Attention To Detail: Key Tips For A Successful Vet Fitout

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The difference between a good vet practice fitout and a great one is all in the details.

Taking the time to carefully plan all aspects of your practice – from the overall layout to all of the finer points, will mean that your clinic will not only look terrific, but it will also function efficiently.




Here are Elite’s top three tips for getting all the details of your vet practice fitout just right.

Take The Time To Plan:

When you begin planning your new or refurbished practice, its crucial to take the time to consider all of the different activities you (and your staff) will undertake each and every day. Do you need an extra-large waiting room, or is this space better utilised by designing a bigger operating theatre with more room to move around? Will cats be a large part of your patient base? If so, consider incorporating a dedicated entrance and waiting room for cats and their owners, separate your larger canine patients.

It is questions such as these – any many more – that need to be discussed with your veterinary fitout specialist. They have extensive experience about what floorplans work best for different types of vet clinics, and their guidance will make a huge difference in the usability and functionality of your new practice.




Logical Design:

Two design particulars that are typically not given much thought, but can cause a lot of frustration are storage and power points.

Storage is a necessary element in any vet practice. However, it should be designed with efficiency and function in mind. Your storage areas should be located and designed to meet different needs. Bulk storage requires more space but can usually be located in a less-accessible area. In contrast, everyday items should be stored in central, easy-access areas.

When you receive your concept plan from your fitout specialist, go through your floorplan carefully to ensure your design includes enough power points in each room. Your power points should be located in different positions, depending on the activity you are undertaking in each area. When using your wet table, your power point’s optimal location is on an upright column, or descending from the ceiling. For your steri room, positioning powerpoints above the desktop would be the most convenient to power your sterilisation equipment.




Get Infection Control Right:

When considering the layout of your treatment and surgery rooms, ensure there are no gaps between the wall and larger items such as cabinetry and treatment tables to avoid the potential for bacteria to breed. Choosing the right materials for the finishes in your vet practice is also vital to ensure you can meet infection control standards. All surfaces should be durable and easy to clean. It is also worth considering waterproof paint in your steri room to save regular repainting.

ELITEContact Elite

At Elite Fitout Solutions, we have years of experience helping new and existing veterinary practice owners to get all the details right.

To view examples of the veterinary practices we’ve worked on, simply Click Here:

To discuss your veterinary practice refurbishment or build project, contact Elite Today!

Phone: 1300 765 344



13/03/2019 |

Superannuation In Brief – Australia

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Piggy BankSuperannuation is money put aside and saved while you’re working, to provide an income later in life when you retire.

The Superannuation Guarantee

In Australia, Employers must pay Super (the Super Guarantee) for

  • employees 18 years or over, and being paid $450 or more (pre-tax) in a calendar month
  • employees under 18 years, being paid $450 or more in a calendar month, and working more than 30 hours a week.
  • some contractors paid primarily for labour, even if they have an ABN

The Super Guarantee is currently 9.5% of ordinary time earnings – this includes some bonuses, allowances, some paid leave, but not generally not overtime. It will increase to 10% from July 2021 and eventually increase to 12% from July 2025. Employers are obliged to contribute this minimum percentage, but can contribute more. Full time, part time, and casual employees are all included.


Contributions must be made on at least a quarterly basis, by the quarterly due dates. Employers must pay and report super electronically in a standard format and meet SuperStream requirements, and pay into a complying super fund.

If not paid on time, the super guarantee charge may be payable. An employee’s super contribution is counted as being paid on the date the fund receives it, not the date a clearing house receives it. This means that if a quarterly payment is due on 28th October for example, payment may need to be made up to 10 days prior.

If the accounting system used by the employer is not SuperSteam compliant, small businesses (19 or fewer employees) can use the free Small Business Superannuation Clearing House. There are also other commercial options, or use a clearing house provided by your Super Fund.


