Rob was born and raised in Africa, where he graduated top of his year and had the opportunity to operate on animals as diverse as lion, elephant and leopard cubs. He worked in the UK for 12 years where he gained wide-ranging experience in a variety of small animal practices. He has a special interest in feline and canine internal medicine, in which he has gained further postgraduate qualifications, as well as ophthalmology.
Rob and his family arrived in Australia in January 2007 and are now proud to be Australian citizens. They have a much loved cavoodle called “Roxy” and two cats, “Mocha” and “Chino.”
Dr Jenny Eades BVSc(Hons).
Jenny was raised in McDowall and attended McDowall Primary School and Clayfield Girls College. She graduated from the University of Queensland in 1999 with honours. She worked in Mackay before returning to McDowall to set up and run the practice in 2002. She has provided exceptional care to our clients throughout the last twelve years and is well loved and respected by all.
Jenny has a special interest in preventative healthcare and is a skilled surgeon, as well as being one of the nicest people you will ever meet! She has recently rehomed a greyhound called”Nina”.
Dr Tara O’Connell BVSC(Hons).
Tara was born and bred in Aspley and went to Clayfield Girls College and UQ where she graduated with a Bachelor Of Veterinary Science with first class honours in 2005. Over the past ten years she has gained a wide range of experience working in small animal practice in the UK and Brisbane, where she has built up a strong following due to her clinical ability and her outgoing, friendly and empathic personality. We are thrilled to have had her join the practice where she complements our strong focus on exceptional veterinary care and client service.
Tara has a special interest in dog and cat internal medicine and ultrasonography, and is currently undergoing further postgraduate training in this field. Tara is the proud parent of a bundle of fluff moodle called “Bandit”.
Dr Lauren Bennett BVSC.
We were thrilled to welcome Lauren to the team in 2014. She is an exceptional veterinarian and person and brings a wide range of skills and experience to the team. After growing up and completing her Bachelor of Veterinary Science in New Zealand, Lauren and her husband moved to Adelaide where they spent three years adjusting to the Australian heat. They then migrated up to Queensland and fell in love with the place. (Why wouldn’t they?!) Lauren has completed post graduate training through Sydney University in Emergency medicine and critical care and has a particular passion for cats. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, running and exploring the local region. She is also kept busy entertaining her puppy “Hippo” and rescue cat “Doris”. With an evenly balanced interest in medicine and surgery, Lauren loves all creatures great and small and can’t wait to build strong relationships with you and your pets.
Dr Joshua Dearness BVSC (Hons).
Originally from a hobby farm in Mackay. Josh grew up locally in Everton Park and graduated from The University of Queensland St Lucia 2009 with honours. Josh was awarded the most valuable surgery student and was top of his graduating class for small animal medicine. After spending 5 years in a busy referral hospital in Adelaide Josh is very happy to be permanently back home in Brisbane. Josh is very capable in surgery and medicine and has undertaken further studies in these disciplines. He enjoys spending his free time on the water fishing, camping and relaxing with friends and family. Currently Josh is owned by a spoilt cat named Tookey. Josh is an exceptionally kind hearted and empathetic vet, and we are thrilled to have him join our team.
Katherine was born in the chilly UK before moving to the Gold Coast with her family, where she spent her schooling years. Katherine graduated from the University of Queensland in 2010 completing her Bachelor of Veterinary Science with honours. After graduation Katherine moved to Stanthorpe, a small country town in SE QLD where she treated all creatures great and small from feather gliders to camels and everything in between! Spending 3 years in Stanthorpe, she gained a lot of experience in emergency medicine, complex medical cases and surgery. Katherine was then bitten by the travel bug and made the move back to the UK where she spent 2 years working as a locum Veterinarian in a variety of busy small animal hospitals as well as travelling throughout Europe. She has a special interest in small animal medicine as well as emergency and critical care and will be undertaking further post graduate study in these fields. In her spare time Katherine enjoys going on hikes and photography, catching up with her friends and family, relaxing at home with her cat Max, and loves to sing. Katherine joins the team at McDowall Veterinary Practice eager to meet our valued clients and their beloved pets, and to enjoy all that Brisbane has to offer.
Emma qualified as a veterinary nurse in 1993 with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK. She and her family immigrated to Australia in 1998 and she has been working at McDowall Veterinary Practice since its inception in 2002.
Emma is a highly skilled veterinary nurse with a warm, outgoing personality which has ensured that she has become close friends with many of our clients over the past eleven years. She can recognise most of our patients by sight as they walk the neighbourhood streets and what she doesn’t know about McDowall and its pet population isn’t worth knowing!
Laura Ayson Cert IV VN.
