Meet the Team

Your Local Friendly Vet Team

Dr Vanessa Escott DVM

Principal Veterinarian

Dr Vanessa has dreamt of being a vet for as far back as she can remember! After she realized this dream in 1999 she developed a new dream – to own her own veterinary practice – a dream which became a reality with the opening of Happy Paws in October 2017!

She loves all aspects of general practice, so much so that even after 20 years in small animal practice she still loves talking about fleas! Her special interests include dentistry, soft tissue surgery and fostering the human-animal bond.

She lives in heaven (on the Gold Coast!) with her three non-furry children (Sebastian, Oscar and Darcy) and her furry children (Chicken and Noodle, the cats).

In her free time (ha, what’s that?!) she enjoys reading, watching The Block, pub lunches, and family time. She is looking forward to welcoming you and your fur babies to Happy Paws and getting to know you!

Dr Jessica Norman BVSc(Hons)


Dr Jessica has dreamed of being a vet since the age of four. It was in 2014 when this dream became a reality, graduating with an honours degree in Veterinary Science from the University of Queensland. Since then, Dr Jessica has gone on to hone her skills in small animal vet care on the Gold Coast, before joining the team here at Happy Paws Veterinary Clinic.

The New-Zealand-born vet shares her home with an absolutely spoilt rotten mini house panther called Toothless, Homer Stimson the Stimpson Python and her newest addition, a ‘foster fail’ from Cat Rescue Gold Coast, Flash!

When Dr Jessica is not caring for fur babies, she is out at the gym, participating in Pilates classes, or is out on a long run. She enjoys all aspects of small animal medicine and surgery, and can’t wait to get to know you and your loved pets.

Dr Emmalene Nickson BVSc


Dr Emmalene always knew that her profession would be with animals. She was so passionate to become a veterinarian that moving from her home in Sydney to complete the Bachelor of Veterinary Science at James Cook University in Townsville did not deter her. Since her graduation in 2020, Dr Emmalene has found the most satisfaction through a focus on promoting the owner/pet bond and enhancing animal well-being through routine vaccinations and preventative health. Dr Emmalene’s interests are in soft tissue surgery, dermatology and internal medicine. 
Dr Emmalene has 4 fur-babies of her own, including 2 spoiled pups (Tessa and Frankie), and 2 lazy house cats (Milo and Lilo). When Dr Emmalene is not doting on her fur-family, she enjoys baking sweet treats, taking her dogs to the beach, or going on long bush-walks exploring South-East Queensland.
Dr Emmalene joined the Happy Paws Family in September 2021. She is keen to meet you and care for the needs of your animal companions at your next visit.

Ayana Jenkins

Practice Manager

Ayana was born in Japan and grew up on the Gold Coast. She joined the Happy Paws team in 2020 in the role of practice manager. As a qualified nurse, she will also be taking care of your furry loved ones when she is not in the office.

Ayana and her husband share their household with a mixed bunch of animals; Beanie the Greyhound, Moose the Snowshoe cross, Lily the Children’s Python, Allen the Carpet Python and Trevor the Indian Ringneck.

Outside of work she enjoys going to the gym in the morning, playing Touch Football and taking Beanine to the dog beach. She also loves her downtime on the couch watching her favourite TV shows.

Taylor Whitehead


Tay is a Gold Coast local who has spent the past 13 years working within the office of the State’s oldest and largest not-for-profit animal welfare charity, the RSPCA Qld.

There isn’t a moment in Tay’s life where she hasn’t been surrounded by animals and she is so excited to join a team of caring, compassionate and like-minded ‘hoomans’.

When Tay’s not at work falling head over paws in love with your fur babies, you might find her heading out into the rainforest, beach or curled up on the couch with her giant floof, Luna, a German Shepherd x Alaskan Malamute.

Tay looks forward to welcoming you to the clinic with a warm smile and positive energy ready to serve you and your fur babies ensuring the best experience possible.

Jessica Edwards

Head Nurse  

Jess has been a Veterinary Nurse on the Gold Coast for 14 years and worked in a few local family owned clinics. Because we already have “Dr. Jess”, you might hear us refer to Nurse Jess as “Eddy” to save confusion!

She particularly enjoys looking after your babies while in surgery and has a special interest in all things dental to keep those teeth pearly white for fresh, furry kisses! Eddy also gives Ayana a hand in the office managing the admin side of things.

She is kept busy by her Mini Bulldog “Olive” and three human children (Noah, Rose & Coen). When not at work she likes to be out bike riding with her family, exploring new camping spots or enjoying a relaxing BBQ.
















Emily O’Connell

Veterinary Nurse

Em began her nursing career 5 years ago in mixed practice out in the Gold Coast hinterland, before making the move to small animals and joining the Happy Paws team in July of 2021. 

She has a keen interest in anaesthesia and all things surgery so will likely be the friendly face admitting your baby before their big procedure day. Patient care is also a must so she can often be found snuggling your fur children in recovery at any chance she gets. 

When she’s not looking after your fury friend she can be found dancing around a music festival or spending time at the beach with her adorable Labrador x Border Collie pup, Rocky. 
















Sharna Chapman

Veterinary Nurse

Sharna who has recently moved up from the South Coast of NSW to the beautiful Gold Coast obtained her Certificate in Animal Studies in 2015 through the RSPCA while volunteering, then continued on to a Certificate in Veterinary Nursing and graduated in 2018.

She finds working as a Vet Nurse is very rewarding and enjoys challenging herself and learning new things every day. She is passionate about all animals but definitely a dog person and the proud Mum of Delta the Doberman. On her weekends off she enjoys painting, exploring new places and making cocktails.
















Chloe Feveyear

Veterinary Nurse

Chlöe moved from the UK to Australia in 2011 with her family and has always known she’s wanted to work with animals.
Chlöe is a new graduate and became a vet nurse in August 2021, joining the happy paws team In November 2021.
She takes an interest in dentistry and isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty.
In her spare time she enjoys taking her fur babies Wookie and Lacey to the beach, 4wding, and camping.
















Happy Paws Veterinary Clinic

Shops 20-21 Coombabah Plaza,
21 Hansford Road,
Coombabah QLD 4216


Opening Hours

Monday to Friday – 8am to 5:30pm

Saturday – 8am to 12 noon

Closed on Sundays