Meet the team

Dr Fiona Hendrie  Fiona, one of the founders of Beleura Veterinary Hospital, describes her passion for science and animal health as ‘lifelong’. In 1990, Fiona began to turn passion into profession, studying science at Melbourne University before moving on to study veterinary science at the University of Queensland.  Fiona’s career eventually brought her back to her hometown of Melbourne and she moved to the Mornington Peninsula in 2007. Inspired by the peninsula’s people and pets, Fiona and fellow visionary Penny set about creating a veterinary hospital that would bring the highest quality care and facilities to the area. Beleura Veterinary Hospital was born.  Fiona lives with her husband, three children and their Jack Russell, Dizzy.

Dr Fiona Hendrie

Fiona, one of the founders of Beleura Veterinary Hospital, describes her passion for science and animal health as ‘lifelong’. In 1990, Fiona began to turn passion into profession, studying science at Melbourne University before moving on to study veterinary science at the University of Queensland.

Fiona’s career eventually brought her back to her hometown of Melbourne and she moved to the Mornington Peninsula in 2007. Inspired by the peninsula’s people and pets, Fiona and fellow visionary Penny set about creating a veterinary hospital that would bring the highest quality care and facilities to the area. Beleura Veterinary Hospital was born.

Fiona lives with her husband, three children and their Jack Russell, Dizzy.

Penny Broadbent  From the moment the teenage Penny started working as a ‘Saturday girl’ at her local veterinary clinic, she was hooked. Determined to follow a career in veterinary nursing, Penny took on a full-time clinic position as soon as she graduated from school.  After completing her veterinary nursing studies, Penny worked for 12 years as a small animal nurse. She then spent two years at an equine practice before returning to small animal nursing at Fiona’s practice in Mentone, where she worked for five years. Sharing Fiona’s vision for the perfect practice on the peninsula, Penny co-founded Beleura and has loved every moment of realising their dream.  Penny lives in Mordialloc with her husband Quentin, their two children, Matilda and Jackson, and dogs Zena and Zahlee.

Penny Broadbent

From the moment the teenage Penny started working as a ‘Saturday girl’ at her local veterinary clinic, she was hooked. Determined to follow a career in veterinary nursing, Penny took on a full-time clinic position as soon as she graduated from school.

After completing her veterinary nursing studies, Penny worked for 12 years as a small animal nurse. She then spent two years at an equine practice before returning to small animal nursing at Fiona’s practice in Mentone, where she worked for five years. Sharing Fiona’s vision for the perfect practice on the peninsula, Penny co-founded Beleura and has loved every moment of realising their dream.

Penny lives in Mordialloc with her husband Quentin, their two children, Matilda and Jackson, and dogs Zena and Zahlee.

Dr Veena Kendaragama  Veena completed her veterinary science degree at the University of Melbourne in 2010. After a brief jaunt around Europe, she spent 2 years working in a small animal practice in Central Gippsland.  Beleura was blessed with Veena’s presence in 2013. Her caring, can-do attitude and infectious positivity quickly made her a practice favourite. Veena left us in 2015 to work and travel in Asia, but we knew (hoped!) she’d be back.  Though she’s already accomplished to the hilt, Veena has taken her skills to a whole new level, completing her Masters of Veterinary Studies in Small Animal Practice in 2018.  Veena’s furry and feathered family includes two mischievous terriers, Monty and Chika; her loveable cat, Charles; and Pedro the chirpy budgie.

Dr Veena Kendaragama

Veena completed her veterinary science degree at the University of Melbourne in 2010. After a brief jaunt around Europe, she spent 2 years working in a small animal practice in Central Gippsland.

Beleura was blessed with Veena’s presence in 2013. Her caring, can-do attitude and infectious positivity quickly made her a practice favourite. Veena left us in 2015 to work and travel in Asia, but we knew (hoped!) she’d be back.

Though she’s already accomplished to the hilt, Veena has taken her skills to a whole new level, completing her Masters of Veterinary Studies in Small Animal Practice in 2018.

Veena’s furry and feathered family includes two mischievous terriers, Monty and Chika; her loveable cat, Charles; and Pedro the chirpy budgie.

Dr Leah Murray  Most kids want to be superheroes, astronauts or princesses when they grow up. But Leah, who spent much of her childhood on her grandparents’ farm, knew she was going to be a vet from an early age.  Fast-forward a few years and Leah’s determination had grown with her. She began her studies in Melbourne then moved to Sydney to complete her veterinary science degree.  After graduating in 2014, Leah returned home to the peninsula. She came to Beleura on a graduate work placement and won us over with her cheery personality. We plied her with charm and chocolate biscuits until she decided to stay.  Outside work, you’ll find Leah exploring the local beaches with her Border Collie Zoe and Kelpie Bonnie, or at home pampering Darcy, her lazy and loveable ginger cat.

