How to work with animals - a guide to getting started

Our history

Applied Vocational Training (AVT) was formed in 1998 in Perth, Western Australia, by Veterinarians and Veterinary Nurses looking to provide quality training for students seeking qualifications as a Veterinary Nurse and gaining employment in the veterinary industry. Over the years, we have extended our range of courses and nationally recognised certificates to include qualifications in Animal Studies, Animal Care, Horse Care and Animal Behaviour and Training. Our courses allow students to enter a diverse range of roles within the animal and pet care industry particularly those starting their careers.

25 Years of Service

From humble beginnings to a proud milestone, our college celebrates its 25th year of excellence in education. What started as a small initiative with a passionate group of educators and students has now blossomed into a renowned institution, shaping the future of animal care and veterinary nursing. Over the past quarter-century, we have remained dedicated to providing comprehensive and hands-on training, empowering aspiring veterinary nurses and animal carers of tomorrow to make a difference in animal welfare and care. As we reflect on our journey, we are grateful for the countless success stories and the impact our graduates have had on the lives of animals and their human companions. We stand tall as a testament to perseverance and the enduring pursuit of knowledge.  Swipe right to view a brief timeline of our journey.

From Humble Beginnings

Founder and Veterinarian, Dr John Platt recognised a lack of dedicated Veterinary Nursing training and established Applied Vocational Training (AVT) as the first animal care focused, Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in Western Australia.

Class of 2000

Dr Platt and his small team awarded the inaugural class of Veterinary Nurses with their Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

Animal Science College is Born

As we place focus on developing and teaching our Animal Care Courses, we created the “Animal Science College” and rebranded with new logos.

Embracing the new

It seems like a lifetime ago, but as our correspondence course audience grew, we adopted the 'latest' technology available at the time, launching our eLearning centre and online courses using Moodle.

Connecting old and new

Dr Anne Beugelaar (now AVT Director) joined us as the Principal Veterinary Nursing Lecturer. A former TAFE lecturer and AVT guest lecturer, this role reignited Anne's love for training the next generation of vet nurses.

On the move

By 2015, the college was growing so fast it was time to relocate from our humble beginnings in Canning Vale to a more spacious facility in Bentley.

Handing over the reins

It's time for Dr John Platt to retire and he hands over the reins to Dr Anne Beugelaar and Lianne Hulse (former Co-founder of Vetwest Animal Hospitals).

The new face of AVT

Animal Science College and Applied Vocational Training are merged together to create Applied Vocational Training or AVT as we know it today. 

With support of the WA Government

We become an approved provider for the Jobs & Skills WA program, offering students financial subsidies to help make their dreams become a reality. 

Deeper connections with industry

To deliver a more intensive hands-on experience, we partner with several organisations to offer our courses at some of Perth's leading animal care facilities. 

Responding to changes

In response to new mandatory requirements for the national Veterinary Nursing qualification, we open a second campus and simulated veterinary hospital so we can offer an intensive Vet Nurse Pathway course.

It's time to get horsey

Animal carer work placementWith many of our students seeking an equine-based career, we launched our very first Horse Care focused course.

From strength to strength

We expand into a second campus facility in Bentley to offer more hands-on experiences to our students including a dedicated clinical skills lab.

New ventures

We enter new waters with a Zoo and Wildlife Care Course, offering our first ever Zoo based course.

One team, one dream

With the development of new courses and offerings, and to host our growing team, we move all campuses to a shared space at Ascot.

It's time to talk behaviour!

We were the first in Ausralia to offer the new nationally recognised Animal Behaviour and Training course. Our inaugural cohort participated in blended online and workshop based learning.

The growing need for trained equine nurses

As a result of growing demand for trained Equine Vet Nurses, we launched our very first non-accredited short course, the Equine Veterinary Nursing Certificate.

Celebrating 25 years of Service

It's been a crazy, busy and fun 25 years educating industry professionals and there's no greater reward than having former students and graduates approach us to share their memories and experiences of studying at AVT. 

