Meet Our Team

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

Our Story….


Puppies Downunder is a family owned business which specialises in breeding designer dogs. Led by Charlie and Sharron Maddaluno, the organisation has over forty five years of experience breeding, showing and training dogs.


Charlie and Sharron have a vision to produce a puppy that is a good representative of it’s breed. This vision has become a reality. They breed to enhance health, temperament and intelligence and this is testament to the hundreds of customers who have purchased a puppy and found this to be true.


In 2020, Puppies Downunder was granted a Commercial dog breeders license which enabled it to have up to fifty fertile females. This license requires strict compliance with the Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses 2018 and close working relations with the Chief Veterinary Office of Victoria, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Welfare Victoria and the RSPCA.

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Charlie Maddaluno


Charlie’s passion working with animals dates back to 1973 when he specialized in animal health for the Commonwealth Government in the Department of Primary Industries: The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS).


Charlie’s hard work and enthusiasm was quickly acknowledged after two years with AQIS and he found himself elevated to a role in animal health with the Department of Agriculture which he enjoyed for 14 years between 1975 and 1994.


In 1994 Charlie’s career with the Government came to an end and an opportunity to work in private enterprise presented itself. For the next eight years Charlie worked privately in Quality Assurance as a consultant for an export meat works. In 2002 Charlie became the operations manager for an export meat processing plant where he was to spend the next six years until his retirement.


Charlie’s love for animals and dogs began in 1975 when he first started breeding, showing and training dogs. This passion continued for the next forty five years while Charlie acquired blood lines of different breeds to show and sell.


Charlie completed a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services and has successfully obtained a Certificate of Registration of Domestic Animal Business. He has an Australian All Breeds Pedigree Registry Certificate of membership and is a Member of the Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeds (AAPDB).


Sharron Maddaluno


Sharron is the backbone of Puppies Downunder. She has tirelessly worked beside Charlie over the last forty five years and deserves much of the credit for the success of the organisation and the accomplishments that have been achieved through-to-today.


Sharron has nurtured each puppy from the day it was born and has loved and attended to the puppy’s every need until the day a home could be found that would love it as she has loved it.


Many of the systems and processes, specialty foods and diets, socialisation and enrichment programs currently in place are the result of years of refinement by Sharron from years of experience, in an effort to increase the health, happiness and welfare of all puppies and adult dogs. 


Sharron has had a passion for animals and dogs and has enjoyed a fulfilling lifestyle; breeding, showing and training dogs from 1975. She has completed a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services and works closely with the team at Puppies Downunder as a mentor and educator.


Helaine Maddaluno

Sales and Marketing Manager

Animal Attendant

Helaine serves in the role as a marketing strategist for Puppies Downunder. She performs a crucial role in the organisation by being at the forefront of digital media, and maintaining the website and advertisements.


Helaine has also completed a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services and spends her time with the puppies and adult dogs ensuring they are happy and content. Helaine spends most her time caring for the puppies and playing with the adult dogs on a volunteer basis.


Damian Maddaluno

Office Manager

Damian commenced work with Puppies Downunder in October 2020. Damian’s has a background in Accounting and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. He has also recently completed his Master in Taxation. Damian was honored to serve the community as a President of the Rotary Club of Morwell which he was a member for over ten years. He was also a member of the Rostrum club of Morwell for six years where he engaged in public speaking and various speaking related activities. Damian is currently the Treasurer of Gippsland Disability Advocacy Inc where he has been privileged to serve the community for the past seven years.


Damian has completed a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services and is registered as a DNA Collection agent.


Damian is responsible for the financial operations of Puppies Downunder and maintaining customer relationships in a sales and marketing capacity.


While Damian is quite busy in his role, he also finds time to complete each day by ensuring puppies, and adult dogs enjoy a life that is filled with happiness and enrichment.


Ashleigh Peters

Animal, Training and Behavioural Specialist

Ashleigh has worked as an employee with Puppies Downunder for almost three years and was employed through the Kurnai College work placement program.


Ashleigh has completed a Breeding Dogs and Cats Course and has completed Certificate 3 in Companion Animal Services.


Ashleigh is currently undertaking a course with the National Dog Trainers Federation in Dog Behaviour and Training. This course provides an excellent understanding of animal psychology and it provides a scientific view toward working with dogs from different breeds, ages and temperaments.