Laura started her veterinary career volunteering at various shelters and went on to complete her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. Whilst studying she began work experience at McDowall Veterinary Practice and is now a fully fledged member of the team who is greatly valued. Laura runs our weekly Puppy School and is currently undertaking further studies in Canine Behaviour. She also runs a very popular petsitting service, so let her know when you are planning your next holiday! She lives with a little chihuahua called “Nilly” and would love to own a cat in the near future. In the mean time, she’ll have to content herself with cuddling all the cats that visit the practice!
Laura was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and emigrated to Brisbane in 2016 to be with her Aussie husband. After initially obtaining an honours degree in Social Sciences, Laura decided to follow her passion and retrained as a Veterinary Technician, completing her studies in 2014. She subsequently worked in a very busy Emergency Hospital in Ontario where she gained loads of experience in clinical and surgical nursing. We were lucky enough to have her join our team on her arrival in Brisbane and she has rapidly become an integral part of our team. Her warm and caring personality, professionalism and high level of nursing skills make her a pleasure to work with.
Laura has two rescue cats, Wilson and Reba, who keep her on her toes when not at work!
Ash grew up in Canberra and moved to Brisbane when she was 12. She has always been animal crazy and graduated from UQ in 2013 with a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in wildlife science. Ash is our resident wildlife expert and is often nursing injured birds and wildlife back to health and release. Deciding that nursing was her true passion, Ash passed her certificate IV in vet nursing in 2014. She is an integral member of our team involved with nursing and reception as well as helping with our puppy school and overseeing our new Cat Hotel. At home, Ash is kept busy with Luna, her RSPCA rescue kitty, and her two Golden Retrievers – Chelsea and George.
Carissa Bant Cert IV VN.
Carissa grew up in rural NSW and moved to the Albany Creek area in 2005. She completed her studies as a qualified chef in 2009 but her love of animals continued to draw her back and in 2013 she decided to refocus her career. Carissa bred tropical fish, became a professional dog walker in the Aspley and McDowall suburbs and undertook local pet sitting roles. In 2014 she started in a part time, volunteer role with us before commencing her Veterinary nursing studies. She rapidly showed her love of animals, gentle nature and commitment to always put her patients and team members first. Carissa became a permanent member of our team during 2015 and has graduated with a Certificate IV in Nursing Studies. She has a particular interest in the care and welfare of exotic and captive animals and loves to spend quality time with her own dogs “Mr” and “Bella”.
Emilie Gehrke Cert III Animal Studies
Emilie grew up locally in Albany Creek and has always been animal focused and known that she wanted to become a veterinary nurse. She joined us in 2015 as a trainee veterinary nurse and has rapidly become an important member of the team. Her warm and friendly personality shines through and you will often find her on reception helping to make our visitors and their pets comfortable. She has two dogs: “Ebony” (Bichon x Pomeranian) and “Ollie” (Maltese x Shihtzu) and two cats “Max” and “Charlie”. Away from work Emilie loves camping and time at the beach.
Leigh-Anne Stephan Cert IV VN.
Leigh-Anne has had a long association with McDowall Vets. We first met her as a client in 2004 and have cared for several generations of her pets. After many years in retail, Leigh –Anne decided to follow her passion and retrained as a veterinary nurse (no mean feat at the age of 50!) achieving her Certificate in 2012. Her love, empathy and bond with pets and their owners is evident immediately on meeting her and we are thrilled to have her join our team. She is happiest when helping others, so if you need anything – just ask!
She is the proud mum of three little munchkins, Birdee, Olive and Winniefred!
Tammy grew up on a small farm in rural Western Australia Perth, she moved over to Brisbane in late 2015. Tammy has been a part of the animal industry since she was fourteen years of age working within animal retail. Through helping customers on a daily basis with their animals needs Tammy chose to re-evaluate her career choices within the animal industry and in 2016 began her certificate IV in vet nursing. Tammy joined us in 2016 as a trainee and her love for the profession, strong work ethic and attention to detail soon became apparent.
Tammy has two dogs Archer (Kelpie x) and Jackson (American Staffordshire Terrier x) along with one cat Sampson. In Tammy’s down time she enjoys going to the gym and hanging out with her fur babies.
Jessica Shelley BSc. (Widlife Biology) Graduate Diploma in Music.
Jessica is a UQ graduate in wildlife biology and is also an accomplished violinist with a Graduate diploma in Music. She has been fulfilling her passion for animals by nursing since 2006. She has been at McDowall Veterinary Practice since 2009 and has quickly become an intregral part of the team. Her efficiency and organisational skills are greatly valued and keep us all on our toes! She has recently gone back to university to study Vet Science and is enjoying it thoroughly. She has a Maine Coon cross called “Ralph” and enjoys horse riding. Jess is also a skilled groomer.