About us

Call us today - 02 4655 0798

Birds, reptiles and exotic pets require committed and special care that differs from that required by more traditional domestic pets. AREPH handle the needs of these unique animals. We provide dedicated care, the latest equipment, the highest commitment of service and are owned by one of Australia’s most respected universities - The University of Sydney.

We are very proud to be Finalists in the 2015, 2017, 2018 and upcoming 2019 Wollondilly Business Awards and Winners in 2016.

Our mission
To provide the highest quality care for our patients and courteous, compassionate and understanding service to their owners.

Meet the team


Associate Professor Lorenzo Crosta - AREPH Director
med vet, PhD, Gp Cert (Exotic Animals), Diplomate European College of Zoological Medicine (Zoo Health) European Specialist in Zoological Medicine

Lorenzo Crosta graduated in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Milan (Italy) in 1989, and received his PhD in Veterinary Clinical Sciences, from the University of Turin in 2009.

After graduating Lorenzo immediately started working with birds and traveled abroad to increase his skills and knowledge in avian medicine, and was the first Italian member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians.

After working as a practitioner for 10 year, at the beginning of 2000 he took the position of Veterinary Director at the Loro Parque, in Tenerife (Spain), the most diverse Parrot collection in the world, where he worked until mid-2005.

Since then he has been working back in Italy, where he has been working as an avian practitioner and as a consulting veterinarian for various zoos and bird collections in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and Mexico.

Since 2013 he is Accredited by the FNOVI (Italian Federation of Veterinary Colleges), in Avian and Zoological Medicine and Surgery and Zoo Health Management.

In 2015, he successfully sat the exam for the ESVPS General Practitioner Certification in Exotic Animal Practice and since 2010 he is lecturer at the University of Milan, on selected topics on Management and Welfare of Birds.

In 2016 he was recognized “de facto” as a Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine, and therefore is a European Specialist in Zoological Medicine (Zoo Health Management subspecialty).

Lorenzo has been a panel member of the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), and has been twice Chairman of the European Committee of the Association of Avian Veterinarian and the President of the Italian Society of Exotic Animal Veterinarians (SIVAE) and is still cooperating with national and international journals and has published several papers and book chapters.

Lorenzo’s main interests are related to bird conservation (he has been the official veterinarian of the Spix’s and Lear’s Macaws recovery programs), bird breeding and diseases related to avian fertility.

Associate Professor David N. Phalen
Associate Professor in Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery and Wildlife Health and Conservation
David has a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Chicago, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University from Cornell University, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Pathobiology) from Texas A&M University.

He taught zoo, exotic pet, and wildlife medicine to surgery in the class room and in the clinic to veterinary students from 1993 to 2006 when he joined the faculty of the University of Sydney as the Director of the Wildlife Health and Conservation Centre and the Avian Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital. David teaches exotics and wildlife practice to the 3rd year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) students, is the coordinator for the Masters of Wildlife Health and Population Management and contributes to students during their rotation through the Avian Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital.

His research interests are varied and include infectious, toxicological and nutritional diseases of wildlife and exotic animals and wildlife ecology and conservation. He is an active member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, is on the steering committee for the Koala Health Hub, and is a member of the Veterinary Reference Group for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.

His current PhD students are studying ways to conserve endangered species on Christmas Island, improve the welfare of large cats in zoos, prevent Q fever in wildlife carers, and find improved treatments for Macrorhabdus ornithogaster (also known as megabacteria) in pet birds.

He has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has spoken widely in Australia and around the world.


Dr Bree Talbot
BScAgr(Hons) BVSc MANZCVS (Unusual Pets)

Dr Bree Talbot and koalaAREPH's Senior Veterinarian, Dr Bree Talbot, who is currently on maternity leave,  graduated from the University of Sydney in 2004 with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (majoring in animal genetics) and then in 2010 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. Since graduating Bree has worked in a variety of veterinary disciplines to widen her medical and practical knowledge. In 2015 Bree achieved membership into the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in the medicine and surgery of unusual pets. Bree has also undertaken numerous continuing education courses in exotic pet medicine to ensure her patients receive the most up to date treatment. In addition to exotic pet medicine, Bree has a keen interest in wildlife medicine having worked for a charity based wildlife clinic for several years before joining the AREPH team in 2014.