Ashleigh’s role with Puppies Downunder is to train the animals in a humane manner and ensure they meet training goals efficiently and effectively. Ashleigh’s specialist skill set provides the animals at Puppies Downunder with training that focuses on obedience and agility, detection work, and tricks. Her understanding of animal psychology and behaviour, and her attention to animal health and nutrition ensures all animals are well trained and well cared for.


Ashleigh is a registered DNA Collection agent and works closely with staff at Puppies Downunder educating on animal behaviour and training.


Janet Parnell

Animal Attendant and Socialisation Team Supervisor

Janet has worked with Puppies Downunder for a number of years and has a current certificate in First Aid and CPR. Janet is the first aid officer and ensures the team, animals and customers at Puppies Downunder are safe and are in good hands.


Janet has completed a Breeding Dogs and Cats Course and is currently undertaking Certificate 3 in Companion Animal Services.


Janet has a great love for animals and this is obvious from the moment she arrives in the morning to the time she leaves in the afternoon.


Claire O’Meara

Socialisation Team and Animal Attendant

Claire has worked with the team at Puppies Downunder for a number of years and is a key driver behind the day-to-day operations. Claire is responsible for ensuring the health and welfare of all adult dogs and puppies are a priority. She ensures the facilities are clean, and all adult dogs and puppies are contented with healthy food, playtime, social activities and exercise.


Claire has completed a course in breeding dogs and cats and is currently undertaking a Certificate 3 in Companion Animal Services


Claire has a very positive and caring attitude toward the puppies and adult dogs at Puppies Downunder and is greatly loved back by all her furry friends.


Maddison Ohlson

Socialisation Team and Animal Attendant

Maddison Ohlson is the newest addition to the team and was recently employed in a full time role to maintain and care for the adult dogs and puppies at Puppies Downunder. Maddison assists Claire in ensuring facilities are clean and puppies and adult dogs are fed healthy diets.


Maddison ensures all adult dogs are content and happy through socialisation, exercise and enriching activities, meanwhile finding time to bottle feed the puppies and showering them with an abundance of love.


Bruce Parnell


Paul Leatham


Brennan Leatham

Bruce, Paul and Brennan generously provide their time and support to Puppies Downunder in a volunteer capacity. They make a selfless commitment by ensuring all adult dogs and puppies are well socialised, exercised and challenged on a day-today basis.


Bruce, Paul and Brennan have completed a Breeding Dogs and Cats Course, and also assist PDU by maintaining facilities and repairing kennels, whelping pens and everyday wear and tear as they arise.

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Nikita Jones 

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Jade Rendell

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Clara Lenser

Socialisation Team and Animal Attendants

Jade, Clara and Nikita support Puppies Downunder in a volunteer and in a work placement capacity by providing all adult dogs and puppies with socialisation, enrichment and exercise.


Jade, Clara and Nikita have completed a Breeding Dogs and Cats Course and all provide a wonderful contribution to improving the lives of the puppies and adult dogs at Puppies Downunder.

School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBAT)
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Rhiannon, McKenzie, and Lexi with Rod from Kurnai College

Puppies Downunder is associated with Kurnai College University Campus and it’s work placement program for School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBAT) students. Throughout this program Puppies Downunder has worked closely with Kurnai College and school students to provide a pathway that enables them to spend more time working and undertaking necessary vocational training in animal care.


Students that have completed work placement leave Puppies Downunder with experience dealing with companion animals. They learn about caring for animals, animal care hygiene, breeding procedures, and maintaining and monitoring the health of the animal and its well-being. Students further this knowledge by learning how to train animals with basic commands which are necessary when reinforcing positive dog behavior.


Students that have benefited from the work placement program with Puppies Downunder are but not limited to:


  • Nikita Jones

  • Ashleigh Peters

  • Bailey Conlane

  • Jodine Utanga

  • Amy Cannon

  • Yasmin Tanti

  • Clara Lenser

  • Dominic Palmer

  • Maddison Ohlson


Puppies Downunder wishes to acknowledge Ashleigh Peters and Maddison Ohlson who both successfully completed their work placement program and are now employed in a full-time capacity with Puppies Downunder.


Our Groomer Mary McLaughlin
Rhiannon, McKenzie, and Lexi with Rod from Kurnai College
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Our dogs are groomed regularly by Mary McLaughlin.


Mary has worked along side Puppies Downunder for the past 15 years..

She specialises in Oodles and has been handling and clipping dogs for the past 30 years.


Mary also provides grooming services in the Latrobe Valley area and can be contacted on 0407046563.