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Where your pets feel at home

Where your pets feel at home

Our Team

We have a handpicked team of dedicated professionals
chosen for their Empathy, Communication skills
and Approachability, as well as their exceptional clinical skills.


Dr Rob Heath BVSc (Hons) MRCVS GPCert SAM.

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.

Having a young family of his own, Rob deeply understands the important role our pets play in enriching our daily lives and continually strives to create an approachable, empathetic and friendly environment where our clients and their pets can relax and truly feel at home.

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 intervening 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! At home she is owned by her gentle greyhound “Nina” and “Aeneus” her elderly diabetic kitty

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. After a short stint working in small animal practice in the UK,  Tara joined us here at McDowall, where she has built up a strong following due to her clinical ability and her outgoing, friendly and empathetic personality. Tara is kind, approachable and highly skilled, complimenting 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 Joshua Dearness BVSC (Hons).

Mcdowall CatOriginally 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.

Dr Katherine Ross BVSC (Hons) MRCVS.

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 has undertaken 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.

Dr Victoria Law BVSc (Hons) MRCVS.

Victoria was born and brought up in the hustle and bustle of expatriate Hong Kong before moving to Australia with her family. She studied Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland, graduating in 2008 with honours. After working in various clinics in Brisbane for four years gaining experience, she spread her wings and went travelling, working for several years in London where she developed a passion for pocket pets, small animal internal medicine and travel! The lure of the Queensland sun eventually enticed her and her husband back to Brisbane, where they are now happily settled.

Victoria is a warm, kind, compassionate person who will always go the extra mile to help solve her patient’s medical problems and put them at ease. Her vast experience and knowledge and gentle nature are a really great addition to our team.

Outside of work she can be found actively exploring Brisbane, determined to eat or drink in every bar, restaurant or café – especially those off the beaten track!

Emma Brewster VN.

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! Emma has three lovely fur babies of her own, Billy, Maggie and Jeffrey.

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 loves to make our youngest patients (and their owners!) feel welcome. When not at work, she spends most of her spare time walking her energetic dog Ally (Boxer x) or relaxing with her kitty Mina.


 Ashlee Dunlop BAppSci – Wildlife. Cert IV VN.

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 Shih Tzu) and a cat called “Alley”. 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!

Louise Page Cert IV VN

Louise grew up in South Australia where her parents’ fondness for animals meant she grew up with a variety of pets over the years. These included mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, dogs, goats, a pony and a donkey, the last being why she left suburbia for the country! She always loved animals and from an early age knew she would be working in the industry. Louise started her Certificate 2 in animal care while completing high school, and then went on to complete her Certificate 4 in Veterinary Nursing. During this time she found her first true love and best friend, a Border collie x Kelpie x Heeler called Cypress. She worked happily for 3 years in an animal hospital in Adelaide, before being tempted up to sunny Queensland with Cypress and Goblin King (her cat). Louise is big hearted, gentle and kind and prides herself in always making sure that the patients under her care receive nothing but the best. It is wonderful to have her as part of the team here at McDowall Veterinary Practice.

Jessica Shelley BSc. (Wildlife 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 integral 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.