Dr Leah Murray

Most kids want to be superheroes, astronauts or princesses when they grow up. But Leah, who spent much of her childhood on her grandparents’ farm, knew she was going to be a vet from an early age.

Fast-forward a few years and Leah’s determination had grown with her. She began her studies in Melbourne then moved to Sydney to complete her veterinary science degree.

After graduating in 2014, Leah returned home to the peninsula. She came to Beleura on a graduate work placement and won us over with her cheery personality. We plied her with charm and chocolate biscuits until she decided to stay.

Outside work, you’ll find Leah exploring the local beaches with her Border Collie Zoe and Kelpie Bonnie, or at home pampering Darcy, her lazy and loveable ginger cat.

 
Dr Rob Irvin  There was once a boy from the Bega Valley who read way too much James Herriot. His family owned a cattle property and horse stud and the boy loved helping when the vets visited. The boy grew up, and his passion grew too. The boy found his way to Melbourne, falling in love with both Victoria and his new profession as a veterinarian.  Where’s this boy now? He’s here. Bringing his gentle manner and endless patience to Beleura.  Rob is an exciting addition to our team. His special interest in behavioural medicine is a blessing for members of the Mornington menagerie suffering from separation anxiety, noise phobia, excessive barking or aggression.  Rob’s own family includes Labrador Sasha and crotchety cat Meg (oh, and his beloved wife and three adorable children of course!).

Dr Rob Irvin

There was once a boy from the Bega Valley who read way too much James Herriot. His family owned a cattle property and horse stud and the boy loved helping when the vets visited. The boy grew up, and his passion grew too. The boy found his way to Melbourne, falling in love with both Victoria and his new profession as a veterinarian.

Where’s this boy now? He’s here. Bringing his gentle manner and endless patience to Beleura.

Rob is an exciting addition to our team. His special interest in behavioural medicine is a blessing for members of the Mornington menagerie suffering from separation anxiety, noise phobia, excessive barking or aggression.

Rob’s own family includes Labrador Sasha and crotchety cat Meg (oh, and his beloved wife and three adorable children of course!).

Dr Jemma Heritage  Jemma joined Beleura in early 2019, bringing not only her veterinary skills, but also an infectious energy and enthusiasm to the team. Having yearned to work with animals for as long as she can remember, Jemma began her career as a marine biologist. While working in Ireland rehabilitating injured seal pups, she soon realised she wanted to become a vet, knowing that with those skills, she could do more not only for the pups she couldn’t save, but all injured animals.  Fast forward several years and Jemma has graduated as a vet from Perth’s Murdoch University, and moved back to her home on the Peninsula to join the team at Beleura Veterinary Hospital.  Jemma is the proud owner of Marloo, a joy-giving Beagle Staffie cross who she adopted from a rescue centre. In her spare time, you’ll find her enjoying one of her many outdoor pursuits including free diving, hiking and removing plastic and rubbish from local beaches.

Dr Jemma Heritage

Jemma joined Beleura in early 2019, bringing not only her veterinary skills, but also an infectious energy and enthusiasm to the team. Having yearned to work with animals for as long as she can remember, Jemma began her career as a marine biologist. While working in Ireland rehabilitating injured seal pups, she soon realised she wanted to become a vet, knowing that with those skills, she could do more not only for the pups she couldn’t save, but all injured animals.

Fast forward several years and Jemma has graduated as a vet from Perth’s Murdoch University, and moved back to her home on the Peninsula to join the team at Beleura Veterinary Hospital.

Jemma is the proud owner of Marloo, a joy-giving Beagle Staffie cross who she adopted from a rescue centre. In her spare time, you’ll find her enjoying one of her many outdoor pursuits including free diving, hiking and removing plastic and rubbish from local beaches.

Dr Tian Chen  Vet Tian’s gentle manner has made him a favourite with patients and their owners since he was welcomed into the Beleura family in 2017, after graduating from the University of Melbourne.  Tian derives great joy from helping others overcome challenges, and his appreciation for the amazing bond between animals and humans is matched by his love of wildlife, conservation and taking care of his local community. He volunteered at Monbulk Wildlife Shelter during his university studies, and it’s a field in which he intends to remain active.  Travelling, badminton and fishing keep Tian busy outside of work, as do his pets which include Lilly the Border Collie, Momo the cockatiel, a chicken, rabbit and goldfish.

Dr Tian Chen

Vet Tian’s gentle manner has made him a favourite with patients and their owners since he was welcomed into the Beleura family in 2017, after graduating from the University of Melbourne.

Tian derives great joy from helping others overcome challenges, and his appreciation for the amazing bond between animals and humans is matched by his love of wildlife, conservation and taking care of his local community. He volunteered at Monbulk Wildlife Shelter during his university studies, and it’s a field in which he intends to remain active.

