Dr Charles Kuntz

Specialist Surgeon

DVM, MS, MACVSc, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Registered Specialist of Small Animal Surgery, Fellow of Surgical Oncology.

Southpaws founder and director, Dr Charles Kuntz, graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. He did an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City and completed a residency and Master’s degree in surgery at Virginia Tech in 1994. He achieved specialty board certification in surgery in 1996 on his first attempt. Charles then did a one-year fellowship in cardiovascular research and surgery. He completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at Colorado State University and was later a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery there before moving to northern Virginia where he started one of the busiest surgical referral practices in the Washington DC area. He was the program chair and a member of the Board of Directors of the District of Columbia Academy of Veterinary Medicine. Charles moved to Australia in 2004 and is the director and owner of Southpaws Specialty Surgery for Animals in Melbourne. He is an internship director, surgical residency advisor and program director for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.  Charles has published many scientific articles, abstracts, patents, proceedings and book chapters on topics of surgical oncology.

At Southpaws Charles started Australia’s first deep radiation therapy unit for animals, one of only two in Australia today.  He has personally performed and interpreted over 5,000 CT scans on small animals. He has operated on over 5,000 patients with cancer with local control rates of over 95%. Charles has won numerous awards and appeared on national TV and radio and in newspapers and magazines. He receives referrals from all over Australia as well as consultations by phone and email worldwide.  Charles received the honour of being accepted as a Founding Fellow in Surgical Oncology by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons for his “Exemplary training, experience and practice in the multidisciplinary approach to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of cancer patients and his devotion to cancer research.” He is one of the first people worldwide to receive this honour. At Southpaws, Charles focuses primarily on soft-tissue surgery including cancer care, spinal surgery, cardiothoracic and brain surgery. Charles is passionate about innovation for the betterment of veterinary science and about providing extraordinary levels of patient care. Charles points out that in veterinary medicine owners have a choice of treatment options, and so he invests significant time in helping owners make the best decisions for their pets and themselves. Charles also loves veterinary education, often hosting free lectures and live streaming videos of surgeries and he enjoys the questions and interest from veterinary professionals all over the world. In his spare time, Charles enjoys spending time with his family, woodworking, photography and playing the guitar. Of his pets, Charles remembers the time when a friend took his black Labradors for a walk, they walked 10 m in front of him and turned around and barked at him, Charles says he admires that kind of simplicity in the world.

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Dr James Simcock

Specialist Surgeon

BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (Internal Medicine), Registered Specialist of Small Animal Surgery, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons

James graduated from the University of Melbourne with Honors in 2005. Following graduation, he worked for 12 months in a busy small animal general practice. He then completed two, twelve-month internships in both Small Animal Oncology and Small Animal Surgery along with a three year American College of Veterinary Surgeons residency program under the direction of Dr Charles Kuntz. In 2010 James achieved membership to the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists Internal Medicine Chapter. In 2013 he became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons by passing the certification examinations on his first attempt, this makes James one of the first wholly Australian trained small animal surgeons to pass this examination. In 2015 James became a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. James is now registered as a specialist in small animal surgery in Victoria and is an internship director and surgical residency advisor for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. James has published on gastrointestinal and urogenital surgery and oncology and has presented many times at the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists, Science Week. He is actively involved in teaching students and veterinarians and is an instructor and lecturer for a variety of post-graduate education courses in surgery. James has recently become further involved with the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists and is an examiner for the Fellowship examinations in Small Animal Surgery. Passing the College Fellowship exam is part of the requirements for registration as a Veterinary Specialist in Australia. James is particularly interested in orthopaedic and neurologic surgery and is a co-director and owner of Southpaws.

Dr Alessandra Santamaria

Surgical Registrar


Alex graduated with a Science degree (Major in Zoology) from The University of Melbourne in 2009. While studying science, she worked as a veterinary nurse. She then went on to graduate on the Deans Honours List from The University of Melbourne with a Veterinary Degree in 2010. Alex started working in a mixed animal practice just out of Melbourne for the first eight months of her career and then moved to a small animal practice in the Northern suburbs.  Alex started working at Southpaws in early 2012 and completed a year-long internship in Small Animal Surgery and Oncology. Alex has just recently completed and passed her Australian and New Zealand college membership exams. Alex enjoys both orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery however has an interest in oncology surgery, in particular, reconstruction after the removal of large tumours. Alex successfully completed her 3-year residency in small animal surgery at Southpaws in October 2016 and is a senior and valued member of the Southpaws surgical team.

Dr Ben Kaye



Ben graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2009 before undertaking equine internships at New Bolton Centre, University of Pennsylvania, USA, and at Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital, Congupna, Victoria. He then spent a year working in a busy mixed general practice on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. Ben subsequently worked at the U-VET Werribee Animal Hospital in their emergency and critical care department and attained his Membership with the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECC). He then moved to the United Kingdom and completed a rotating internship followed by a small animal surgery residency and a Masters in Veterinary Medicine at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals, Royal Veterinary College, London.

