(07) 3390 1188

8/29 Moreton Bay Road, Capalaba QLD 4157

Our Team

Dr. Briar Ballantyne
Veterinarian & Practice Manager

We welcome our newest team member Briar who has recently joined our clinic to take on the role of Practice Manager and part-time Veterinarian.

Graduating in 1995 from the University of Queensland, Briar has worked at many clinics across Brisbane and overseas in general practice over the last 23 years. She has a diverse set of skills and expertise in Veterinary medicine and regularly attends conferences and continuing education seminars. Briar has a special interest in internal medicine and dermatology.

Dr Briar has a small flock of pet chickens at home. When not at work, she is kept very busy with her three young children.

Dr. Julie Tolhurst

Since her time at the University of Queensland, Julie has gained over 30 years of veterinary experience in QLD, NSW, and Victoria. She has been at the Capalaba Veterinary Clinic since 1996 and has seen the practice grow and embrace the changes and advancements in veterinary science and technology.

Julie is a member of the Australian Veterinary Association. In 2010, she spent three months in India doing volunteer work as a Veterinary Adviser at the Darjeeling and Kalimpong Animal Shelters and since then volunteered in shelters overseas twice a year.

In her quiet time, Julie enjoys photography, spending time in her garden, and catching up with family. She also enjoys the company of her lovely little Dachshund cross named Annie (pictured).

Ellie Sommer
Dog & Cat Groomer

Ellie has spent the last 10 years working in the animal industry, with a focus on grooming specifically. She has a Certificate III in Companion Animal Services, has attended numerous grooming seminars and clinics, and has spent many years working alongside veterinarians and fellow groomers in Brisbane. She is truly passionate about beautifying all dogs & cats that come through our doors for grooming.

In her spare time Ellie attends living history & medieval events as a reenactor, where it is not uncommon to see her brandishing a sword!

At home, Ellie is surrounded by her beloved fur babies – rescue dog Flick the Blue Heeler, Cleocatra the cat, and a ‘miniature’ pig Hamlet whom she hand raised from 4 days old and now weighs close to 200kg!


Veterinary Nurse


Adam started working as a Veterinary Nurse in 2008 while studying Applied Science (Vet Tech) at Uni. He has had various animal related jobs since then. He grew up spending his school holidays on a dairy farm in NSW and has always loved working with animals. You will see him sometimes working late Tuesday nights running the puppy preschool and is especially interested in the surgeries we do. He recently has added a new addition to his family, a ginger kitten named Pancake.

Karen Modra
Veterinary Nurse

Karen has a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. She is a valued long-standing member of our team, having been with us since 2005. She has seen many pets grow from puppies and kittens through to their senior years, which has allowed her to develop close friendships with many pets and clients. Karen is passionate about wildlife, having completed a Certificate III in Native Animal Rehabilitation as well as volunteering for the Redlands After-hours Wildlife Ambulance and caring for orphaned possums and wallabies.

Cooking is another of Karen’s passions – she loves to attend foodie events! When she is not busy working, you can generally find her in the kitchen preparing delicious dishes for her family and friends.

She has a nearly 1 year old cheeky Cavoodle called Maisie (pictured) and an 8 year old cat called Ziggy who likes nothing better than spending all day sleeping in the wardrobe.

Courtney Johnson
Veterinary Nurse

Courtney joined our team in June 2019, she completed her Certificate II in Animal Studies in 2016 and her IV in Veterinary Nursing in June 2017. Courtney has worked at multiple Veterinary Clinics all over the Redlands.

In her spare time, she loves spending time with her partner, Jake and their two dogs Luna and Bullet. She also loves watching tv shows and movies whenever she gets a spare second!

Sarah Smith
Veterinary Nurse

Sarah came to Capalaba Vet Clinic as a student for work placement in 2014 while completing her Certificate III in Animal Studies.

She adopted her cat Toulouse (pictured) when he was brought to the clinic as a stray. Sarah is also a groomer, so you may see her beautifying animals at the clinic when our regular groomer Ellie is away.

Outside of work Sarah likes spending time with her partner at the Sunshine Coast, surfing, pottering around in her herb garden, and spoiling her 2 cats Lexy and Toulouse. She’s affectionately known here as the crazy cat lady!