Armidale Vet - North Hill Vet Sarah Butler Veterinary Surgery Dogs Cats Pets Horses Equine Farm Animals - "Friendly and caring service for all your pets and working animals"

Our Team

Below you can see the vets, nursing staff, and reception staff who will be helping when you come in.
Our vets have over 80 years clinical experience.

Dr Sarah Butler
Dr Sarah Butler
Veterinarian BVSc (Sydney)

I grew up on a mixed farming property west of Inverell. After graduating from Sydney Uni in 1988 I worked at Warialda, Bingara, and the Hunter Valley before moving to Armidale in 2001.

I opened the doors on North Hill veterinary Clinic in 2004 and really enjoyed the privilege of providing great animal care to the Armidale District.  In 2016 Fiona Le Surf joined the team, and by 2017 she was a co-owner of the Clinic. This bought great balance to the business side of the clinic. 

I still enjoy all aspects of rural Veterinary Practice, from the Horses and Cattle down to Small Animals and everything in between.  Over the years I have built many close relationships with people and their pets / livestock and really enjoy the personal interactions that make up part of our rural community.  I am also very fortunate to have such a fantastic team of Vets and Nurses to work with.  Together we have a vast array of skill, passions and interests... all relating to the best care of animals, and their owners

Outside of the Vetting world I love my garden (am still attempting to tame it), bushwalks, reading, music and caravanning with my husband Michael. Our 3 children all live in QLD now so it is a good excuse to go North in the winter.   

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Dr Fiona Le Surf
Dr Fiona Le Surf
Veterinarian BSc BVMS (hons) MVS (Murdoch)

I grew up on a small dairy/mixed farm in southwest WA and never considered becoming anything other than a vet. Now with 30 years under my belt, I have experienced many types of practice around Australia, in Singapore and England and choose to focus on the small animal component of the practice. I share the ownership of North Hill Vet Clinic with Sarah, having done so since 2017. My interests include dog and cat senior pet care, dentistry, internal medicine and soft tissue surgery.

Away from work I recharge by getting out in the bush at a farm near Werrikembe, orienteering with Northern Tablelands Orienteering Club or walking with Armidale Bushwalking Club.

The animal branch of my family is composed of 2 whippets, the world’s naughtiest dachshund, 2 elderly cats and 2 hens.

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Dr Hannah McRae
Dr Hannah McRae
Veterinarian

I grew up in Sydney but had a fascination for farm life and animals big and small. So, from a young age insisted on going to the Easter show every year for my birthday to see the animals. I also spent 4 years overseas as a child in semi-rural parts of France and Belgium (some patchy French still remains somewhere in my brain…) where I spent many hours with the local riding school being dragged around / bucked off by stubborn Shetland ponies.

I completed my study at the University of Sydney, where I added a love of cows to my animal interests, and after graduating came up to Armidale in 2017. I really enjoy the variety and challenge that country mixed practice brings to everyday work life. In 2019 I also travelled to Nauru twice to participate in a dog management and desexing program which was a very eye opening and rewarding experience – and I hope to be able to go back again one day when borders reopen.

Outside of work I enjoy adventuring and camping in the beautiful New-England surrounds, running with my beautiful border collie x dog ‘Merrylegs,’ and long-distance trail running events.

Dr Craig Bailey
Dr Craig Bailey
Veterinarian BVSc (Brisbane)

I grew up in Dorrigo, son of a third generation farmer and rural businessman (although I was born and lived in Armidale for two years while Dad finished Rural Science at UNE).

My schooling was at Dorrigo High, before I spent a year overseas in South Africa on a Rotary exchange. It was here I confirmed my lifelong love of rugby. I had played rep rugby at school at a decent level (though I peaked in high school).

I loved farming and living in a small community, and so thought a career as a vet was an appropriate option. I studied Vet Science at University of QLD, and thoroughly enjoyed most of it. Perhaps a little too much at times, but I still managed to graduate with first class honours (somehow).

My first job was in Tenterfield, followed by fifteen years in Goondiwindi. I loved Goondi very much, where I could continue to be involved in rugby - first as a player and then a referee. I also learned to preg test big cattle numbers quickly and accurately, and test bulls' semen as well. Goondi was also a great place to develop small animal skills - referral centres were far away- hence my interest in orthopaedics and other surgery. 

I came 'home' to the Tablelands in 2012 to be closer to my family and the great schools in Armidale. I was very lucky that Sarah Butler had a position available when I rang up out of the blue, and have had a very happy time at the North Hill Vet Clinic since then. The girls welcomed me whole-heartedly, and our skill-sets have complemented each other nicely. Working in a cohesive team makes work very enjoyable. 

When not at work, I still referee rugby in the local New England competition, and try to keep some sort of running career going ( I did a marathon and several half-marathons a few years ago, but ten km pulls me up these days). I love reading good literature, tasting fine whisky (occasionally) and getting in the way of my beautiful wife Sarah (Bailey) at home. And also driving my energetic children, Charlie and Sophie, around the state with their sport. 

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Dr Amelia Fryer
Dr Amelia Fryer
Veterinarian

I graduated from the University of Sydney in 2019 and began my mixed practice career in dairy mixed practice down in Gippsland, Victoria. Whilst I really loved my first clinic, and learnt a lot of valuable mixed vet skills, the COVID-19 pandemic proved Victoria The Place NOT To Be, so I made the move back home to the Premier State in March 2021. Hailing from a beef farming background, with my parents property located in Dungog, my veterinary special interests include cattle, all things medicine, and equine practice, and lucky for me I have had great opportunity to pursue all of these interests at North Hill Vet. I have been enjoying settling into Armidale and exploring the beautiful bushland, and love how close I now am to both my partner (based at Bingara), and my sister up at Glen Innes. I am told I will get used to the cold eventually! Outside of the clinic I enjoy keeping fit through walking and HIIT training, baking, indulging in musical theatre, helping out at my partners family’s farm, learning to horse ride, and playing with my cat Pips.

