Meet the NCVS Team

Our staff of over 20 includes, registered specialists in surgery as well as veterinary practitioners in medicine, ophthalmology and dentistry.

They are here to provide the expert care your pet deserves when complex problems or emergencies occur.

NCVS are working on behalf of your vet and will liaise with them on all matters pertaining to your pet’s management so between us we can optimise all our patients outcomes with the minimum of associated stress for everyone.


Dr Richard Mitchell
Dr Richard Mitchell Small Animal Surgery
BSc BVSc Cert Small Animal Surgery DECVS (Specialist)

Dr Mitchell graduated from Massey University in 1990 and after a short stint in practice in New Zealand travelled to the UK where some years were spent traveling and working in general practice.

He subsequently completed a Small Animal Surgery residency at the University of Bristol in 1998.

In 2004 Dr Mitchell passed the European college of Veterinary Surgeons Specialists examinations in Small Animal Surgery. He is now a registered specialist in both Australasia and Europe.
Dr Mitchell moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2006 where he established North Coast Veterinary Specialist and Referral Centre (NCVS). 2016 marks his tenth year anniversary providing specialist surgical services on the Coast. While he loves all aspects of surgery Dr. Mitchell is most passionate about minimally invasive procedures, joint repair, hip replacement and arthroscopic surgeries.

It is no surprise that in his spare time he is keen on challenging and exciting outdoor sports. The ute is always ready to go with paddleboards on top and rock climbing equipment in the back.

Dr Craig Thomson
Dr Craig ThomsonResident in Small Animal Surgery
BSc BVSc MANZCVSc(Surgery)

Dr. Craig Thomson graduated in 2001 and has been working as a referral surgeon at James Cook University in Townsville, running the surgical department and educating the JCU veterinary students for the last 8 years.

Dr Thomson has a special interest in orthopaedic surgery and brachiocephic airway surgery.

Recently Dr Thomson moved to the Sunshine coast with his family for cooler weather! He is an avid surfer and loves spending time in the water with his family. To make an appointment to see Dr Thomson about your fury friend’s needs, please contact us on 07 5453 7555.

Dr Sue Porter
Dr Sue PorterRegistrar in Small Animal Veterinary Medicine

Originally from Vermont, U.S.A., Dr. Porter attended the University of Vermont before earning her Veterinary Degree at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

She did her internship at a VCA hospital in Massachusetts and then moved to Rhode Island where she worked for 10 years in emergency and critical care at Ocean State Vet Specialist.

Deciding she had had quite enough of cold weather, Sue finally left the freezing north eastern states and moved south, first to Florida, and then on to Belize and St Kitts. Her years there were busy with work in referral practices, volunteering at a humane society clinic and training other vets. While in the Caribbean Sue developed a passion for SCUBA Diving, advancing through her dive master level to become an instructor.

Loving life in the tropics, but looking for a bigger island, her next move was to Australia in 2015. She worked at JCU in Townsville for 3 years before joining the NCVS medicine team at the end of 2018. Sue brings with her a passion for critical care patients, antibiotic stewardship and liver disease. In her spare time Sue can be found enjoying our beautiful Sunshine Coast, diving, hiking or camping.

Dr Anthony Caiafa
Dr Anthony CaiafaDentistry

Dr Caiafa is both a registered veterinarian and human dentist and currently works in both fields on the Sunshine Coast. He is an Associate Professor in Veterinary Dentistry at the University of Melbourne and a guest lecturer in Veterinary Dentistry at James Cook University, Townsville.

Dr Caiafa has over 20 years experience in the field of Veterinary Dentistry and has lectured around the world in this discipline. Tony will happily accept referrals related to small animal oral diseases including jaw fracture repair and the management of oral growths. In his spare time he competes in Ironman competitions both in Australia and abroad.

Dr Guy Clare
Dr Guy ClareOphthalmology

Dr Clare has worked in small animal practice following graduation from Liverpool in 1994. He ran his own first opinion companion animal practice for 7 years from January 1999.

Whilst a general practitioner he developed an interest in ophthalmology and formed Anivision Ltd. This referral service grew quickly and in 2004 Dr Clare became a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Certificate holder in Veterinary Ophthalmology. In May 2005 he re-established ophthalmology at Liverpool University: Dr Clare accepted referrals and became responsible for practical tuition for clinical veterinary undergraduates. In recognition of Dr Clare’s efforts he was acknowledged as a ‘teacher’ by the University in 2006.
In 2009 Dr Clare immigrated to Australia with his lovely wife and 3 children. He quickly established PetVision and happily accepts referrals from local and regions veterinarian. Dr Clare consults and operates from the NCVS premises and delights in educating clients, vets and nurses alike on all conditions and care of the eye. In his spare time Dr Clare can be found running around after his athletic children. He not only coaches, but participates in most of their sports which include surf lifesaving, triathlons and horseback riding and eventing.

