A native of Hobart, Tasmania, Colette trained as a veterinarian (B.V.Sc. Hons.) at the University of Queensland. After five years in private veterinary practice, she joined the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, where she worked for eight years, focusing on the health of captive and wild devils. Other conservation experience includes five months on Macquarie Island studying the reproductive physiology of elephant seals, and five months at sea aboard the Sea Shepherd ships MV Sam Simon and MV Bob Barker. Colette is a keen environmentalist and promotes habitat preservation as a key wildlife protection strategy.