Bree currently shares her home with four cheeky rabbits (Lord Humphrey, Sir Fredrick, Lady Oomph and Princess Stephanie), one very cute old dog 'Miss Grace' and is lucky enough to have a horse called 'Toby'.

Dr Shivananden Sawmy
BSc (Hons) Biol., BVM&S MRCVS

Originally from Mauritius, Dr Shivananden Sawmy has worked as a field biologist with some of the island's critically endangered wildlife, such as the Pink Pigeon and Echo Parakeet for several years prior to graduating from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh, UK in 2010. I enjoy treating all pet species ranging from dogs and cats, rabbits, reptiles, raptors to fish. Having a passion for exotic animals and wildlife work, I completed a year-long internship in Avian/Exotics Animal Surgery and Medicine under the mentorship of Neil Forbes, FRCVS, at Great Western Exotics in 2013.

I have worked in exotics and small animal practices across the UK until the opportunity to move back to Scotland presented itself. Furthermore, I have also worked with a neuter clinic, primates and endangered reptile and bird species back in my native Mauritius.

I am currently enrolled on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Certificate AVP in Zoological Medicine course and I have recently collaborated on a chapter in a soon to be published textbook on Reptile Medicine and Surgery (Editor: Brendan Carmel). I look forward to providing gold standard treatment to all things scaly, feathery and furry.

In my spare time I enjoy cycling, hiking, going to gigs, and exploring the city.


Dr Petra Schintzer
med vet, GP-Cert Exotic Animal Practice, ECZM Resident (Avian)
Petra Schnitzer graduated at the University of Vienna, with a thesis on the Evaluation of the physiological bacterial flora in Hermann´s tortoise.

After having received a training in birds and exotics at the University of Vienna, she underwent an externship in northern Italy (Clinica Veterinaria Valcurone), and in Brazil (Parque das Aves).

After her training, Petra has been staff veterinarian at the Loro Parque (Tenerife, Spain) the largest parrot collection in the world and then headed back to Northern Italy, where she almost exclusively worked with exotic animals in Italy, Spain and Austria.

Petra completed her residency for the European College of Zoological Medicine (Avian Specialty) and will soon sit the ECZM test.

Further, she is currently teaching for the General Practitioner Certificate in Exotic Animals for IMPROVE international in Spain and Chile and lecturing at post-graduate courses in Italy.

Her main interests are avian cardiology, ultrasound in exotic species and avian anesthesia.


Dr Janet Truong

Dr Janet Truong graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Sydney. Following graduation, she worked for three and a half years at a small animal and exotic hospital in Newcastle where she was able to build her knowledge and gain much experience with all creatures, feathered, furred, and scaled.  However, Sydney was calling, and she was fortunate enough to gain a 12 month internship with the amazing team here at the Avian, Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital in 2016. When her 12 months was up, she was offered a continuing position as a clinician at the hospital, and it was an opportunity too good to refuse. She feels very fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to work with such a wide array of animals, both pets and wildlife, here at the Avian, Reptile and Exotic Pet hospital.


Vet nurses

Hayley Corrigan
Vet Nurse Hayley CorriganHayley started vet nursing in 2009 working at an exotics clinic in Newcastle for five years moved to Sydney to work at a cat and dog clinic in Kirrawee. In October 2015, Hayley joined the team at AREPH and loves working with exotic animals again. Hayley finds each day to be different to the last and loves the new and exciting challenges At home Hayley lives with her partner, two dogs - a Kelpie and a Husky, a cat named Minchin and one very cheeky cockatoo
names Gonzo.




Sylvia Orellana

Sylvia is a fully qualified veterinary nurse with over 15 years experience in the industry.

She has worked at several veterinary practices and also at a referral specialist hospital before joining Sydney University in mid 2015.

Sylvia enjoys all aspects of her role at AREPH but has a soft spot for reptiles and wildlife.

Sylvia lives with her husband, two sons, two bearded dragons named Mordecai and Rigby, and an English staffy named Bowser.



Rachel Hassett
Rachel worked at Austral Vet Clinic for 12 years as a surgical nurse working with exotics, wildlife, cats and dogs. Rachel has a passion for horse riding and loves cattle and working dogs.




Jana Schader
Jana is in her second year of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program here at the University of Sydney. She has several years experience working in veterinary clinics in Sydney with a wide range of pets.

She is also an active member of the wildlife organisation WIRES and has a special interest in birds and reptiles.