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 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.
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!
Dr Emma Frost BSc DVM
Emma grew up in a small country town in Victoria where she first fell in love with animals. Her passion for animals lead her to work as a veterinary nurse part time whilst at university studying animal and veterinary biosciences. This is where she found her affinity for interacting with clients and their fur babies. After this degree, she was accepted to Murdoch University in Perth to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2018. Emma then moved to Brisbane to pursue her career as a vet where she worked in a GP/emergency hospital before beginning at McDowall Veterinary Practice.
Emma’s kind heart and empathy is apparent as soon as you meet her. Her excellent communication skills and desire to always get to the bottom of any problems afflicting her patients means that she has a strong following of patients and clients who are always very happy to see her!
Emma shares her life with Teddy the spoodle who is equally as cheeky as he is cute.
Dr Celia Solorzano BVSc (Hons).
Celia was born in El Salvador and moved to Australia with her family as a one year old. She was raised in Brisbane and graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Queensland in 2015.
Prior to joining the McDowall family, she worked at a small animal clinic on the Sunshine Coast. Whilst there, she developed an interest in surgery and diagnostic imaging and is pursuing further study in this area. Her knowledge as well as her calm nature and natural talent make her an excellent surgeon.
Celia’s gentle, kind personality shines through whenever meeting her and she is excellent at putting even the most nervous patient at ease. Nothing is too much trouble for her and she loves solving our patient’s problems.
She lives with Napoleon the crazy Labrador, Pedro the corgi, and two cats Alaska and Aretha, as well as her partner Nathaniel.
Dr Nicole Baker BVSc Cert SAS MRCVS.
Dr Nicole is a vastly experienced Veterinarian who graduated from the University of Queensland in 1999. She has worked in a number of practices both in Australia and overseas and has recently returned home after working for 14 years in the UK, where she was the lead surgeon in a large Veterinary Practice in Yorkshire. She is incredibly caring, empathetic and thorough and her passion for the best care for her patients is self-evident on meeting her. Nicole has achieved significant post graduate training and qualifications in surgery, and is adept in many complicated surgical procedures that would normally be carried out in specialist referral hospitals, allowing us to further compliment the excellent capabilities of our surgical team.
Outside of work Nicole is a keen cyclist and likes to keep fit hiking and exploring the beautiful spaces SE Queensland has to offer.
Dr Garreth van Bart BSc BVSc
Dr Garreth was born and raised in South Africa where he grew up surrounded by a menagerie of animals for pets, including a pet crow that he raised from a chick! He graduated as a veterinarian in 2002 and went on to become a leading surgeon and partner in a busy practice in Johannesburg. He was exposed to a very varied caseload including operating and caring for many wild animals and exotics. He also became very experienced in reproduction and breeding, being well recognised locally as an authority in the field. Garreth has a particular interest in breeding in brachycephalic (flat faced) breeds such as bulldogs and pugs.
Garreth arrived in Brisbane with his wife and children in January 2020 and we are very excited to welcome him to the team at McDowall Vets. His vast experience, advanced expertise in surgery and reproduction as well as his love of exotic pets and birds, together with his humble, kind, generous personality make him a wonderful addition to our team.
Away from work Garreth enjoys fishing, archery, mountain biking and spending time with his family. We look forward to showing him all the wonderful outdoors activities that Brisbane has to offer.
Dr Gemma Stead BVSc MRCVS.
Dr Gemma was raised in Leicestershire, UK where she grew up with a number of family pets. After graduating from the prestigious Bristol University Veterinary School she worked both in general practice and industry throughout the UK for several years, gaining extensive experience. Gemma particularly likes solving complicated dog and cat internal medicine cases and has advanced skills in ultrasonography and radiography. Her gentle nature, empathy and kindness is evident as soon as you meet her and her thorough approach to cases means that her patients always receive exceptional care.
Gemma particularly likes cats and has been adopted by her one eyed cat master “Blinky”! Away from work she enjoys hiking and camping and is looking forward to exploring what Brisbane and SEQ has to offer.
Emma Brewster. Head Receptionist. RVN.
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 eighteen 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! Her warm, friendly personality and love for our clients and team alike are legendary! Emma has three lovely fur babies of her own, Billy, Maggie and Jeffrey.
Leigh-Anne Stephan. Senior Receptionist. Certificate 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!
Kristie Wallis. Receptionist. Certificate III Business Administration.
Kristie grew up in Dalby, Queensland and since moving to Brisbane had worked in administration and marketing within the engineering industry.
Kristie has always had a love for animals and particularly an interest in animal care and wellbeing. She had known for some time that she wanted to pursue a career in the Veterinary industry and secured a Receptionist position at McDowall Vet Practice in February 2019. Since then, Kristie has eagerly expanded her knowledge and experience and has become a valuable member of our reception team. She is involved with our puppy school and is always a friendly, smiling face on reception.
When not at work, she is often spending time with her partner Davis and their fur baby, Bailey, a 3 year old Jack Russell cross.
Sheelagh Lowry. Receptionist. Certificate IV in Frontline Management.
