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Emergency Vets

Dr Tracy Hughes BVSc (hons)


Tracy started her career in animal health in the 1990’s as a veterinary technician, after a few years in general practice she decided to enroll in vet school working as a technician in emergency and critical care to pay her way through university; it was here her love of emergency developed.

After graduating, Tracy pursued a career as an emergency clinician loving the thrill and rewards that emergency work offered. After working in emergency for 11 years, she took a one year hiatus in general practice, Tracy realized the draw of emergency work was too strong and in December 2016, she and her business partner opened Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service.

Tracy loves all aspect of emergency work, you never know what will come through the door and whilst it can be sad at times, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Animals are miraculous and seeing an animal recover and discharged back to his or her owner is wonderful. Tracy’s areas of interest include difficult medical cases, ventilator therapy and ultrasound.

Being part of such an enthusiastic, compassionate team at CVES makes every working day a joy.

Helping animals is so rewarding and being part of a group that is dedicated to providing such extraordinary care is amazing.


Dr Ashlee Flesser – BVSc ISFM AdvancedCertFB

Dr Ashlee is our Queensland-born vet. She graduated from James Cook University in Townsville and is originally from sunny Rockhampton. She has worked in general practice and rescue shelters, and her true veterinary love is with cats. She has just finished a feline behaviour certification and plans to peruse a feline medicine specialty in the near future. She is also interested in palliative/hospice pet care, a relatively new field in veterinary medicine. Working closely with the team at CVES, Dr Ashlee is also the Canberra region’s contact for Sunset Vets, delivering palliative care to pets at home in their senior years. Outside of work, Dr Ash enjoys rollerskating, baking and drawing.


Emergency Nurses

Caitlin – Certificate IV VN

Caitlin is part of our nursing team and roster queen extraordinaire. Her ability to multitask makes her an invaluable member of the CVES family. Caitlin is originally from Canberra and has many fur babies which include Floki, Raspie,  Pouncival and Tumblebrutus.  She obtained her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at CIT while volunteering at the Veterinary Clinic at the RSPCA. This volunteer position soon led to a full time employment with the RSPCA in 2012.  After gaining invaluable experience at the RSPCA, Caitlin came to join the CVES family in 2016 and is an asset to the CVES team.


Cass – Certificate IV VN

Cass is born and bred in Canberra and has been a vet nurse for almost 15 years after diving in deep at the age of 14, with close to 10 of those in emergency and critical care. She enjoys the fast paced unpredictability that working in emergency has offered and loves the puzzles that Emergency medicine presents almost as much as she loves helping her patients feel safe and at home.

Cass is working towards her registration and vet tech specialisation in ECC.

In her spare time, with the help of her 3 dogs she can often be found gaming, reading or studying up on the latest ECC literature (especially in one of her passions, like toxicology – the weird things our pets shouldn’t eat but often find a way to!)


Emma – RVN

After completing her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2010, Emma amassed an enormous amount of experience in both emergency and general practice clinics. Emma reignited her passion for emergency and joined the CVES team in 2019 after spending four years in general practice – and she hasn’t looked back!

Emma has become a registered Veterinary Nurse with the Vet Nurse Council of Australia.  When she isn’t working at CVES, Emma divides her time between tending to her indoor plants and working as a qualified beauty therapist.


Jess – RVN

Jessica has been a qualified veterinary nurse since 2013, after working in general practice for a number of years she made the move to work in emergency and critical care.

Jessica has acquired a few pets from working at vet hospitals which include her silver tabby cat “Alfie”, German shepherd “Reggie” and her staffy mix “Rocky”.

When not at work Jessica enjoys going on walks with her dogs, doing jigsaw puzzles and caring for her indoor plants.


Maddison aka “Kit”

Having spent 2 years as a nutritional advisor with Hills Nutrition, Kit realised that they wanted a more hands on role in helping animals. Kit started nursing at a general practice in Canberra where they developed a love of surgical nursing and the more complex medical cases. Kit decided to continue to pursue their veterinary nursing qualification, and they’re currently studying for their certificate IV.

Kit is thrilled to be working in an emergency clinic as they love the variety of cases. Every pet we treat is a learning opportunity as they are mentored by some of the best nurses in Emergency and Critical Care. Kit is so excited to be a part of the team at CVES and to work with like-minded people that help provide the highest quality care for their patients.


Skye – RVN

Skye has been working as a Vet Nurse since 2009 and is currently a registered Veterinary Nurse. Skye completed her certificate IV in veterinary nursing in 2012 and turned her focus to emergency and critical care nursing not long after, working at Canberra’s Emergency centres helping to treat some of the sickest patients. After a short break, and welcoming two daughters to her family, Skye has joined the team at CVES.

Skye has a particular interest in exotic pets And all things feline- Often referring to herself as our resident crazy cat lady


Tara – RVN

Tara is a senior emergency and critical care nurse, who started her veterinary nursing career in Brisbane in 2005, and has over 10 years of experience nursing in one of Australia’s busiest emergency and pet ICU hospitals. Tara has special interests in ventilator medicine, anaesthesia and analgesia, and the care of critically ill patients, and when she is not on the floor nursing our sickest patients, she is teaching and mentoring our other nurses to do just that.

Tara is a registered veterinary nurse, holds a Diploma of Emergency and Critical Care, and is currently studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology, along with the many continuing education courses she participates in along the way. Tara also trains and coaches other veterinary nurses both within the ACT and interstate also.

Tara lives with her husband Tony, and their two little kids Zedd and Freya, four cats – Frankie, Wednesday, Kevin and Boomer, two dogs – Doodles and Snappy, a bunny called Terry and General Grievous the bearded dragon.


CVES Administration and Reception

Claire – Head of Reception

Claire moved to Canberra in 2016 due to her husband’s work. She started working with CVES in August 2019 as an emergency receptionist but before long started taking on more and more and has now become our Reception Manager. While working for CVES, Claire has accumulated 3 cats (Simba, Zuri and Kira). They’re all rescues she just had to take home, much to her husband’s delight.

Claire is currently completing a Diploma in Leadership and Management to develop the necessary skills to achieve success in her role and keep things running smoothly.



As part of the reception team the ever changing pace, cases and types of fur babies coming through our doors really pushes Jess to do her best.

After completing a Certificate II in Animal studies Jess is now looking to pursue a career with animals and so she wants to further those skills and passion with training to become a vet nurse!

Jess has her own Rottweiler Cross called Macey and cat called a Tigger, she is very appreciative everyday of being able to go home to them.


Kim – Certificate IV VN

After completing her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2014, Kim gained invaluable experience in both specialist and general practice clinics. Kim moved to Canberra in 2018 and joined the CVES team initially as a nurse, before finding her niche as a gun emergency receptionist!

Kim is an avid road cyclist, joke teller and has a passion for the Sydney Swans.