Dr Daniel McDonald
Dr Daniel McDonaldVeterinary Intern
BVSc MANZCVSc (Surgery)

Dr Daniel McDonald is a long-time resident of the Sunshine Coast, growing up in the Glasshouse Mountains. Like many of us in the veterinary industry, his childhood included animals and so it was an inevitable choice to pursue a career working with them.

Daniel graduated from James Cook University in 2013 and worked in general practice for 5 years. With a passion for surgery, particularly in orthopaedics and arthroscopy, he gained his membership in surgery in 2018. We are pleased to welcome him to the NCVS team as an intern, a step on the way to becoming a specialist surgeon. While he considers each and every patient special in their own way, Daniel has a special spot in his heart for Boxers. Young Walter, he sweetest boxer pup you’ve ever seen, has recently joined the family. When not engaged in puppy training, Daniel stays active outdoors. He enjoys the team sports cricket and touch football as well as the solo pursuits of running and mountain climbing.

Dr Karen Hazell
Dr Karen Hazell Specialist in Small Animal Medicine

Karen graduated from Sydney University in 1998 and travelled to the UK where she worked in mixed animal practice for a few years before returning to Australia and undertaking a residency in Small Animal Internal medicine in 2006.

She completed her residency and achieved her specialist qualification in 2013. Karen has an interest in all aspects of internal medicine but especially passionate about diagnostic imaging, immune mediated diseases and critical care. In her spare time, Karen likes to ride her horses and read.

Dr Samantha Reeves
Dr Samantha ReevesVeterinary Intern - Medical
Dr Geoff NicholsonSpecialist in Small Animal Cardiology
Dr Casey Gordon
Dr Casey GordonVeterinary Intern - Surgical
BVSc (Hons)



To compliment our services our team also includes highly trained administrative staff, here to manage the expert care your pet deserves when complex problems or emergencies occur.
Janelle Evans
Janelle EvansBusiness Manager
Janelle has been involved in the veterinary industry since 1994. She spent 5 years working in Mackay followed by a return to Brisbane where she divided her time between a specialist practice and emergency facility.

She combines a tremendous passion with considerable skills and in 2006 was thrilled to join Richard Mitchell in the newly established NCVS here on the Sunshine Coast. Her dedication and love for the profession has been invaluable in building NCVS into one of the most respected veterinary specialist practices in Queensland. In the very few hours she has spare outside of her time at work, Janelle enjoys relaxing at the beach and spending time with family and friends. Travel to foreign countries is a special treat and she tries to indulge in this at least once a year.
Louise Hawkins
Louise HawkinsPractice Manager
Originally from Toowoomba, Louise recently made a sea change and moved to the sunny coast. She joins NCVS with 8 years of experience in veterinary nursing obtained across a wide range of settings.

After studying Wildlife Science at UQ and obtaining her Cert IV in vet nursing she worked in small general practices as well as the UQ Emergency Hospital the for the RSPCA. With a compassion for any animal in need, Louise often brought her work home with her, fostering several dogs and cats. In many cases this saw her working through the night as she has a particular passion for nursing neonates. While she enjoys most aspects of veterinary nursing, her favourite patients are the medicine patients.

Louise enjoys the complexity and challenge of the cases and finds the intense hands on nursing they require the most rewarding. She enjoys building relationships with the long-term patients in her care. It is no surprise that Louise shares her home with two special rescues. Nemo a sweet three-legged Maltese has adapted to the coastal lifestyle and is now keen to get into the ocean to play. Milo, a rescued ginger tabby, prefers home life!

Jayne Dean
Jayne DeanAdministration
Jayne brought her bright cheerful smile to NCVS in April 2009 and since then has taken on her role in our reception with unparalleled energy and an amazing level of organization.

Her love of animals was evident when she took on “Jasper” (a dear sweet cat in need of a home) in only her second week of work. Since then the family has expanded with Rio and Otto, two more lucky rescues. Originally from the U.K., Jayne was thrilled to become an Australian citizen and has dived (literally!) into the Sunshine Coast outdoor lifestyle. When not camping and exploring she and her husband participate in running marathons and triathlons.
Hayley Spender
Hayley SpenderSenior Receptionist
You can’t miss this lady’s beaming smile when you enter our reception area. Hayley has been working with the team for 5 years.