Ben is experienced in many aspects of soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery, and has contributed significantly to the veterinary literature in a range of areas associated with small animal surgery’. His article ‘Relationship between brachycephalic airway syndrome and gastrointestinal signs in three breeds of dog’ was the recent recipient of The Dunkin Award (BSAVA; 2020) recognizing the most valuable published article on small animal medicine in the Journal of Small Animal Practice for that year. Ben and his family moved back to Melbourne in late 2019, and he is looking forward to being involved with the exciting work caring for patients in the surgical environment at Southpaws.

Ben also enjoys running and competing in triathlons. He has a Border terrier X Bedlington terrier called Mighty.

Dr Kathryn Duncan

Surgical Registrar

BSc. DVM (Melbourne).

Kathryn graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Science before completing her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) through the University of Melbourne in 2015. During her veterinary degree she developed a strong interest in surgery, which she has pursued over the subsequent years. She completed a year-long rotating internship at Southpaws before commencing her formal surgical training via the Southpaws Surgical Residency program. She completed her three year Surgical Residency in early 2020.  She has passed the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Science membership examination and is preparing to undertake the European College of Veterinary Surgeons specialist examination – the last hurdle to become a specialist surgeon. Kathryn has a particular interest in cardiothoracic surgery and neurosurgery, but enjoys seeing a diverse caseload at Southpaws.

Dr Angela Webster

ICU and Critical Care Veterinarian


Ange grew up in Melbourne, and graduated from the University of Melbourne with Honours in 2008. She moved England in 2010 to work around the country as a locum veterinarian, and for three years travelled the UK and Europe extensively in between job contracts. She also volunteered her skills at charity clinics in Mexico and the Cook Islands. In 2013 Ange came home to Australia to undertake a 1 year rotating internship in Brisbane. During the internship Ange developed a love of emergency medicine, and afterwards started working solely as an emergency and critical care (ECC) veterinarian, at a highly regarded 24-hour referral hospital. Ange completed her ECC Membership exam for ANZCVS in 2017, and joins the Southpaws team in 2019 to assist in management of our critically ill patients. When not at work, Ange has a variety of hobbies, including rock-climbing, salsa dancing, diving, travel and music festivals.

Dr Jeff Buckland

Surgical Intern Veterinarian

BVSc (Hons) University of Melbourne.

Jeff graduated from University of Melbourne in 2012 and accepted a position as Associate Veterinarian at a mixed practice, Portland and Heywood Veterinary Clinic in Victoria’s South West. For four years Jeff worked with small animal medicine, surgery and critical care and in large animal surgery and medicine including after hours call out support. About a quarter of Jeff’s caseload was supporting the local community in managing their cattle herds. In early 2017, Jeff relocated, almost back to the suburbs, to the small animal practice of Beaconsfield Veterinary clinic in 2017 before starting his rotating internship with Southpaws in 2018. Jeff enjoyed the experience so much he has stayed on in 2019 to participate in a further surgical internship. In his spare time, Jeff has good taste in music and enjoys playing the guitar and spending time with his family. At Southpaws, Jeff has a reputation for his baking prowess, which is much appreciated.

Dr Sarah Austin

Senior Surgical Intern – Qualified Veterinarian


Sarah graduated from the Murdoch University School of Veterinary and Life Sciences in 2009. Sarah’s travels have increased her veterinary experience. She has worked with a NGO in Mongolia training vets, spent a year in the South Island of New Zealand and worked in clinics around Australia including Goulburn, Canberra, Melbourne and Tasmania. She completed a Surgical internship at Fitzpatrick Referrals in England, the clinic where “Supervet” is filmed. Here she assisted with many cutting-edge procedures that are not done anywhere else in the world. This expanded her passion for surgery and innovation and gave her valuable experience in post-operative care and complications.

Sarah particularly enjoys orthopaedic and thoracic surgery and in currently working toward her membership in the Australasian College of Veterinary Scientists.

Dr Euan Mclean

Rotating Intern – Qualified Veterinarian

BSc, DVM (hons)

Euan has been surrounded by veterinary medicine his entire life, having grown up in his mother’s mixed animal practice in rural Victoria. He graduated from Melbourne University in 2019 with Honours, and was awarded the Memorial Prize in Veterinary Surgery, Payne Exhibition Prize and the ASAVA Award for Clinical Proficiency. Euan has keen interest in specialist level surgery and aspires to pursue a residency in Small Animal Surgery after his internship. In his time outside of work, Euan enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking and hiking with his partner (who is also a vet!) and his Golden Retriever, Grace.

Our Fantastic Nursing Team

At Southpaws we pride ourselves on our experienced, talented and fun-loving nursing team. Our experienced team comes from all walks of life including overseas qualified nurses and home grown members with veterinary nursing qualifications up to diplomas and degrees. Our team are some of the most experienced in Australia and at Southpaws they gain first hand experience and knowledge of working in a busy referral and specialist environment. Our nurses work around the clock to provide high levels of technical nursing care and lots of love and affection to our patients.

At Southpaws patient care comes first and our nursing team are an essential part of providing gold standard care, not only throughout the day but throughout the night and 24/7/365. Our dedicated night nursing team ensures that our patients in-hospital receive all the medications, monitoring and care and attention that they need throughout the night. Our day team rotates between ward, internal medicine and surgery and rotates through weekend day work. We offer above award remuneration and a flexible and fun workplace.

If you are interested in joining our fantastic nursing team at Southpaws please click on this link and give us your details.