Meet the Team

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Google Maps location for Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic

Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic
8-10 Queen St
NSW 2484

02 6672 1919
02 6672 1918
  • Our Veterinarians
  • Dr Joan Gibbons
    B.V.Sc. (Brisbane) 1989 - Practice Owner, Certified cattle pregnancy tester, Equine Veterinary Association Member

    Special Interests: cattle obstetrics, canine medicine, fear free consulting.

    The daughter of dairy farmers hailing from Warwick, I always wanted to be a vet. As a young child I would make rugs from hessian bags for any sick calf and sneak them into the hay shed to recuperate. Dad was not particularly happy when they pooed all over the hay!!

    I graduated from Qld Uni in 1989 and count myself lucky to still love my job after 30 years. In 2015 I caught up with friends from vet school and found many of them were no longer in practice and were engaged in careers as diverse as IT and human medicine.  I started out in dairy practice in Kerang, Victoria where I learned lots of tricks for dealing with difficult calvings. Today, those skills stand me in good stead for even the most difficult bovine obstetrical case. Having “double jointed” elbows also helps!!

    My family, husband Neil and children, Charlie and Summer are my greatest joy.

    We have 3 pets, a Grey cat called Sparkles that was a birthday present for Summer in 2014 , a Tabby cat named Fiddy ( a 50th birthday gift to myself) and a Jack Russell Cross named Tiki. Fiddy and Tiki grew up together and have a great bond often playing rough and tumble games together.

    My free time is very fitness oriented.  I enjoy CROSSFIT and do extra running and swimming training for triathlon. I do Saturday triathlon during Summer as much for the camaraderie as for the personal achievement.

    At the end of 2017, myself and my husband Neil became sole owners of Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic something that is both exciting and challenging. Neil now works in the office and is training in the role of Practice Manager.

    In December 2018  we are going on a fantastic holiday to have Christmas with Neil’s family in England and hopefully a quick trip to explore Iceland. 



    Joan cropped the right way
  • Dr Christine Jenkins
    Bsc B.V.M.S - Murdoch University 2014

    Dr Christine Jenkins

    Associate Veterinarian at Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic

    My name is Christine Jenkins and grew up in the small town of Chinderah. I've always been surrounded by animals and would often be found hanging out or studying with our fur-family members (Honey our horse, Ringa our rottweiler cross or our many rabbits).

    After completing my first degree in Biomedical Science and obtaining an early acceptance into Veterinary School, I decided to get an insight into the industry and become a veterinary nurse. This was the first time I meet Dr Joan, Dr Stephanie and the team at Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic - immediately I felt like family and the wide variety of cases seen as a mixed practice Veterinarian help me realise my professional goals.

    Throughout my studies at Murdoch University in Perth WA, I remained in contact with the Clinc and was lucky enough to do work placements (final year training) with the murwillumbah vet clinic team. Towards the end of my degree in 2014, Dr Joan & Dr Stephanie offered myself a position as a new graduate Veterinarian. I felt very blessed and honoured to start my career in such a beautiful part of northern NSW in a clinic with such a knowledgeable and supportive team.

    Being a mixed practice Veterinarian means that no day is the same and multiple species can present to the clinic at any given time. The morning can often start with routine vaccinations, desexing surgical procedures on cats/ dogs or rabbits, rapidly changing to calving a cow out in the field and end with emergency surgery to remove a foreign body from a beloved family pet. My special interests are surgery, internal medicine, ultrasonography and reducing stress in the consulting room

    I have 3 fur-family members, a male Burmese cat called Jespah, a female tabby cat called Jasmin and a Young buckskin gelding named Eli. Jespah likes to think he is also a Dr since he spent his younger years at the desk studying with me during vet school. Jasmin was adopted as a 3 week old kitten after I meet her in the clinic & Eli is my new partner helping me develop my horsemanship skills.

    Outside the clinic, my spare time is spent with my family and my horse Eli. My mum and sister live close by and we often spend time outside in the garden, whale watching at Hastings Point or helping each other with our latest crochet or knitting patterns. My horse Eli is a very important part of life and most of my free time is spent developing our partnership and my horsemanship skills under the guidance of the Quantum Savvy Programme.

    Chrissie Eli
  • Dr Sam Walker B.App.Sci (Hons) BVSc. (Hons)

    My interest in veterinary science began at an early age, while growing up on a beef cattle property just outside Lismore.

    After completing honours in Environmental Science at the Southern Cross University, I gained entry to the Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland.During my studies I met my future wife Cristina, who was also in the same year.