With her energetic, bubbly personality she smoothly juggles multiple telephone calls, clerical tasks and request from employees and clients. Her love of animals was evident when she adopted not one but two kittens shortly after beginning work at NCVS. This past year her smile got even bigger with the arrival of her new baby daughter.
Amanda Dean
Amanda DeanReceptionist
Amanda was born and raised in the Swedish country side. Her pets included a dog, cats, a rabbit and horses, and growing up, she spent most of her time outdoors.

Amanda has always been a keen sportswoman, with a particular interest in orienteering which she took on competitively. Adventure and travel are clearly a passion as career choices after high school included joining the military, working for an airline and then finally travelling to Australia to pursue studies in fitness. Amanda joined the NCVS team in 2015 and, luckily for us, reports “I love a busy workplace!” Her skills in taking on and mastering the myriad of duties involved in reception and administration are impressive when you consider she has done all this while becoming fluent in a new language! Amanda’s goal is to continue to study and to become a permanent resident. “I just love Oz, I love the weather and the people here!” After hours, Amanda can be found outdoors training for sports events, camping, and enjoying all that the Sunny Coast has to offer.
Kate Havers
Kate HaversReceptionist
Kate has enjoyed a wide range of experiences, both in Australia and overseas. She is a fully qualified personal trainer and spent 5 years in the fitness industry.

After working overseas she enjoyed a career change in her return to Australia and she honed her clerical skills working as a receptionist in a government department. Growing up Kate was surrounded by animals, ‘we had one of everything’ she reports. She is thrilled to join our administration team as working in the veterinary industry allow her to combine her love of working with people with her love of animals. Being located on the Sunshine Coast is an additional bonus as Kate loves to surf in her free time.
Sam Aquilina
Sam AquilinaReceptionist
Having recently relocated from chilly regional Victoria to the warm Sunny Coast, Sam joined the NCVS reception team just this year.

Sam’s love of animals is a natural result of growing up on a farm where they had horses, sheep, cows, chickens, dogs and cats, and even lizards and turtles as pets. Sam says that she finds working with animals to be very relaxing. She particularly enjoys the opportunity to engage with clients on a personal level and is most moved by the relationships she sees between our dedicated owners and their beloved pets. In her spare time, Sam and her partner enjoy exploring the Sunshine Coast and discovering the many hidden natural wonders.
Tiffany Weyman
Tiffany WeymanCustomer Care
Tiffany brings to the veterinary reception team, experience in administration both with marketing and leading tours in animal industry as well as working as a P.A. for a private company.
While she greets all our clients with a friendly smile, Tiffany is equally pleased to personally welcome each patient as well. With her own experience in owning a very special cattle dog named Abel she understands the bond that exists between clients and their pets and loves to see their happy reunions when it is time for them to be discharged. Tiffany lives on acerage in the hinterland and loves outdoor adventures. In her spare time she enjoys sports such as hiking and water skiing, but her favourite one is dirt biking on forest trails!
Monique Haskell
Monique Haskell Reception



Our team also includes highly trained nurses and animal attendants all of whom have devoted their careers to the care of pets just like yours.
Elyse Martin
Elyse MartinHospital Co-Ordinator
Elyse was born Sydney and has moved around and lived on the NSW South Coast, Hunter Valley, and Canberra, before finally settling here on the Sunshine Coast.

Although she originally studied fashion in Sydney, her love of animals led her to complete a Certificate III in agriculture while living in Hunter Valley. After growing up with cattle, horses, dogs and cats, it seemed a natural progression to continue a career with animals. Elyse started in the industry volunteering as a kennel hand at 19 years of age, and was shortly after taken on as employee. She has worked in small animal practices, both general practice and specialists clinics, as well as at a thoroughbred spelling farm. She most recently enjoyed doing rehabilitation work with horses before joining NCVS in Dec 2016. While her family keep cattle at Kilkivan, her acreage property nearby is home to not just 3 little dogs but a very special cow named, believe it or not, Henry!

Aime Low
Aime LowVeterinary Nurse Trainer
BaAppSC VT, Cert IV VN, Dip VN ECC, Cert III CA, Cert IV TAE

Amie brings to the team over 20 years of veterinary nursing experience and a passion for critical care and education and training.

