Four years in to ARH Brisbane…

At ARH Brisbane we are lucky to have four founding specialist partners who were all born and brought up locally. They are Maurine Thomson (specialist surgical oncologist), Kathleen O´Connell (specialist medical oncologist), Elizabeth Dill-Macky (specialist medical internist) and Lance Wilson (specialist surgeon).

We asked them to tell us in three words what the last four years have been like. While exhilarating, hectic and whirlwind were mentioned, the main theme from all partners was rewarding. As Maurine put it, “we started ARH as a 35 person hospital, and in four years that has grown to 105 team members, with new services added and huge growth in our client base. We created and achieved the dream, which is pretty surreal when you think about it.“

So what do they love about ARH Brisbane? To quote a famous Aussie icon, it´s the vibe. “In equal parts our brilliant team, the great referring veterinarians we work with, and our fantastic clients and their beloved pets who we look after,“ Lance said.

It hasn´t all been roses, and keeping up with growth has provided many challenges says Elizabeth. Managing the well-being of our team and keeping a business running with split teams during the height of COVID-19 really challenged us as a business, but thankfully it was the team that pulled us through.

“Finding new team members to keep up with growth, especially during Covid where there was little migration to Queensland, has been a particular stressor for the industry in general, and we are grateful to every team member for helping us to keep going and making ARH a happy place to work,“ said Kathleen.

Keeping a sense of humour has been the key, says Lance, especially late in the evening after the work for the day is done. We take time for a feed, a beer and the jokes and anecdotes flow.

It doesn´t hurt that in a hospital of 105 team members there are always funny or unusual happenings, agrees Kathleen. Lance removing Maude from the speaker´s podium at our anniversary party by throwing her over his shoulder and walking her out the door is one that comes to mind. A piece of burnt toast setting off the fire alarms and a full hospital evacuation also gave us a great story to dine out on.

Maurine sums it up when she says, “We wouldn’t have made it past a week without the dedication and commitment from our team. We are grateful for every person who has played their part over the past four years.“

So, what do our partners really think of each other? We gave them seven quick questions, asking which partner…

Lance Elizabeth Kathleen Maurine

Is always late to the team meeting?



I don’t think anyone is ever late, but the others are certainly always early.



Never Maurine, mostly Lance but I have been guilty too








Is the most fastidious note taker?




I don’t think any of us are much good at that.







Wears their heart on their sleeve?









Probably me or Maurine






Is the best to confide in?



Maurine is great to confide in; it’s just that she then confides in everyone else. So Kat or Liz I suppose.



Everyone at different times



Possibly myself or Liz






Tells the best jokes?



That depends if ´Dad jokes´ are classified as a joke or not. But did you hear the one about…



Hmmm … no real comedians … we should stick to our day jobs!



We are all hilarious!






Is the most politically incorrect?



I don’t understand what that term means.



Lance – I hope most of the time he is joking.









Is the moral compass for the team



Without sounding trite, we probably all bring something to the table here. But probably Liz, given she actually used a compass to get to school.



I think we all have a role here and feel lucky to work with such good people.






All of us




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