    In 2008, I started work at the Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic. This clinic has a great family feel and immediately made us feel very welcome. The variety of work that the clinic offers is something I enjoy. In a day it can range from doing dental work on a rabbit in the morning to calving a cow in the afternoon; and plenty of dogs, cats in between. I enjoy all aspects of mixed practice and have particular interests in surgery, internal medicine and ultrasonography.

    In 2010, Cristina and I went to the UK to live and work for a year. We filled locum positions all over the country and it was a great experience both professionally and personally. The work was interesting and diverse. We learned about pets that we don’t often see in Australia such as degus and chinchillas, and had some interesting experiences such as treating military dogs returning from service in Afghanistan. Between locum positions, we enjoyed exploring the UK and Europe in our motorhome. We had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people. After about three and a half years, we thought we had better head home!

    After a short stint in Brisbane, we moved back in Murwillumbah. We love living and working here, and are blessed to have two children.

  • Our Nurses
  • Robyn McCalman
    Head Veterinary Nurse

    I have been working at MVC for 35 years! I was born and bred in Murwillumbah and am married to Ron. I have 2 adult children Carolyn and Craig, five grandchildren and a large extended (and extremely social) family. I enjoy cooking for family nights in but also enjoy going out to dinner.

    We live out at Condong on a property where I lived as a child and we run cows and greyhounds. I have been involved with greyhounds for over 30 years and we race (reasonably successfully) and breed them. My knowledge in this area comes in handy at work too!

    I started working at MVC with the previous owners while my children were at school, at first doing afternoon work then as they got older I moved to full time work both in the office and nursing. Since Steph and Joan took over I have watched the place grow and change in great strides.I am happy to admit I was a bit nervous about what those changes might be after working with the same people for so long!

    I am now the head surgical nurse at the clinic. I do admissions, pre meds for surgery, assist the vets during surgery and ensure the recovery of your pet after. I also do the ordering for the clinic so if there is something we don't carry come in and talk to me. As the clinic has grown, keeping on top of inventory is difficult and I am having to learn new computing skills - just goes to show you CAN teach old dogs new tricks!

    I still love working with the animals here and the rest of the staff are like extended family to me now after so many years together. Its lovely to work somewhere where just about every face that comes in the door is someone you know. This is one of the delights of living in such a great Australian country town.

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  • Bronwyn Burton
    Head Receptionist

    I grew up on a remote farm in central New South Wales so my animal experience began early and included a lot of sheep!

    I have been married to my husband Ted for 38 years and have a son, a daughter and 3 grandkids. We have lived on our property at Kielvale since 1982. 

    I have worked at Murwillumbah Vet Clinic for over 25 years and I have seen a lot of changes and now consider myself part of the furniture! What I love most about working here is interacting with the farmers and getting to share the lives of our client's pets from birth to death. I like the staff parties and outings a fair bit too!! We are a pretty sociable lot in here.

    You might also recognise me from the Tweed Jockey Club where I have worked on race days for over 25 years too. As you can see I am a bit of a stayer.

    My hobbies include breeding all kinds of birds and fowl from tiny wrens to blue egg laying chooks, peacocks and guinea fowl. This has given me a bit of a reputation for being the 'bird expert' at the clinic.

    I love my Collie Cross and cats too and am pretty keen on snakes and Aussie wildlife and tropical fish. Actually I really enjoy fishing too especially for bass and luderick.

    I always joke they won't get rid of me from the vet clinic until I am carried out in my coffin!

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  • Rebecca Kirkman
    Senior Veterinary Nurse

    I joined the team in May 2009 after 8 years vet nursing experience on the Darling Downs. 


    I love working at the clinic and all of the staff are truly valuable colleagues and friends.  We have such a great team of Vets and Nurses and it makes for a fantastic workplace.

    One of my favourite parts of the job is being able to reassure worried pets and make them feel more secure in a stressful situation. I feel this is an aspect of vet nursing that I do very well and I can let owners know that their pet is in safe and caring hands and will be comfortable while at our clinic.

    Some of my hobbies are traveling, particularly camping under the stars in the bush all around this great country we live in. I enjoy creating woodwork items and have made fabulous chairs and tables and even some works of art. Photography is another passion and this takes me to all sorts of places looking for the perfect shot!

    Having purchased acreage at Uki, gardening is now my main time filler when I am not at the clinic.  I haven't done too much gardening before, but I now find myself hanging out there all day.  Great for your mental health.

    My husband David and I purchased the Uki Supermarket in 2010 and so plan to stick around this area for a long time. I find the people in this region very open and friendly and am grateful to the clinic for giving me so much opportunity for growth. I do what I love, and I love what I do. Who can ask for more than that!

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  • Rachel Hurst
    Senior Veterinary Nurse

    I have worked at Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic since 2003, starting just after Joan and Steph took over as a volunteer student and working my way up to a more senior position .