Aime began in the veterinary industry as a kennel hand and studied as she worked, initially earning a Bachelor of Applied Science degree where she double majored in veterinary technology. Amie continued on to earn several veterinary nursing certificates including captive animals and training and assessment as well as a Diploma of Vet Nursing in emergency and critical care. We are thrilled to welcome her to the team as a trainer for our not only our trainee nurses, but for our whole nursing team to ensure we are providing gold standard care to all of our patients. While she is now currently studying for the international Veterinary Technician Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care, Amie manages to balance her free time with outdoor pursuits including hiking in the mountains and playtime with her many animals.
Debbie Glave
Debbie GlaveVeterinary Nurse
Cert IV Veterinary Nurse

Investigating therapies when her own dog was recovering from surgery proved to be so inspiring that Deb was led to a complete career change.

After experiences including owning a motorcycle shop and teaching primary school, she joined NCVS in August 2008 and began vet nursing studies with the A.I.R.C. Originally from the U.S. and Canada, with several years living the expat life in Tehran and Dubai, she now calls Queensland home. Always after an adventure, in her spare time, Deb spends as much time outdoors as possible, either motorcycling or rock climbing.
Jaimi Cook
Jaimi CookJunior Veterinary Nurse
Cert III Animal Studies

Jaimi graduated university with a degree in Communications and, prior to joining the NCVS team, worked for 10 years in the television industry.

Two years ago she decided it was time to follow her passion and she began working on her Cert IV in vet nursing with the A.I.R.C. Her compassion for animals shines through in the dedication she shows all our patients. Life at home is a natural continuation of animal care as she and her partner spend their time with horses, sheep, chickens, and their most recent addition, a rescued Greyhound.
Juri Watanabe
Juri WatanabeVeterinary Nurse
Cert IV Veterinary Nurse

Juri joined NCVS in 2011 and recently completed her Cert IV in Vet Nursing through the A.I.R.C.

She has a special interest in medicine and finds the patient care aspect of her job the most rewarding. Juri’s love of all dogs, especially the big ones! was clear when she adopted not one but two huge Malamutes. While she enjoys Oz Tag and touch football in her spare time, these activities have been temporarily put on hold with the most recent addition to her family, a beautiful new baby boy!
Katreena Cook
Katreena CookVeterinary Nurse
Katreena completed a vet Tech degree in 2017 and worked in specialist practice in Brisbane before returning to the Sunshine Coast this year. We are thrilled to welcome her to the NCVS team.

With a particular interest in anaesthetics and surgery Katreena enjoys the challenge of our critical care patients and the dynamic nature of the more complex cases. She is also enthusiastic about continuing education to keep up to date in the field of veterinary nursing. Spare time is at a premium with two young children at home, but she makes the most of our beautiful coast, spending time outside on the beach whenever possible. The family shares their home with two rescue pets, a dog named Mooney and a cat named Ginger Ninja!

Katarina Fossey
Katarina FosseyVeterinary Nurse
Katarina is a fully qualified veterinary nurse with a wealth of experience with both domestic and native Australian animals. She has worked in general practice as well as in a wildlife hospital where her favourite animals were the sea turtles.
Keen for new experiences and the opportunity for ongoing education and knowledge, Katarina joined our team of NCVS ward nurses. She finds working with spinal patients particularly rewarding, seeing small improvements every day and being part of their return to wellness. She shares her home with an 8 yr old German Pointer named Yamba, who she has had since he was a puppy. In her spare time she enjoys scuba diving and keeps busy as an active volunteer for both Coast Care and Reef Check.
Sharna Mostyn
Sharna MostynVeterinary Nurse
Meegan McLucas
Meegan McLucasVeterinary Nurse
Cert IV Veterinary Nurse

Meegan has been a veterinary nurse for 11 years. She began working in mixed general practice which provided a wealth of experiences with large and small pets as well as farm animals.

Later, her work with emergency services sharpened her skills with critical care patients. Meegan has worked with the NCVS team for 7 years and has a special interest with surgical procedures. The fast pace doesn’t stop at home as her time there is filled with an active toddler and a new pup!
Nadia Lillecrapp
Nadia LillecrappVeterinary Nurse
Nadia is one of our most travelled nurses, from the UK to Germany with stops in Central American and Southeast Asia! She originally studied in Scotland and obtained a degree in immunology & microbiology, and was most interested in research.
On a trip to India she volunteered at an animal reserve where the nearest vet was 2 hrs away. When a donkey died of sepsis and they couldn’t do anything to help it, she decided she wanted to do something in this arena to make a difference. Upon returning to the UK she began volunteering in animal shelters and vet clinics. Nadia moved to Australia in 2016 and worked in Hervey Bay, gained certification in veterinary nursing and then spent another year traveling. She worked while traveling: in a monkey refuge in Costa Rica and running puppy preschool in Cambodia. After returning to Australia Nadia worked as a surgical supervisor in a general practice. While she is passionate about the surgical anaesthetic side of work, she especially loves the feeling you get when you return patients to owners, the gratitude they have, and feeling like you’re saving lives. Though dogs and cats are the main species under her care at work, she is thrilled to be the owner of four “circus rats” who keep the family entertained as they perform a variety of clever tricks!
Suzie Foster
Suzie FosterVeterinary Nurse
Cert IV Veterinary Nurse

Originally from Perth, Suzie now calls the Sunshine Coast home. After volunteering at The Australia Zoo wildlife hospital for 2 years she decided to pursue a career in the animal care industry.