Sheelagh grew up in Victoria and moved to Queensland in 1996 for the awesome weather and has never left! She has over 16 years’ experience in the veterinary Industry having helped develop and run a practice on the south side of Brisbane since 2003. She is incredibly caring, thoughtful and efficient and is happiest when helping others.
Sheelagh has raised four children and now gets to enjoy spending time with her grandchildren! She has had numerous pets including cats, dogs, fish, a snake and mice. When not at work or with family, she enjoys camping, cooking and gardening.
Megan Sharpe. Receptionist.
Megan grew up on a small farm in country Chinchilla where her love of animals developed. With a warm and friendly personality, she trained as a teacher, taught primary and preschool kids for a decade before starting and running her own successful tourism and hospitality business. Her love of engaging with people and her passion for animals resulted in her joining us to fulfil her “dream role”.
Her kind, helpful personality and genuine desire to help our clients and their “fur babies” is evident upon meeting her. She is always ready for a chat, so if you need anything – just ask!
Away from work she enjoys spending time in the garden; reading thriller and crime novels; operating her own Airbnb; and having new adventures with her family and friends. She is also a mother of two young adults and a loving Burmese cat, “Jimmy”.
Louise Page. Head Nurse. Certificate 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.
Emmy-Lou Albany. Certificate II in Animal Studies.
Emmy has been involved with and loved animals for as long as she can remember! She grew up in a small town on the scenic rim called Kalbar on a cattle and Lucerne farm where her love of nature and animals was fostered. It is no surprise that she followed this passion into veterinary nursing and we were very excited to have her join our team in 2019. Emmy’s warm and caring personality is evident as soon as you meet her as well as her desire to see each patient thrive under her care. She is particularly passionate about cats, cat grooming, wildlife and bird care and advanced surgical nursing. At home she is kept busy loving her seven fur babies (five rescue cats and two Rainbow Lorikeets) as well as baking, roller skating arts and crafts and gardening.
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 sat and passed her certificate IV in vet nursing in 2014. She is an integral member of our team, having gained a wealth of experience in surgical nursing and emergency care. She is often responsible for nursing during our more complicated surgical procedures, but is equally adept at helping out at reception or the cat hotel. Ash always has the best interests of our patients at heart and her caring, generous personality means that they always get the very best of care. At home, Ash is kept busy with Luna, her RSPCA rescue kitty, and her Golden Retriever George.
Gabi Maczkowiack. Certificate IV VN.
Gabi grew up on a hobby farm near the Murray river in SA where she was lucky enough to be introduced to lots of animals at an early age. Her family still live there and she loves getting back to visit, catch up and enjoy a camp fire on a chilly evening!
After having travelled overseas, Gabi returned to Australia to study Vet nursing at TAFE and fulfil her dream of helping animals. She recently moved up to Brisbane and we are thrilled to have her join our team. Gabi’s bright, happy personality, empathy, skills and passion for her patients are evident as soon as you meet her. Gabi cares for each patient as if they are her own and loves helping surgical patients feel relaxed and recover well. Outside of work she enjoys travelling and experiencing new things. She is owned by two cats Kaboodle and Millie, who run the house and constantly make her laugh.
Jessica Specogna. Certificate IV VN.
Jessica’s love of animals was apparent from a young age. She was fortunate enough to grow up in the Brisbane suburbs surrounded by a large menagerie of pets. In 2007 she moved to Bribie Island with her family for a sea change. In 2012 she started doing work experience in a vet clinic and loved it. From there her career developed and she spent the next few years completing her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. Jess loves the variety of her profession and thrives on doing the best for each patient and making a difference in their lives. She is incredibly skilled as well as having a wonderful gentle manner and big heart! She shares her home with Charli, a border collie who is the love of her life! When Charlie was younger Jess and her performed in obedience trials and sheep dog trials. As she is getting a little older now she has entered (semi) retirement so likes to spend the day’s sunbaking and eating! These days she has to be content gently rounding up the family’s sheep.
Sam Kingston BSc (Marine Biology) Cert II in Animal Studies.
Sam was born and raised locally by parents who love the outdoors and all critters great and small, so was lucky enough to grow up around Birds, Dogs, Guinea Pigs, Fish and the odd Reptile. Fresh out of high school she moved to Cairns to study a Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology) in 2011. She then returned to Brisbane and started volunteering for a wildlife charity while working in customer service and fell in love with exotics. This inspired her to begin studying Vet nursing during which she realised that this was her passion – caring for our fur children and wildlife.
Sam’s gentle and calm nature is transparent as soon as you meet her, and all of our patients warm to her immediately. She is incredibly skilled, especially with wildlife and exotics and will always make time to ensure that all of our patients are comfortable and receive the very best care. Her bright and happy nature shines through and her professionalism means that any patients in her care are in very safe hands!
Sam belongs to two guinea pigs (Charlie and Pippin) who know exactly how to keep her wrapped around their toes! She also has a household of fishes and crustaceans.
When not at work, Sam can be found either reading a book, being outdoors or hanging out with the family.