Many Vets work as contractors, have an ABN (Australian Business Number) and invoice clinics for their work. However, for Superannuation purposes, they may still be considered an employee and entitled to the Super Guarantee from their employer if they are paid wholly or principally for their labour and skills, perform the work personally, and are paid for hours worked, rather than to achieve a result. To work out whether super applies, use the ATO tool at

Temporary Residents

Temporary Residents ARE entitled to the Super Guarantee. This includes Working Holiday Makers.
When Temporary Residents leave Australia, they may be entitled to claim the super paid for them back, as a DASP – Departing Australia superannuation payment. For more information visit

Additional Contributions

You can add your own money into your super savings, and low or middle income earners may be eligible for government co-contributions.
Employees can initiate a salary sacrifice arrangement with their employer (pre-tax), or make their own personal contributions. There is a cap on Concessional contributions (which includes Super Guarantee payments from your employer), currently $25,000.

Tax on Super

Concessional Contributions – 15%

These are super contributions made before tax, and include super guarantee from an employer, salary sacrifice, personal contributions claimed as an income tax deduction. The cap on concessional contributions is currently $25,000 – more than this attracts extra tax

Non-Concessional Contributions – not subject to tax

These are super contributions made after-tax eg. spouse contributions or personal contributions not claimed as an income tax deduction. There is a cap on these too.

Keeping Track of Super using MyGov

Employees can nominate which Super fund they wish to have their contributions paid into – they should fill out a Standard choice form and provide it to the employer. Employees can now create a myGov account which is a central portal to which you can link Medicare, Centrelink, Child Support, ATO (Australian Taxation Office), My Health Record & other government agencies. You need a fair amount of information in order to link these agencies all in to your account, so make sure you have all your paperwork handy. Once done, you can see what Superannuation Fund accounts you have and keep track of them through the ATO link in MyGov.

More Information

For more information about all aspects of super for employers and employees, including how to find lost super, visit


Wendy Nathan
Kookaburra Veterinary Employment

This information includes the views and opinions of Kookaburra Veterinary Employment and is of a general nature only. Factual information is believed to be correct at the time of writing, however, should not be relied upon and any person should confirm details with the relevant authorities and through their own research prior to acting on any of the suggestions in this article.

13/03/2019 |

MSL – New 2019 Examination Lighting Range!

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Medical & Surgical Lighting Pty LtdMSL

The 2019 range of examination lights are available in both examination (Series 1) and procedure (Series 3) models. The 10W Series 1 LED examination light with 51,500 Lux @ 600mm & 23,000 Lux @ 1M, is available in ceiling, wall and mobile mounted versions.

The larger 3 x 10W Series 3 LED procedure light with 83,300 Lux @ 600mm & 74,200 Lux @ 1M is available as either ceiling or wall mounted options. Both models are fitted with 4-stage electronic dimming so you will always find the perfect illumination of the task.

All MSL products are supported by our 5-year warranty.


Key Features of the MSL 2019 range of Australian manufactured examination & procedure lights.







MSL is an Australian company specialising in the design and manufacture of medical examination lights. Manufactured right here in Australia from premium grade materials, the MSL 2019 range has every feature you could ask for and more!














Please contact our office for further information and pricing.

Tel: 07 3394 2021   Email:


15/02/2019 |

The Vet Shortage – Musings of an Employment Agent

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Kookaburra Vets LogoJanuary 2019

In the last 12 to 18 months, the veterinary shortage has continued to bite in Australia and is now affecting practices in the cities as well as rural and regional areas. The results of the Lincoln Institute survey in Australia have been in the news this month ( Link to SBS report) , and Kookaburra Vet Employment has recently been approached by multiple news outlets for interviews and comments ( link to ABC Sunshine Coast article )

A BVA (British Veterinary Association) and University of Exeter study in the UK released late in 2018 found that 37% of vets were actively thinking about leaving the profession (1,250 vets surveyed ). 59% of vets said they were either very stressed or somewhat stressed at work. A smaller Kookaburra Vet Employment survey from 2017 of just 336 vets showed that 17% of associates thought they would have left the profession in the next 5 years.