Travelling, badminton and fishing keep Tian busy outside of work, as do his pets which include Lilly the Border Collie, Momo the cockatiel, a chicken, rabbit and goldfish.

Dr Laura Cowden  Laura has always wanted to be a vet, as her primary school projects will prove, and in 2017, she achieved her dream, graduating with a Veterinary Science degree from WA’s Murdoch University.  With her heart set on becoming a ‘smallies’ vet, Laura spent much of her time as a university student working in a small animal clinic as a kennel hand and receptionist, and also gained invaluable experience working in wildlife rehabilitation.  Having moved to the Mornington Peninsula to begin her career at Beleura Veterinary Hospital, Laura is having a ball exploring Victoria, although she misses her Blue Point Siamese cat Ayesha who is still back in Perth. A keen reader, Laura’s favourite way to unwind is by relaxing with a good book.

Dr Laura Cowden

Laura has always wanted to be a vet, as her primary school projects will prove, and in 2017, she achieved her dream, graduating with a Veterinary Science degree from WA’s Murdoch University.

With her heart set on becoming a ‘smallies’ vet, Laura spent much of her time as a university student working in a small animal clinic as a kennel hand and receptionist, and also gained invaluable experience working in wildlife rehabilitation.

Having moved to the Mornington Peninsula to begin her career at Beleura Veterinary Hospital, Laura is having a ball exploring Victoria, although she misses her Blue Point Siamese cat Ayesha who is still back in Perth. A keen reader, Laura’s favourite way to unwind is by relaxing with a good book.

 
Stacie Lewis  The first thing you’ll notice about our new addition Stacie is her ever-present smile. And smile she should! After 8 years in pharmacy, Stacie is now living her dream, studying to be a veterinary nurse while working with the Beleura team.  Stacie’s passion for animals shines through in her demeanour and work ethic. She’s almost as devoted to her patients as she is to her much-loved English staffys, Ollie and Indie.  When not at Beleura, you’ll probably find Stacie at the gym or out for a run. Yes, Stacie is one of those strange people who actually enjoys working out. But please don’t hold that against her – she’s promised not to put her Beleura patients through their paces… yet…

Stacie Lewis

The first thing you’ll notice about our new addition Stacie is her ever-present smile. And smile she should! After 8 years in pharmacy, Stacie is now living her dream, studying to be a veterinary nurse while working with the Beleura team.

Stacie’s passion for animals shines through in her demeanour and work ethic. She’s almost as devoted to her patients as she is to her much-loved English staffys, Ollie and Indie.

When not at Beleura, you’ll probably find Stacie at the gym or out for a run. Yes, Stacie is one of those strange people who actually enjoys working out. But please don’t hold that against her – she’s promised not to put her Beleura patients through their paces… yet…

Janeen Caven  Vet nurse Janeen felt called to work with animals from a very early age, and wasted no time in chasing her dream. Applying for a vet nursing job as soon as she finished high school, Janeen began her training shortly afterwards, and graduated as a fully qualified vet nurse in 1993.  It was in that very first vet nursing role that Janeen met fellow nurse and Beleura’s practice co-founder, Penny Broadbent. 20 years later, life has come full circle, and Janeen and Penny are thrilled to be working together once again.  Janeen loves helping and caring for all animals, and feels a particularly strong connection to cats. Her love and knowledge of all things cat-related reached new heights while working in a feline specialist practice, and Janeen now brings this depth of experience to Beleura’s feline clients and their families.  In her spare time, Janeen loves hanging out with her family of two cats, Maybe and Ollie, as well as GG, the overly affectionate staffy cross, and Geoff, her very special human.  We’re delighted Janeen has found her forever home here at Beleura Veterinary Hospital.

Janeen Caven

Vet nurse Janeen felt called to work with animals from a very early age, and wasted no time in chasing her dream. Applying for a vet nursing job as soon as she finished high school, Janeen began her training shortly afterwards, and graduated as a fully qualified vet nurse in 1993.

It was in that very first vet nursing role that Janeen met fellow nurse and Beleura’s practice co-founder, Penny Broadbent. 20 years later, life has come full circle, and Janeen and Penny are thrilled to be working together once again.

Janeen loves helping and caring for all animals, and feels a particularly strong connection to cats. Her love and knowledge of all things cat-related reached new heights while working in a feline specialist practice, and Janeen now brings this depth of experience to Beleura’s feline clients and their families.

In her spare time, Janeen loves hanging out with her family of two cats, Maybe and Ollie, as well as GG, the overly affectionate staffy cross, and Geoff, her very special human.

We’re delighted Janeen has found her forever home here at Beleura Veterinary Hospital.

