Gungahlin Vet Hospital

Dr Michael Hayward

Michael and Zebedee
Vet, practice founder
Been with GVH since
February, 1995

I’m one of the lucky ones who know what they want as a job, and manage to succeed in that goal.  I wanted to be a vet from the age of 4, and my dream came to fruition in 1981. I’ve been a vet in Canberra since 1983 (except for 12 months in Gundaroo and 2 ½ years working in the UK), and started Gungahlin Veterinary Clinic with my wife Ronnie in 1995. For 6 years we practiced from our home in Nicholls, until the growing practice, including partner Tony Wilson and Specialist Surgeon Sarah Webb, moved into the current hospital in 2002 and changed our name to Gungahlin Veterinary Hospital.

My chief interests are the welfare, medicine and behaviour of animals. I believe that preventative veterinary medicine, especially in regards to behaviour, will enhance quality of life and reduce suffering for companion animals. While the profession has long practiced this in relation to vaccinations and worming, we concentrate on weight control, dental health, avoiding recognisable risks, and especially selecting and raising young animals to fit into your family and into the community.

I’m particularly interested in endocrinology (“hormones”), oncology (cancer medicine), behavioural medicine, and in 2011 I’m doing some post grad study in radiology. As a director, I’m involved in day to day management of the practice, staff training, and hospital maintenance.

I’ve been very fortunate to have my family working beside me for many years. My wife, Ronnie, was the practice’s first nurse and then morphed into the practice administrator. My eldest daughter Bronwyn graduated as a Certificate IV veterinary nurse in 2009, having worked for the hospital full time since 2005. She has just left to pursue specialist veterinary nursing in the UK. My second daughter Pippa worked part time as a nursing assistant throughout university, but has been busy with marriage and kids for the last two years. My son Jonathon designed, developed and manages our website.

Life can’t just be about work, but I believe that those whose training and experience can be used for others should do so. I’ve been an active member of the Australian Veterinary Association (including President and Secretary of the ACT Division) since about 1988, and have been involved in various national committees, including the Committee for Companion Animals in the Community which is concerned about the role of animals in society, working with Government at all levels to protect the rights of pet owners while managing nuisances and risks and protecting the rights of non-pet owners. I currently represent the AVA on the Companion Animals Working Group of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy. I was a member of the ACT Animal Welfare Advisory Committee for 9 years, including 7 as Chair. During this time, we were the first jurisdiction in Australia to ban the tail docking of dogs – this is now law throughout Australia. Veterinary nurses are an integral part of the profession, and I helped to get the local nurses back together and to rejoin their national association. I organised training for volunteers for the Delta Dog Safe program, which teaches safety around dogs to primary school children. You’ll find opportunities to use your time and skills for animals in the “volunteering” section on this website.