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.

Sarah Butler
Sarah Butler
Veterinarian BVSc (Sydney)

I have been in the Armidale region for over 16 years now. Previously I worked in the Hunter Valley and Warialda, but always in mixed practice.

I established North Hill Vet Clinic as a sole practitioner in 2004, and have enjoyed its growth and changes over the years. I am very lucky to have a great team of Vets, Nurses and Admin staff around me, as we all complement each other with our skills and preferences

I enjoy working with all types of animals – livestock and horses, as well as small animals. I do enjoy the challenge of Equine lameness, as well as Cattle Medicine and Obstetrics but am still very much available for small animal consults and treatment.

Unfortunately these days some animal time has to be sacrificed for practice management, for the business, so I may appear to be scarce.  But be assured I am still working, and can usually be found somewhere around the clinic 4 days a week. Michael, my husband is also still involved in the practice, with various hats to be worn including accounts, Myob and payroll. 

Our 3 children have now all finished school and left the region so it is a different stage of our life... and we are loving it.  Dogs, cats chooks and ducks still fill up the home life, but our spare time priorities have now changed. I love the opportunity to do more gardening / caravanning out bush / visiting the children in QLD and even the occasional game of touch football. 

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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 WA and never really considered becoming anything other than a vet. I graduated from Murdoch Uni in 1991 and have seen many different types of practice over the years in Australia, Singapore and England. Whilst living in Perth, I met and married my husband Pete and our furry, feathery family expanded to include sons Alistair and Cameron. I have been in Armidale for 5 years, drawn here by the opportunity of living in a rural environment without compromising the educational and cultural opportunities a larger city may offer. I love the different landscapes NSW has on offer, the seasons and the soil (not hot, dry and sandy like WA) although still lack any interest in the State of Origin.

I love getting out in the bush especially with my 2 whippets, have done some trail running and am a member of Northern Tablelands Orienteering Club. Until rupturing my Achilles I was also enjoying playing hockey for the Servies.

Professionally, small animals are my key area of focus. I particularly enjoy dog and cat dentistry, internal medicine and ensuring senior pets lead a good quality of life. I feel they deserve to be pain free and healthy for as long as possible, and love to work with owners to find the right balance for this. 

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Craig Bailey
Craig Bailey
Veterinarian BVSc (Brisbane)

I grew up in Dorrigo, son of a third generation farmer and rural businessman ( though I was actually 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 Hannah McRae
Dr Hannah McRae
Veterinarian

I graduated from the University of Sydney in 2016 and started at North Hill Vet in February 2017. While originally a Sydney girl, my grandparents grew up in Wollomumbi so I have some family history (and long lost cousins) in the area. I have always known that I wanted to move out of the city to be a country vet and treat all animals large and small and am loving doing just that at North Hill. When not at work I can usually be found training for ultra distance trail running which is my other great passion. I spend the rest of my time singing in choir, eating or sleeping!

Lucy Miller
Lucy Miller
Vet Nurse

I lived in Brisbane for most of my life. I have always loved animals, so loved my first job as a kennel hand at a clinic in Chermside. I moved to Armidale after I finished school because I was enrolled in psychology and then later in Science at UNE. I decided I missed working with animals and that I would prefer to leave university and begin vet nursing instead. I was very lucky to get a chance to do my practical hours at North Hill and that I was given the opportunity to become part of such a great team now that I have completed my cert 1V

I have two dogs who are my fur babies. Sterling, a French bulldog x pug, and Zazz who my partner Michael and I adopted from the RSPCA. We have recently adopted guinea pigs, Piggy and Bess. I have an interest in dog behaviour and training and am a member of Dog sports New England. It has enabled us to get involved in Agility and Dancing with dogs which is a lot of fun. In between training my dogs and working , I create dog leads/collars and enjoy working in the garden and house we built 2 years ago.

Jess Hollis
Jess Hollis
Vet Nurse student

My name is Jess, I was born in Armidale and have lived here my whole life.

I have worked with North Hill Vet clinic for just over 4 years, and recently completed my cert 1V in Vet nursing.

I have 3 dogs, a Maltese X named Oscar. A British bulldog named Elvis, and most recently acquired an English Staffy named Egg.

I look forward to meeting you and your pets.

Zoe Johnson
Zoe Johnson
Vet Nurse

I was born in Armidale, and grew up on a small farm 10km west of town.  My love for animals was evident at a young age, as my parents spent many hours helping and teaching me to raise poddy calves and lambs.

I also enjoy horses and over the years have had the pleasure of owning 6 beautiful ex-racehorses who have now all been retrained into having show careers.  I tend to accumulate animals now having more horses, 4 dogs, many different birds and poultry, as well as one funny cat that thinks he’s a dog.

I’ve always loved being able to help animals and this became more obvious as I grew up. I was lucky enough to have been able to start and complete a school based traineeship studying a Cert II in Animal Studies. This has opened up my career path of becoming a Veterinary Nurse – I am now in the final stages of Cert IV.

I find my job very rewarding and am looking forward to a long career in this industry.  I look forward to meeting you and taking care of your pets when they are in the hospital at North Hill Vets

Eddie Balta
Eddie Balta
Vet Nurse

Eddie Balta recently relocated in Armidale with his Armidalian wife and their furry family. He joined our team in September 2017. 

Eddie is a qualified Vet Nurse since 2014 and for the past 4 years he had been working at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital and Emergency Services (SASH) in Sydney. 

Vet Nursing is Eddies' life passion. He builds a very good rapport with the patients and being part of their care and recovery gives him a real sense of fulfillment and purpose. 

In his spare time you may finding in one of the towns' coffee shops with his Chihuahua Toby or riding his beloved motorbike (even in subzero temperatures!) as they are inseparable!

Lisa Borger
Part time receptionist

I moved to Armidale in 2006 with my husband and our 4 children. We came from Kempsey due to my husbands 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 the positive environment that it has.