Meagan Gardner  Vet nurse Meagan first joined the Beleura team back in 2014. After leaving to spend some time in Darwin with her partner, we were delighted when she returned to the practice in 2018.  Currently studying for her Certificate 4 in vet nursing, Meagan has a passion for animal surgery, and loves the emotional reward of seeing her furry patients recover under the skill, care and compassion of the Beleura team.  Meagan’s passions outside of work include netball, paddle boarding, weekend adventures, travelling and hanging out with Maisey, her beloved Great Dane cross, and cats Calvin and Teddy.

Meagan Gardner

Vet nurse Meagan first joined the Beleura team back in 2014. After leaving to spend some time in Darwin with her partner, we were delighted when she returned to the practice in 2018.

Currently studying for her Certificate 4 in vet nursing, Meagan has a passion for animal surgery, and loves the emotional reward of seeing her furry patients recover under the skill, care and compassion of the Beleura team.

Meagan’s passions outside of work include netball, paddle boarding, weekend adventures, travelling and hanging out with Maisey, her beloved Great Dane cross, and cats Calvin and Teddy.

Emily Aiello  Lifelong animal lover Emily completed her associate degree in vet nursing in 2016.  Passionate about animal welfare, she finds enormous satisfaction in educating clients on how to best care for their beloved pets, while taking every opportunity to indulge in cuddles with furry friends large and small.  Emily loves being part of the compassionate and meticulous team of vets and nurses here at Beleura, and delights in helping and comforting animals for a living, while playing with puppies and kittens every day.  An experienced horse-rider, Emily loves riding with friends during her spare time, and is the proud owner of two horses, Buddy and Cooper, as well as her treasured rescue animals, dog Tex and cat Cuddles.

Emily Aiello

Lifelong animal lover Emily completed her associate degree in vet nursing in 2016.

Passionate about animal welfare, she finds enormous satisfaction in educating clients on how to best care for their beloved pets, while taking every opportunity to indulge in cuddles with furry friends large and small.

Emily loves being part of the compassionate and meticulous team of vets and nurses here at Beleura, and delights in helping and comforting animals for a living, while playing with puppies and kittens every day.

An experienced horse-rider, Emily loves riding with friends during her spare time, and is the proud owner of two horses, Buddy and Cooper, as well as her treasured rescue animals, dog Tex and cat Cuddles.

Beth Dowell  When Beth moved to Australia from the UK at age 19, one of the first things she did was rescue her two beloved Huskies, Paige and Storm. Having owned pets all her life, including dogs, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, chipmunks and even a Brazilian rainbow boa constrictor, it came as no surprise that finding a pet would be a priority. However it also planted the seed that would eventually become a career, with Beth realising she wanted to help animals for a living.  While dabbling with jobs in hospitality, retail and food service, Beth also spent time working on a farm on the Great Ocean Road looking after alpacas and goats. She finally fulfilled her ambition by becoming a vet nurse, and is now enjoying developing her skills and knowledge at Beleura.  When she’s not taking care of Beleura patients and their families, Beth loves jet skiing in summer, snowboarding in winter, and taking her dogs for long walks on the beach.

Beth Dowell

When Beth moved to Australia from the UK at age 19, one of the first things she did was rescue her two beloved Huskies, Paige and Storm. Having owned pets all her life, including dogs, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, chipmunks and even a Brazilian rainbow boa constrictor, it came as no surprise that finding a pet would be a priority. However it also planted the seed that would eventually become a career, with Beth realising she wanted to help animals for a living.

While dabbling with jobs in hospitality, retail and food service, Beth also spent time working on a farm on the Great Ocean Road looking after alpacas and goats. She finally fulfilled her ambition by becoming a vet nurse, and is now enjoying developing her skills and knowledge at Beleura.

When she’s not taking care of Beleura patients and their families, Beth loves jet skiing in summer, snowboarding in winter, and taking her dogs for long walks on the beach.

Dana Crouch  For Dana, our front-of-house heroine, animal health is more of a calling than a career – she’s been working in the field since completing Year 12 and is now studying equine sports therapy part time.  It goes without saying that Dana is an animal lover – her count currently sits at an impressive 14: three horses, one mini donkey, three goats, five dogs, one cat and a very cheeky Sun Conure parrot. She loves to ride and also shows Bernese Mountain Dogs.  Dana also loves to travel, with trips to America, Thailand and Africa already under her belt. But don’t worry, we’re thinking of supergluing her to her chair...

Dana Crouch

For Dana, our front-of-house heroine, animal health is more of a calling than a career – she’s been working in the field since completing Year 12 and is now studying equine sports therapy part time.

It goes without saying that Dana is an animal lover – her count currently sits at an impressive 14: three horses, one mini donkey, three goats, five dogs, one cat and a very cheeky Sun Conure parrot. She loves to ride and also shows Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Dana also loves to travel, with trips to America, Thailand and Africa already under her belt. But don’t worry, we’re thinking of supergluing her to her chair...