Qualified industry professionals

Courses are provided by our team of qualified and experienced Veterinarians, Veterinary Nurses and Animal Scientists. Our trainers and assessors are active members of either the veterinary profession or are involved in the animal care industry. They also have recognised training qualifications and significant experience teaching in University and/or TAFE programs. 

Our programs attract students from all over Australia

Over 500 students are enrolled in our on-campus, blended and supported eLearning programs. Our graduates are employed in a variety of areas including veterinary practice, zoos, government agencies such as quarantine services, welfare organisations, wildlife and rehabilitation and other animal care facilities.

We are located in Ascot, Western Australia, (9km from Perth CBD). Our purpose-built training centre provides on-campus students with a modern learning facility and access to an animal care facility (with animals), practical laboratory as well as equipment and products used in the veterinary and animal care industry. Students also enjoy free Wi-Fi services, a student lounge including an outdoor garden area as well being a short walking distance to eateries and public transport.

Our Team

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Dr Anne Beugelaar

Anne has had over 20 years of experience within the veterinary industry and has an...
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Sue Bain

Sue was born and educated in the UK gaining A level examinations in Zoology, Economics...
team staff bio

Penny Laycock

Penny is passionate about empowering nurses to be the best they can be and to...

Amanda Burnell

Amanda grew up in Perth, Western Australia and decided at a young age that she...
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Dr Jesslyn Seet

Jess came to Australia from Singapore to study Biomedical Science at Murdoch University and completed...
Julia bio

Dr Julia Koffel 

Julia was introduced to the veterinary world working as a vet nurse whilst undertaking her...
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Dr Kate Radford

Kate has been in the veterinary industry for over 25 years. She's passionate about helping...

Dr Lindsey Raeburn

Lindsey was born and raised in Scotland, surrounded by a menagerie of animals. During university,...
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Dr Liz Woodberry

Liz graduated in 2007 from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine...
Maren Beeston Team Bio Pic

Dr Maren Thatcher

Maren works in course development at AVT, using skills in instructional design to create and...
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Ann-Marie Moyles

Ann-Marie graduated with a Diploma in veterinary nursing from University College, Dublin, Ireland in 2009....

Caitlyn Nicholson

Caitlyn has over 12 years’ experience working as a Small Animal Veterinary Nurse. Caitlyn’s passion...
Candice Benning Team Bio Pic

Candice Benning

Candice's passion lies in improving the companion animal industry, with a special focus on promoting...

Chloe Morley

Chloe has over 15 years' experience in the veterinary nursing field. For the first 7...

Christine MacKenzie

Christine has worked for many years as a Head Veterinary Nurse and Veterinary Nurse in...
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Claudia Deadman

Claudia has over 16 years of experience working as a Veterinary Nurse. Claudia has a...

Deb Butler

Deb decided to pursue a career with animals when she started working as a kennel...
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Fiona Cowie

Fiona started training dogs over 18 years ago and also worked as a professional detector...
Hannah Holmberg Team Bio Pic

Hannah Holmberg

Hannah has over 16 years experience as a vet nurse in Albany and enjoys training...

Kylie Patterson

Kylie has over 10 years’ experience working as a Veterinary Nurse and Manager in the...
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Laura Ryder

Laura has over 20 years’ experience working in a busy veterinary clinic as Head Dog...
Lexie Goldsmith Team Bio Pic

Lexie Goldsmith

Lexie has been a dog and cat groomer for over 15 years. She is now...

Melanie Dowers

Melanie is a Vet Nurse from New Zealand who is passionate about educating aspiring veterinary...

Narelle Green

Narelle qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 1988. Her roles in the Veterinary industry have...
Stacey Hookham Team Bio Pic

Stacey Hookham

Stacey has been working in the veterinary field for over 20 years, finding joy in...
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Stephanie Ingoe

Stephanie started in the animal industry working as support staff for a local veterinary clinic....
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Marie Theseira

Marie studied at La Salle College, Middle Swan and achieved an Award of Distinction in...
Chelsea Brookes Team Bio Pic

Chelsea Brookes

Chelsea grew up in an animal loving home, having a range of pets from dogs...
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Andrew Rowland

Andrew completed a Bachelor of Science, majoring in computer science, at the University of Waikato...