    All the staff at MVC are wonderful people, we are more like a second family than just workmates. I work mostly in the hospital kennel area, directly with the inpatients and recovering surgery patients, keeping them comfortable and clean and warm.

    I am also in charge of surgical nursing when Robyn has her Fridays off or is on holiday.

    We really are a team here though and everyone helps each other as needed being ready to turn our hand to most tasks. Vet clinics commonly have emergencies requiring all hands on deck at any time.

    I always knew I wanted to work with animals. My first job was at a pet store called ‘Noah's Bark'. I worked there for around seven months until the shop was sold.

    I volunteered for Friends of the Pound shortly after that and have maintained my interest in animal welfare ever since. I particularly find it a rewarding experience when former pound animals are desexed here, recover and go home to their loving new owners.

    I have completed Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

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  • Helen Gorton
    Veterinary Nurse and Receptionist

    A lot of clients will probably recognise me from my other employment as a dental nurse upstairs at Biltoft's dentist.

    It's an extra treat to help you again with your animals downstairs especially if you have any insurance queries or a puppy I can cuddle!!

    Of course my passion has always been animals and so I was thrilled when I was asked to join the clinic as a receptionist in April 2008.

    I have an extensive knowledge of horses. Since a small child I have competed successfully in Pony Club, Agricultural Shows and even won at Royal Show level. My experience varies from riding and competing to judging and instructing. This eventually led me to become a riding instructor for 5 years with the Australian Racing Institute at the Cabarita Beach and Murwillumbah Campus. I was involved with teaching international students about all aspects of the racing industry from horse care to riding and this was where I met Joan and Steph. We had many a conversation while gelding a colt!!! 

    I have been involved with the racing industry for 30 years now, up early daily to ride track work and care for the horses, each horse having its own individual needs and I am still learning all the time.

    I don't have much free time but I am keen on keeping fit, lifting weights and running

    Since joining the team here at the clinic, every day is exciting and I am enjoying continuing to master new skills. Those skills now encompass many areas of veterinary nursing as well as front desk duties.

    At home my human family includes 2 wonderful daughters Lauren and Sheridan, while my animal family consists of  a cockatiel, 6 cows (including a gorgeous jersey cow!), 1 dog, 2 cats and, of course, my horses!

  • Tiffany Swift
    Veterinary Nurse

    From a very young age I have always had a love for animals.

    My very first pet was a pearl cockatiel called Pepsi who was always keen for a bike ride and my most current pet is a lovely puppy named Keisha.

    At the end of year 10 I signed up for a school based traineeship with Murwillumbah Vet Clinic which included a 2 year TAFE course in animal studies.

    I have my Certificate IV in Vet nursing and have recently completed my diploma in Veterinary Nursing.

    In my spare time I play inline hockey and enjoy going to the beach with my friends.

    I became 2014 Hills Vet Nurse of the Year on 10/10/14 at an award ceremony is Sydney. It is an honour to be recognised by the community at large and my fellow vet nurses.







  • Dionne Evans
    Vet Nurse


    Hi, I am Dionne and live on 2 acres in the Hinterland with my husband, Nick and our cattle x kelpie rescue girl Maxi. Nick and I returned from living in England for two years in November 2013. This made for perfect timing to start training for a long wanted career change from the clothing industry to becoming a Qualified Veterinary Nurse.

    In November 2014 I completed my Certificate II in Animal Studies. Then in February 2015 I started at Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic as a volunteer trainee nurse while studying Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing at Lismore TAFE. At the end of 2015 I finished the course successfully!

    Now, I am fortunate enough to have been employed at Murwillumbah Vet Clinic as part of the Vet Nurse team. This has given me the opportunity to teach puppy preschool at the clinic too, which I love. Being a mixed practice makes for a wonderful place to work. The staff are a great team, friendly, professional and happy to share their knowledge, which they have a lot of.

    My enthusiasm for animals has been one that has grown over the years. I have a soft spot for dogs and love the range of companion animals out there. I like learning about all animals, they are so amazing! I have volunteered at Animal Welfare League and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital.


    I am looking forward to the years ahead learning more about different areas of vet nursing, animal welfare and how best to care for all the beloved animals and pets out there. Hope to meet you all soon.


  • Lisa Wickbold
    Vet Nurse


    After a career in the music and arts industry and living overseas (and Brisbane!), my partner and I built our dream home in the beautiful foothills of Mt Warning in 2007 and started a family.   I started volunteering at Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic in July 2013 when I commenced studying my Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing,

    Now as a qualified nurse, I love my role at Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic where I get to work closely with both our patients and their owners. 

