Our Veterinarians

Dr Glen Laws

Director DDV,
Equine veterinarian

Glen graduated from the University of Queensland in 1981. He is part of a veterinary family with his father, David, a long term partner at the Oakey Veterinary Hospital, and an uncle, brother and wife also in the profession. He spent his first five years following graduation at One Tree Hill, South Australia under the guidance of the late Dr Howard Mortimer (‘Mort’), in a predominantly equine practice.

Glen and his family then travelled for 12 months doing locums in equine practices in Queensland and Darwin before coming back to Oakey to work in 1988. Here he developed a strong interest in racetrack practice, lameness and equine performance investigation, as well as expanding the equine chiropractic services his father established.

Glen spent four years working in York UK between 1993-7 and maintains strong friendships with the vets from The Minster Vets (previously Grant and Partners), where he was responsible for a number of large racing stables and studs.

Since his return from the UK Glen has continued racetrack, reproduction, performance horse and chiropractic practice on the Darling Downs. After more than three decades working as an equine veterinarian he is still dedicated to his profession, striving for good service based on sound practical advice and experience, as well as utilising the latest tools and technology available. He enjoys mentoring younger veterinarians and the day to day interactions with owners and trainers.

Glen and his wife have two adult sons and a small farm near Kingsthorpe where they breed Wagyu cross cattle. He is a sports tragic and follows many different disciplines and teams. He hopes one day to have a champion racehorse of his own.

Professional qualifications and post-graduate training include:

  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science Uni of Qld
  • Membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Equine Medicine
  • Diploma in Animal Chiropractic (RMIT)
  • Member Australian Equine Veterinarians
  • Member Australian Veterinary Association

Dr Stephen Rayner

Director DDV, Consultant Equine Veterinary Surgeon

Steve is a graduate of the University of Queensland (1991) and has spent much of his professional life working as an equine surgeon within the Darling Downs and South East Queensland. He has trained with some of the best equine surgeons from Australia and internationally.

Steve has a keen interest in all aspects of equine surgery and is an accomplished orthopaedic and soft tissue surgeon, meeting the challenges of complex fracture repairs, colic surgery, bone chip removals and correction of limb deformities in foals.

Steve gives his time willingly in training veterinary students and younger veterinarians, as well as speaking to various horse groups. Over the years he has assisted many colleagues throughout Queensland and interstate by providing second opinions and surgery of their equine cases. He has acted as National Veterinary Exams Examiner for foreign trained veterinary surgeons for more than a decade.

In addition to his veterinary qualifications he also has a private pilot license for fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, which allows him to provide additional services to remote clients who are unable to transport their horses to our clinic.

In his spare time Steve enjoys travelling and a range of outdoor activities including camping and bike or horse riding with his son and partner.

Professional qualifications and post-graduate training include:

  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons) Uni of Qld.
  • Membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Equine Surgery
  • AO Basic Synthes Orthopaedic repair workshop
  • AO Advanced Synthes Orthopaedic repair workshop
  • Hong Kong Jockey Club Symposia in Equine Medicine, Upper Airway Disorders, Colic and Respiratory Medicine.

Dr Cassandra Robinson

Senior Associate Veterinarian, Equine Veterinary Surgeon

Cassandra grew up in Mudgee, NSW and graduated from the University of Sydney in 2009. Since this time she has been employed within our practice as an equine veterinarian and surgeon. She has achieved further academic qualifications in her chosen field as well as acquiring a vast wealth of practical experience working either with Steve and Glen, or independently as a crucial part of our busy 24- hour equine surgical referral service.

Cass is dedicated and hardworking, giving much to the horses in her care, particularly sick foals and surgical cases in the post- operative period. In recent years ophthalmic surgery has become another one of Cassandra’s special interests. Her experience means that Cass is a highly valued and respected member of our team, sharing her knowledge with clients, nurses, students and fellow veterinarians.

Cass enjoys travelling and spending time with her animals and friends. Unfortunately, her horses do not see too much of her due to her busy working life, but one gelding helps out when he can by acting as the main blood donor horse for our clinic.

Professional qualifications and post-graduate training include:

  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons) BSc (Vet). Sydney University 2009. Honours Thesis entitled Wound Healing in Horses
  • Membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Equine Surgery
  • AO Basic Synthes Orthopaedic repair workshop
  • Hong Kong Jockey Club Colic Symposium
  • PowerFloat Equine Dentistry Workshop
  • Member Australian Equine Veterinarians
  • Member Australian Veterinary Association

Dr Francois Viljoen

Senior Associate Veterinarian

Francois was raised in the Western Cape area of South Africa, then pursued his interest in veterinary science and horses, rather than staying in his family’s vineyard business. He studied at the University of Pretoria and after graduation worked in equine racetrack practice south of Johannesburg for 15 years.

