VNCA Vet Nurse of the Year Awards

Honouring excellence in the Veterinary Nurse profession

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2020 Vet Nurse of the Year Awards

Veterinary nurses are an essential part of any veterinary practice. They are highly skilled, have ever increasing responsibilities and play a valuable role, whether in surgery, practice administration or consultations.   The VNCA Vet Nurse of the Year Awards have been developed to celebrate excellence in our profession.

Who will nominate you?

We invite veterinary health care team members, employees, clients and teachers to nominate a veterinary nurse who provides exceptional service, delivers the highest possible standard of care and occupies a pivotal position in the veterinary health care team.

Key Dates

Monday 31 August 2020:    Nominations NOW CLOSED 

Friday  9 October 2020:    Winners announced    

The Prize

Winners of Veterinary Nurse and Student Veterinary Nurse of the Year awards will receive:

  • Full registration to the 2021 VNCA Conference, including:
    • Full three-day program
    • Tickets to all three social functions including the Gala Dinner
    • VNCA satchel, notebook and proceedings
  • Flights from your nearest airport to attend the conference
  • Return transfers from airport to accommodation 
  • Three nights’ accommodation 
  • VNCA Gift pack: Full set of crib cards, VNCA badge and e-CPD voucher
  • Personalised individual trophy with name engraved on the VNCA perpetual trophy






2019 Vet Nurse of the Year and Student Vet Nurse of the Year

The VNCA congratulates all nominees of the 2019 Vet Nurse of the Year Awards.  The recipients of the 2019 awards were announced on Friday 11 October and will receive their award formally at the 2020 VNCA Conference. Congratulations:

  • 2019 Vet Nurse of the Year - Kate Simon-Menasse, WA
  • 2019 Student Vet Nurse of the Year - Martina Smith, QLD

2019 Vet Nurse of the Year – Kate Simon-Menasse

With almost 20 years of experience in the veterinary nursing profession, Kate Simon-Menasse has an extraordinary breadth and depth of clinical experience as a veterinary nurse. In addition to her 18-year career in zoos, she has worked in private practice, in an orthopaedic referral hospital, and in a university teaching hospital.  As a senior nurse in the Perth zoo veterinary team, Kate plays an important role in mentoring nurses, instructing veterinary students and developing the health management skills of rehabilitators.  Kate has also acted in the Nursing Supervisor role on a number of occasions.  
As an active member of the VNCA for almost the entirety of her career, Kate has spent many years on the VNCA WA Division committee. Kate is an Accredited Veterinary Nurse (AVN)and holds the additional qualifications of Certificate III in Captive Animals a zookeeping qualification.
Kate’s work ethic and her dedication to veterinary nursing and to the care of animals are highly valued by her employer, with her nominator noting, ‘Kate brings cheerful competence and high standards of performance to all her nursing duties, [and] is a tireless advocate for her profession’.
The VNCA is proud to award Kate the Vet Nurse of the Year award for 2019.


2019 Student Vet Nurse of the Year – Martina Smith

Martina joined the UQ VETS team two and a half years ago when she successfully obtained an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Trainee Animal Attendant position working in the Clinical Studies Centre.  During her traineeship, she completed a Certificate III Companion Animal Studies and became a valued member of the team as a dedicated, enthusiastic and hardworking employee.  
Martina is now working within both the UQ equine and small animal teaching hospitals and is completing her Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing through TAFE QLD. ‘Over the last 6 months working in the hospital, she has become an asset to my team of nurses and technicians’, notes Martina’s nominator.  ‘She has shown particular commitment to improving the care and husbandry of our hospitalised patients, specifically to our long stay orthopaedic patients.  She has also shown strength in customer service and is always happy to jump onto reception to assist when needed.’


We warmly congratulate both Kate and Martina and are particularly grateful to Hill's for their support of these important awards.