Gundula Rhoades is a German veterinarian who heads the Gowrie Vet Clinic

Vet Gundula Rhoades from Germany to Inverell with a pit-stop in England

Vet Gundula Rhoades from Germany to Inverell with a pit-stop in England

Gundula Rhoades’ Gowrie Vet Clinic is a constant hubbub of activity.

Surrounded by other veterinarians, assistant nurses, pet owners, pets (others as well as her own), Rhoades is the epitome of calm. 

Though she denies being a “figures” person, she runs her state-of-the-art clinic with German precision and efficiency. She balances passion for animals, knowledge and business acumen with patience and kindness. For Gundula, the Gowrie Vet Clinic is a labour of love founded in 2002 before growing and moving to a purpose-built clinic on Yetman Road in 2010. 

The clinic is a welcoming place for animals and animal lovers. Apart from offering important medical services to the district’s four-legged friends, it also allows pet owners to join together in pet training sessions so that they can be responsible pet owners and have happy pets. 

Gundula’s own pets resemble the personality of their owner. Sneaky, the hero dog, has donated his blood to dozens of his fellow canines.

And then there’s Mama Cat, the donor cat, who straddled into the clinic one day and gave birth to three kittens right in the centre of the operating theatre. Since then, Mama Cat has adopted many other kittens, raising them like her own. 

You can say that Gundula’s generous pets take after their owner. 

Indeed, northwest New South Wales has only benefited from the migration of this energetic vet from northwest Germany. But Gundula would argue that she has gained from the experience also. 

Here’s her story, in her own words: 

I was born in...  Germany, in a town called Gelsenkirchen in the Northwest of Germany.

I came to Australia because... I met a man from Inverell while working as a veterinarian in the southwest of England, fell in love and him too... and the rest is history!

What I miss most from home is... the GREEN! Everything in Summer is sooo green! I love the German trees and green lush pastures - no droughts!

What I love most about Inverell is… it’s people!  Inverell is full of lovely and welcoming people - you get a real sense of belonging when you can walk into any shop in town and you are welcomed and recognized. No hiding. (She smiles) 

What can the rest of the world learn from Inverell?   I think Inverell is a town big enough to be interesting and have good sport and music, but small enough so that anyone can make a difference. Inverell’s people can make things happen; whether it is the new soccer club venue or the Inverell Community gardens, car shows or the Outdoor Expo, Tough Mudder or all the equine events... People here in Inverell take the initiative and get it done. Well done Inverell!

The biggest surprise about living here…  is that I found the best and most interesting friends in this little community, that are world leaders and thinkers in biological agriculture.

When friends come to visit I take them to... my farm, to Copeton or to beautiful Lake Inverell. And, yes, to town  for a coffee on a Saturday morning - Funki Munki’s coffee is great!

In my spare time I… own and run Gowrie Vet clinic- therefore: What spare time? But when I do have spare time I love doing sport at the gym or play Saxophone with the GEMTONES.

Something most people don’t know about me is… What can you hide in a small country town? (she smiles sheepishly) 

The Gowrie Vet Clinic is at 131 Yetman Road, Inverell, Telephone 6721 2277.

Inverell is a true blue Aussie town with a cosmopolitan flair. A hospitable place, it has welcomed people from all over the world. Foreigners benefit from the friendliness of locals, and soon feel at home in this cosy, friendly corner of the world with a vibe like no other. If you know of an out-of-towner with a story to share, please send your proposal to mary.sinanidis@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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