For over a decade Francois travelled and worked in various equine vet positions in Oman, Abu Dhabi, New Zealand and Turkey. He emigrated with his wife to Australia in 2012, when he joined Drs Max Wilson and Robyn Woodward at Equivet Australia, Southbrook, Queensland. During this time, he developed further interest and skills in equine stud work.

He enjoys all aspects of equine practice, including the care of pleasure and performance horses, and is primarily involved in equine reproduction and stud work. Darling Downs Vets were pleased to welcome someone as hardworking and experienced as Francois to their team in 2017, after their purchase of Equivet’s ambulatory practice component.

Professional qualifications and post-graduate training include:

  • BVSc (Hons) University of Pretoria (1984)
  • Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • Member British Equine Veterinary Association

Dr Ashley Johnston

Associate Veterinarian, Small animal clinician and farm animal veterinarian

Ashley grew up on a property running beef cattle and pigs in Tenterfield, NSW. This rural background led to her early interest in veterinary science as a career and she completed her vet degree at James Cook University, Townsville in 2013. Her first job was in a mixed practice in Kingaroy, before joining Darling Downs Vets in September 2014.

Ashley is a real asset to DDV, taking on the responsibility and busy workload of the small animal clinic at Oakey as well as looking after the majority of the farm side of our practice. She has developed an interest and skills in alpaca medicine in recent years also. On her weekends on call she assists with emergency equine cases at Westbrook.

Ashley enjoys all the variety and challenges that mixed veterinary practice brings. She says her favourite part of the job is working through complex medical cases, interpreting laboratory tests, ultrasound and xray findings to optimise the treatment and outcomes of the patients in her care.

Ashley has a cat, dog and a horse and hopes one day soon to own her own property.

Professional qualifications and post-graduate training include:

  • BVSc James Cook University 2012
  • Member Australian Veterinary Association
  • Member AVA Special Interest Group Cattle Veterinarians
  • Member AVA Special Interest Group Camelids

Dr Madelein Taylor

Associate Veterinarian

Maddy was born in South Africa and moved to Australia with her family in 2001. She graduated from the University of Queensland in December 2014 and upon graduation joined us here at Darling Downs Vets. In 2017 she spent five months in an equine reproductive practice in Victoria, before returning to DDV in June.

She enjoys all aspects of equine veterinary work, as well as small animal medicine and surgery at the Oakey Clinic.

She has proved to be an integral member of the team at Westbrook, assisting with the work-up and care of the surgical and medical cases, performing many anaesthetics and a range of diagnostic imaging (xray and ultrasonography).

Maddy admits to having too many horses and dogs, and hopes to have her own property one day to house them all.

Professional qualifications and post-graduate training include:

  • BVSc (hons) University of Queensland 2014
  • Member Australian Veterinary Association
  • Member Equine Veterinarians Australia

Our Vet Nurses

Darling Downs Vets are lucky to have a team of experienced and qualified veterinary nurses working at both our clinics, or travelling with our mobile vets in the field. The vets agree our nursing team are one of our strongest points, keeping both clinics running smoothly and taking excellent care of the equine and small animal inpatients. Their other roles are assisting with general anaesthetics, liaising with clients and maintaining equipment and instruments. They are all highly skilled horse handlers, essential when dealing with all ages and temperaments of horses during anaesthesia or treatments.

Please do not hesitate to ring the nurse phone at Westbrook (during office hours 8am-5pm) or the main practice number if you have any queries.

Our Receptionists

Our three office staff are based in the Oakey clinic/practice office and are usually the first point of contact for clients. Please ring 0746919000 if you wish to make an appointment or have any questions. Alternatively, drop into 97 Campbell Street for friendly advice or over the counter sales of large and small animal products.

Contact and Booking Request Form

Have a question or want to make a booking? Complete this form and our team will get back to you shortly.

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Oakey Vet Clinic

Oakey Clinic Opening Hours

Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm
Saturday: 8am–12pm
Sunday: Closed
Emergencies: 24 Hour

Oakey Clinic Address

97 Campbell Street
Oakey, QLD, 4401

Wellcamp Equine Unit

Wellcamp Equine Opening Hours

Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
Emergencies: 24 Hour - (07) 4691 9000

Wellcamp Equine Address

379 Wellcamp Westbrook Road,
Wellcamp QLD 4350.