Suzie joined NCVS in January 2010 and completed her Cert IV in Vet Nursing through the A.I.R.C. While she is most intrigued with all aspects of surgery, she says she wouldn’t want to miss out on all the cuddles that come along with the interaction in daily patient care duties. Suzie’s love for animals also spills over into her vacations. Most recently she volunteered working with elephants in Thailand and can’t wait to go back. Closer to home, she enjoys getting out for a run with her dog, Dakota, and bushwalking.
Tahnee Tuckerman
Tahnee TuckermanVeterinary Nurse Assistant
Tahnee first came to NCVS as a client with her beloved French Bulldog and within a year, left her work in the hospitality industry to follow her heart to work with animals.

She joined the team in 2015 as a kennel hand and began studying for her vet nursing certificate. Tahnee’s love for all types of animals is clear in the many endearing anecdotes about her pets. She has given a home to every type of animal imaginable, from guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs and horses to the very entertaining pig that thought he was a Doberman. Currently she shares her home with two very cute French Bulldogs, Cocoa and Butter.
Tania Muckle
Tania MuckleVeterinary Nurse
Cert IV Veterinary Nurse

Tania was born in Karratha WA and came to a love of the outdoors and animals at an early age. She relocated to QLD as a teen and has been working as a vet nurse for 12 years, gaining extensive experience in both large and small animal practices.

Tania joined the NCVS team in 2014 with a particular passion for surgery. Her exceptional nursing skills and positive cheerful personality serve her well in her role as one of our nursing supervisors. In her spare time Tania is busy with her horses, dogs and even two snakes. She is keen on any outdoor activity, and especially loves to camp whenever she can get away.
Brooke Walker
Brooke WalkerTrainee Veterinary Nurse
Brooke is a valued member of our team of kennel hands. Her compassion for our patients is evident in the gentle, quiet and competent way she carries out her duties.

With a ready smile and willing attitude she quickly made herself indispensable. Her current ambition, in addition to studying vet nursing, is to convince her father that they really, really need whatever kitten is currently looking for a home.
Louise Thorne
Louise ThorneTrainee Vet Nurse
Louise is the newest member of our kennel hand team. Prior to joining NCVS she was a volunteer at the Sippy Creek animal refuge.

As she is passionate about animals and currently does not have a pet, she is thrilled with the opportunity to begin her career with us, working with our patients. In her free time you will find Louise active out of doors. She particularly enjoys bush walking, often in the company of friends’ ’borrowed’ pups!
Tegan McLellan
Tegan McLellanVeterinary Nurse Assistant
With working experiences ranging from being a personal trainer to working in childcare, Tegan finally took the plunge to make the career change that had been in her heart since she was a child.

After volunteering at a local vet practice to ‘test the waters’ she found that working with animals was indeed her calling and has joined the NCVS team as a kennel hand. Tegan is currently working on her certificate in veterinary nursing. With a myriad of tasks to take up every shift, Tegan’s favourite part of the job is the one-on-one time she spends in the care of our long-term patients, and the special reward of seeing them regain health and a new lease on life after surgery or illness. In her spare time, Tegan keeps fit at the gym and enjoys the opportunity to travel.
Stephanie Bartie
Stephanie Bartie Veterinary Nurse
After working as a geologist for 10 years, Stephanie decided it was time to follow her passion and had a career change to veterinary nursing. She worked in the outback and up north in Townsville in general practice before moving to the Sunshine Coast.

She is thrilled to join our team, working with the medicine patients. While in general practice she found that the most interesting cases were referred and so now relishes the opportunity to see what happens next for them. She finds their journey to wellness, watching them regain their health and happiness to be the most rewarding aspect of her job. Although she does not currently own her own dog, she spent a year house sitting for a friend who owned a Labradoodle, and is now quite keen to adopt any cute little stray that might pop its head through the door!

Kennel Hands

Lily Rae Humbe
Lily Rae Humbe Kennel Hand
Kimberley Weaving
Kimberley Weaving Kennel Hand