The suicide rate of vets in Australia has been found to be 4 times higher than the general population – that’s one vet every 12 weeks. Here at Kookaburra we feel the impact of losing a veterinary colleague way too frequently.

Male VetSo is there a shortage of vets – and is it due to vets quitting the profession?

In absolute terms looking at the widely reported figures in Australia, NZ, the UK and the USA for numbers of vets compared to numbers of pets – no, there shouldn’t be a shortage. So why are there so many veterinary vacancies? There are between 11 and 12,000 vets registered in Australia, and there are approximately 2,200 veterinary practices.

This time 5 years ago, in 2014, Kookaburra Vet Employment had 170 jobs listed for vets, and 20% of those jobs were suitable for new graduates (the clinic could provide the support and training needed for a new or recent grad). It was taking 8-9 weeks to fill a vet job.

At the moment (January 2019) Kookaburra Vet Employment has 437 current vet jobs listed, and 34% of those will now consider a new graduate. Vacancies are being listed for an average of 13 weeks. However, in the last 3 months, 11% of vacancies listed with us have been removed because the clinic either gave up looking, or restructured their clinic staff to cope. Some practices on our books have been advertising continuously for over 3 years without filling their vacancy.

So what impact does pay rates have?

Kookaburra did a small survey (including vets and vet nurses) in 2018 and found that out of 167 respondents, 73% had not had a pay rise in the last 12 months.  Out of 235 respondents, 70 % said that a pay rise would make them reconsider if they were considering looking for another job, and 21% said that it may make them reconsider.
Most vets earn in the range of $60,000 to $90,000 pa.

Female VetAn interesting study, again from the BVA and University of Exeter, released in 2018, investigated gender bias in the veterinary profession ( link to BVA Employers’ Study 2018) . The profession is becoming increasingly feminised as more than 50% of recent graduates are female. The VetFutures study surveyed 260 employers and managers. 42% believed there was no gender discrimination in the veterinary profession – but then that same section when tested in the survey offered males a higher salary than females. Could the feminisation of the profession be linked to stagnating pay rates?

As an employment agency we hear from both employers and job seekers.

For employers, retaining suitably qualified staff seems to be a challenge, however, we have found that very many clinics have expanded dramatically over the last 10 years or so, and have sought to employ more vets. Do they really have an increased workload and associated practice income, or are they trying to create a better work/life balance? Without an increase in practice income, new vacancies cannot be supported. Kookaburra has also seen a number of new practices set up in areas already well supplied by vets – including private practices, house call practices, as well as corporate practices and in-pet store clinics.  This has seemed to outstrip closure of clinics.

Associate vets are looking for a practice where they are paid well according to the work they do, where they know their work is valued by colleagues and clients, where they have accessible role models and mentors, access to and support for continuing education, a good work/life balance, and a modern well equipped workplace with trained supportive staff. Practices that provide this are likely to have less trouble recruiting, and more success at retaining the staff in whom they have made an investment.


Wendy Nathan
Kookaburra Veterinary Employment

This information includes the views and opinions of Kookaburra Veterinary Employment and is of a general nature only. Factual information is believed to be correct at the time of writing, however, should not be relied upon and any person should confirm details with the relevant authorities and through their own research prior to acting on any of the suggestions in this article.

22/01/2019 |

Retaining Existing Staff

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Kookaburra Vet Employment currently has 405 permanent vacancies for vets, and 187 vacancies for vet nurses, in Australia. Filling a vacancy in current market conditions can be time consuming and expensive, and success is not guaranteed. We recently did a couple of short online surveys which provide food for thought for veterinary employers – both vets and vet nurses replied.




Wendy Nathan
Kookaburra Veterinary Employment

This information includes the views and opinions of Kookaburra Veterinary Employment and is of a general nature only. Factual information is believed to be correct at the time of writing, however, should not be relied upon and any person should confirm details with the relevant authorities and through their own research prior to acting on any of the suggestions in this article.

27/11/2018 |
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