Pets And Their People – Dr Vron Wah-Day & Dr Alan Dalgarno

The winner of Australia’s best Led Practice is a partnership of nearly 17 years.

They have established an industry wide reputation for constant growth, not only in a physical sense with the relocation of a 3rd practice into a challenging heritage site but more importantly their approach to team recruitment, existing team member development and the detailed application of leadership principles into every element of their operating environment. This team walks the talk!

The leadership team is never idle. They are either stepping up to industry wide panel discussions and forums to better the broader community, and have given themselves the capacity to do this through both the application of technology to help make them more efficient and the training and development of their entire team of just under 30 staff; or they are reflecting on their own performance and constantly seeking to improve.

The senior leadership team are a shining example, of how a growth mindset coupled with a willingness to be vulnerable and open to process improvement is a potent combination for success.

Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to their incredibly detailed wellness program.

From a formalised Employee Assistance Program, through to structured processes designed to recognise and capture challenging operational aspects of practice life – all with the wellbeing of staff at its centre.

They are to be applauded for being awarded Australia’s Best Led Practice Award”

Interview with Vron Wah Day : Winner of Australia’s Best Led Practice Award 2019

  1. Tell me about your business.

We are a group of 3 Small animal practices located near the CBD of Adelaide. Two of these are hospital accredited with one operating out of a newly renovated purpose built premises. With over 30 staff across the practices, we have a strong reliance on systems and protocols to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible. We believe every client deserves a vet they can trust, to provide high standards of care to their pet within their needs.

Dr Vron Wah Day
  • Why do you think you were selected for this award?

One of the main reasons I believe is that Alan and I have leveraged ourselves very well. But this needed some basic building blocks to get to this level. At the centre of this was working on our core values, as a team. This was a massive step for us as we really had to go back a step and slow down before we could move forward. This was elemental to building trust both within the

Dr Vron Wah Day

team and with the management team. The practice manager and team leaders then spent a huge amount of time developing and reviewing policies and procedures for all to adhere to. All of this means that the practices can run pretty much without us. We are not part of the standard roster which means we spend most of our time working on the business rather than in it or doing things that we have a passion for. This includes providing support and teaching to the greater veterinary community through a variety of avenues.

Dr Vron Wah Day
  • How has the training that you have engaged in with Lincoln Institute benefited your business?

Over the years we have worked with a number of management / leadership groups. The key difference with Lincoln is that they got us. Being mentored by people with life experience in the industry with leading practices meant they had been there and done it. Having them train our staff has been a factor as well. They learn so much better if it isn’t their bosses teachingthem. One of the biggest benefits is that without Lincoln, I don’t believe that we would have gotten our team to a true high performing team. They have always been good but now they are great. We can have developmental conversations with the staff which allows their continued growth and performance which benefits the business. Lincoln has shown us a better way to do things, we are not perfect, but I would like to think that we make less mistakes in this area because of the training that we have had with them. We can look back at the times when we didn’t do so well with staff and now know how we might have dealt with it better.

Dr Vron Wah Day
  • Why is it important to the veterinary industry that these annual leadership awards are being given?

These awards are important because they aren’t just based on financials or fancy clinics. They recognise the hard work hat is put into developing your team. They give others something to strive towards and are a great source of networking. But most importantly, often the leaders at the top need the recognition of their improvements and hard work they have done to their business. A peer assessed review of such a large number of components of your business is a massive reward for all the hard work you do. And it give others goals to set and know that they are realistic based on other accomplishments.

Dr Vron Wah Day