    The learning and working environment is wonderful, with all staff so happy to share their knowledge and experience, and in the meantime I feel I’ve made some great friends too.   We have two dogs at home, a very charming Airedale Terrier, and his best mate, a Schnoodle.   They've both successful graduates of the MVC puppy pre-school (as am I)!.  

    I feel very privileged to work at a practice such as this, where striving for excellence is an everyday goal - whether that be in practicing medicine, customer service, patient well-being or even workplace health and safety.


    Outside of work, our kids keep us very busy - and I try to maintain a modicum of fitness to balance out my love of eating out!




  • Melana
    Trainee Vet Nurse

    Hi, my name is Melana Oakes.

    I started volunteering at the Murwillumbah vet clinic in October 2012, at the time I was doing Certificate II in Animal Studies, continuing my studies and getting my Certificate III in companion animals and have continued my studies with Certificate IV in vet Nursing.

    I currently am a registered Breeder of Staffordshire Bull Terriers and have a range of rabbit breeds that I breed to sell for pets, breeders and for showing, I have a multitude of pets at my place including 4 dogs, 27 rabbits, 2 cats, some chickens and a turtle, put it all together with my 3 kids and I definitely have a busy household.

  • Rashell O'Hara
    Volunteer - trainee Vet Nurse

    My name is Rashell, I'm a trainee studying Animal studies and would love to get my qualifications in Captive animals so I can work in a wildlife sanctuary or zoo. I have 5 cats, Harley, Lexi, Magnus, Odin and Carla, and as naughty as they are, I can't help but love them. I've been working at Murwillumbah Vet Clinic since 2015 and love working with the team. It's an awesome and very interesting place to learn and practice.

  • Maddy Wylie
    Trainee Vet Nurse

    My name is Madalyn Wylie and I am a trainee at Murwillumbah vet clinic. I have been with the clinic since 2015 on a school based traineeship going ahead in year 10 along with my Animal studies Cert ll, starting off with a couple of afternoons a week to now full days in the clinic, I live on a farm just outside of Condong with everything from Cows, dogs, cats, Birds, fish even ducks.

    I have been involved with the clinic since a young age with my Nan being head vet nurse I have grown up begging Joan to let me do jobs for her so I didn’t have to go to swimming training after school.

    In 2016 I travelled Europe and was chosen to read the honour roll at the annual Anzac day ceremony in Villers-Bretonneux France which was broadcasted across the nation it was the experience of a lifetime.

    I Look forward to furthering my knowledge within the clinic through help from the amazing team around me and I hope I get to meet you and all your fur/feather-babies soon. 

    Maddy 7
  • Our Volunteers
  • Yvette Brown
    Nurse Volunteer

    It's hard to believe, but I have been a volunteer at M.V.C for 33 years! 

    I enjoy helping the animals as well as their owners and feel very much part of the Murwillumbah Vet Clinic family.  It is always a lot of fun when the staff from the vet clinic get together outside of work and I love to be involved with the social activities such as the Brisbane boat cruise.  Our farm has played host to the Christmas party and several "steamboat" dinners over the years.

    I have been working in veterinary clinics since age 14 and I find it both very interesting and at times very challenging. I have a keen interest in animal welfare and to this end I am a foster carer for Friends of the Pound and a life member of this charity and the RSPCA.

    A dog "Tess" and cats, "Cleo", "Kat" and "Zeus", plus rabbits, chooks and cows make up my menagerie at home.  Oh, and my husband Allan and children Andrew (12) and Daniel (9) also keep me busy.

    My non-animal interests include belly dancing, art, reading, fishing, and I love to find a bargain at an op shop!


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  • Jorja McLeod
    Volunteer - trainee Vet Nurse

    From a very young age and growing up on a farm with all types of animals, I have always loved the company and being around animals. I also wanted to become involved in caring for them and to help make a difference to their lives.

    I started volunteering at the Vet Clinic on the 15th of February 2013 to carry out my ambition to become a Professional/Qualified Cat and Dog Groomer and a Qualified Veterinary Nurse.

    I am Qualified in Certificate II Animal Studies, Certificate III Companion Animals, Qualified Dog Groomer and Currently studying Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

    In May 2014, I attended a 4 week course at the Victorian College of Dog Grooming, which encouraged me to start my own business within the Dog Grooming Industry, my business name is "Pets with Pawsonality Professional Dog Grooming Service". My salon is located at Dunbible which is about 10 minutes out of Murwillumbah and 5 minutes from Stokers Siding. I am also the Groomer on Friday's at the Vet Clinic.      

    The Team of Vets and Nurses are very professional and ensure that I will get the best understanding and knowledge possible to enhance my desire for learning the correct procedures.

    As for my Hobbies/Interests, I enjoy horse and motorbike riding, cattle work/farm work, op shopping, listening to music, art and spending time with family and friends.