Michelle Bethel

Michelle grew up on a dairy farm in New Zealand. In her first year after...

Ilaria Mengarelli

Ilaria has over 15 years experience working in hospitality, which has provided her with her...
Roishin Byrne bio pic

Roishin Byrne

Roishin brings a blend of creativity and marketing expertise to AVT. ...
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Sue Mundell

Sue has over 20 years of experience working within the veterinary and animal care industry...

A Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

Applied Vocational Training (AVT) is a private registered training organisation, registered with the ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority). We’re also supported and endorsed by the Australian Veterinary Association. Our registration number is 5273 and our registration authority can be viewed on the Australian Government’s National Register of VET website. For more information we also encourage you to visit the following links:

As an RTO, AVT is bound to comply with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (SRTOs) 2015. Training services provided to clients follow policies and processes developed to meet the VET Quality Framework and SRTOs 2015. Please visit our Student Policy page for more information.

We recommend you research any training organisation you’re considering studying with by using the website.

Nationally Recognised

AVT is a Registered Training Organisation, and offers nationally recognised qualifications.

Government Subsidised

AVT is approved to offer a range of government funded subsidies for selected courses.

25 Years in Education

AVT have focused on delivering animal care related courses for over 25 years.

Our Partners and Associates

We’re immensely proud to work alongside some of Perth’s leading industry organisations.


The RSPCA’s mission is to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection.


To achieve this, the RSPCA works to enforce animal cruelty laws and prompt new legislation where required. The RSPCA also operates animal care and adoption facilities, and seeks to raise community awareness regarding the humane treatment of animals.
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Cat Haven

Cat Haven was originally established in 1961 as the Cat Welfare Society.

Cat Haven

It is now Western Australia’s largest shelter for homeless, lost and abused cats, with 6,500-8,500 cats surrendered each year to their facility.
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Greyhounds as Pets WA promotes and facilitates greyhound pet ownership to the Western Australian community.

Greyhounds as Pets

With a kennel facility based in Southern River, GAP successfully rehomes many safe and healthy greyhounds with WA families.
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The VNCA works tirelessly to promote the interests of Veterinary Nursing in Australia.


They also provide support and direction for veterinary nurses and veterinary technicians, setting and maintaining standards for excellence in animal care.
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The Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT) is a leading body and course provider for Dog Trainers and Behaviourists.


The aim of The IMDT is to provide high quality training, education and membership to all Dog Trainers, with an emphasis on proven, ethical and science based teaching methods.
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Landsdale Farm

Landsdale Farm is a working farm providing experiential education and recreation opportunities for children and adults.

Landsdale Farm

Located in Darch, Landsdale Farm is committed to increasing students’, adults’ and the community’s understanding of where food comes from.
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Animal Dermatology Clinic

Animal Dermatology Clinic are specialists in animal skin, ears and allergies.

Animal Dermatology Clinic

Animal Dermatology Clinic is a dermatology and ear clinic in Perth. They solve difficult-to-treat skin and ear diseases, including dog and cat allergies, and ear infections.
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IDEXX is a global leader in pet healthcare innovation.


IDEXX supports longer, fuller lives for pets by delivering insights and solutions that help the veterinary community around the world make confident decisions—to advance medical care, improve efficiency, and build thriving practices.
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News & Articles

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Why choose AVT?

Dedicated Animal Care College

AVT has been delivering Vet Nursing and Animal Care related courses for over 25 years. It's safe to say there are no plumbing or hairdressing courses here!

Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

Outstanding Track Record

A recent NCVER VET student outcomes report found 93% of AVT graduates were employed or enrolled in further study after training and 95% of graduates would recommend the training provided by AVT.

Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

Safe and Supported Learning

Our qualified teaching team have many years of experience as well as extensive backgrounds in the veterinary and animal care industry. They're approachable and dedicated to helping students succeed.

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