Jess Hollis
Jess Hollis
Vet Nurse

I was born in Armidale and have lived here my whole life. I joined the North Hill team in 2012 and have enjoyed being a part of its growth.

I have always wanted to work with animals and care for them. I absolutely love Staffy’s and have 2 of my own “Sooki” and “Stitch”.

I did my training in Cert II and Cert IV via Tamworth Tafe and STAH.

These days I am mainly on reception and really enjoy connecting with owners and their animals as well as helping to sort their needs.  Every now and then I am out the back, not only to keep up my nursing skills but to refresh and connect with the patients.

I look forward to seeing you and your pets

Zoe Johnson
Zoe Johnson
Vet Nurse

I grew up in Armidale on a small property running mixed beef cattle and sheep.I attended Armidale High school for my senior schooling. As a part of my HSC I studied Animal Care, and upon completing that I continued my education at TAFE NSW.

I have been a part of the North Hill Vet Clinic team since 2017.

My interests include horse riding and gardening, and I also enjoy spending time outdoors on our small property.

I really enjoy coming to work and being able to interact with our patients, especially being able to help the patients post surgery and though illness. This is my passion.

I look forward to continuing to assist any of our patients in need.

Cath
Cath
Vet Nurse

Wow, 3 years since I started with North Hill Vet. I have finally settled in the area, finding a nice 5 acres for myself and dogs.

In the 3 years at this clinic, I have become a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN). I have achieved this by participating in continuing education. The registration is yearly where CPD points are achieved. Vet Nursing is my happy place and I enjoy all aspect of the position and being part of a dedicated team. Over the past 3 years I have met our lovely clients and enjoy a chat with them and a cuddle from their patients.

I am currently competing in Tracking and Obedience Trials with my dogs. I am actively involved in the GSDL of NSW and the German Shepherd Dog Club of QLD as well as the Club/Show Secretary for Coffs Harbour District All Breed Kennel Club.

I look forward to seeing more of you and helping your animals.

Eddie Balta
Eddie Balta
Vet Nurse

I moved to Armidale in 2018. I’ve previously lived in Sydney, London, and my home city Athens.

I graduated as a Vet Nurse in 2014, and have worked in a few Vet Hospitals in Sydney before joining the team at North Hill

Vet Nursing, caring and supporting the animals in need, is my life’s passion.  I build a very good rapport with the patients and love being a part of their recovery. This gives me a real sense of fullfilment and purpose.

Amanda Danieletto
Amanda Danieletto
Vet Nurse

I moved to Armidale 5 years ago, after living all around Australia.  

I first entered Vet Nursing in 2003 and then went on to treating people.

I have recently returned to Vet Nursing and have a passion for helping both people and animals.

I joined the North Hill Team at the end of last year as a casual staff member, but have now become a part of the permanent crew, which is fantastic.

We all share the same ideals regarding our care and compassion for animals, and people.

I look forward to meeting you and your pets, and helping in anyway I can.

Stephanie Hough
Stephanie Hough
School Base Vet Nurse Traineeship

Hi, I am Steph. I grew up in Bunyip, Victoria and relocated to Armidale in 2019.  

I am currently studying HSC, Year 11 at O’Connor Catholic College.

My HSC studies, also consists of a School Base Traineeship, Animal Studies to become a Vet Nurse. I’m currently attending 1 day a week placement at North Hill Vet Clinic, 1 day a week at TAFE studying Animal Studies and 3 days a week at O’Connor Catholic College HSC.

I had previously attended one week work experience with North Hill Vet Clinic in 2020,

Year 10 and was then offered a Traineeship with their team. I am so grateful for this opportunity as I have a love for animals and their welfare.

Growing up, I am always surrounded by fur family members and have rescued a few animals along the way and given them a forever loving home.

Lisa Borger
Part time receptionist

I moved to Armidale in 2006 with my husband and our four children. We came from Kempsey due to my husband's work commitment and found the temperatures initially challenging.

Until early 2016 I worked in local pharmacies, but once the children all left home (and the local area) I decided to take a break from full time work.

I joined NHVC in October 2016 as a part time receptionist, which enables me to look after our granddaughter and still have time to travel to visit the other children.

I also really enjoy spending time in my garden and home. I have several dogs – just love the Jack Russell’s, as well as chooks and ducks.

I find working at NHVC is both rewarding and challenging, and I enjoy the role I play within the clinic and it's positive environment.

Charlie
Charlie
Practice Manager

Charlie moved into the clinic at only 8 weeks old. From just a wily street kitten she worked her way into everyone’s hearts and quickly proved her metal as a clinic cat. Charlie knows how to stand off against even the keenest canine and knows which clients to schmooze for a pat and which children to keep her distance from. Moving down the hill made Charlie a happy cat indeed. She now finds so many more friends just through the fence at Maccy D’s and coincidentally these friends will often have CHICKEN NUGGETS.  At the end of the day all she really wants to do is curl up in one of her many beds in the sun or lay across someone’s arms as they try to perform administration tasks on their computer. Next time you are in the clinic, give a pat and praise to the clinic’s real practice manager.