross, Toby the chocolate lab, Dory the fluffy cat, Larry the elderly Tonkinese and Trillian the rescue Pearly Conure as well as a husband, 2 children and 2 grandsons! In her spare time she knits, plays video games, trains her Labrador pup and spends as much time as possible with her grandsons.

Brooke has always had a passion for animal welfare with a special interest in exotics. She started volunteering at multiple animal shelters in high school and her love for animals only grew more from there.

She has completed her Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience and is currently completing her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. When she was offered the opportunity to work at the Melbourne Bird Clinic, she was so excited to be able to learn and put her theory work into practice.

At home Brooke lives with her partner Matthew, their cavoodle (Luna), rabbit (Benjamin) and of course their cockatiel (Bam Bam). In her spare time, you will find her spending time with family and friends, out hiking or doing home renovations.

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Brooke

Alex

Alex has always had a passion for caring for animals. Originally from Perth, Alex grew up surrounded by animals and volunteered at a wildlife shelter for years while studying. It was here that she fell in love with native wildlife, in particular, birds. Over the years, she helped rehabilitate a variety of species from tiny honey-eaters, to ravens, cockatoos and everything in between.

Since moving to Melbourne in 2016, Alex continued working in pet retail and pet minding. When offered a position at Melbourne Bird Vet she was absolutely over the moon at the opportunity to gain experience in an exceptional, exclusively avian veterinary clinic while completing her Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing

Alex lives with her partner, Brodie and their furry family consisting of their Australian Shepherd (Drake), two cats (Anakin and Los) and fish. When she isn’t at MBVC you will probably find her camping or hiking through the wilderness with her partner and their dog.

Monique has had an interest in veterinary care and animal behaviour since she was young. She is determined to pursue her dream career in veterinary medicine, despite spending time obtaining a Bachelor of Education first.

Monique was lucky enough to land an amazing opportunity to work with the team at MBVC while she studies a Bachelor of Science in Animal Biology. The environment allows her to gain practical knowledge about the ongoings of a professional clinic while working alongside experts in a unique environment. One of her favourite parts of the job is hearing about different feathered clients and learning about all cases, big or small.

Her flock consists of 5 beautiful budgerigars (Lasagna, Sheogorath, Sherlock, Pluto & Sugar Sweet Tweet), a pair of canaries (Meatball & Peachfuzz), and an Indian Ringneck (Sir Steve). Alongside her birds, she lives with a spoiled calico cat (Mitzy) and her partner (Juniper). When not at MBVC you will find her creating bird enrichment products for her small business, photographing her lovely pets or working at a small animal clinic.

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MADDY

Maddy has forever loved animals of all species, always having them around her whilst growing up. She has always had a passion to help aid in animals’ health. Beginning with treating sick pet budgies when she was younger, to helping with the birth of six lambs at her family’s hobby farm.

Maddy and her family moved up the hills 4 years ago. They now have a big furry family that consists of their Cat (Gnocchi), Miniature Schnauzer (Ella), 3 horses (Jordan, Moon and Autumn), 2 sheep (Kenny and Bo), many chickens and her newest addition, a lorikeet (Beetroot). When Maddy isn’t at the clinic she enjoys being outdoors, building Lego, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets.

Melbourne bird vet is her first position within a veterinary clinic. She has completed her certificate III in animal studies and will be studying her certificate IV at Box Hill institute. She dreams to keep helping birds and eventually start working with larger animals as well, such as sheep and horses.