Our Dedicated team
Dr Nela Graham, BVSc
Dr Nela is a qualified veterinarian with over ten years’ experience in working with a wide range of animals including: dogs, cats, birds, horses, wildlife and pocket pets. She has worked in New Zealand and the UK as well as in Australia.
Dr Nela has always been fascinated with the brain function, emotions and behaviour of animals; as well as the field of “neuroplasticity”. Neuroplasticity is how the structure of the brain can change in response to the environment and experience. It shows that animal (and human) behaviour and emotions are not fixed but can be changed over time.
Through her work as a vet, Dr Nela found that people often asked for help with managing their pet’s behaviour. She was shocked by the large numbers of animals that were euthanised each year after being turned in by owners due to behaviour problems. She decided to further her knowledge by taking further studies in the area of Veterinary Behaviour.
This is a long process of working with specialists and senior mentors for six to eight years to develop the skills needed to provide scientific, individualised support to pets and their owners. Dr Nela sees this as a journey toward reaching her life purpose ….to make the world a better place for our loved animal companions!
Dr Nela is dedicated to helping clients understand their pet’s emotions and behaviour and to provide individualised behaviour support using welfare friendly methods. Dr Nela never recommends punishment as a way of changing animals behaviour. She uses only positive methods tailored for each animal, the people in their lives and their environment.
When she is not working or studying, Dr Nela is at home on the Gold Coast with her Husband Mark, her Bull Terrier X Ridgeback “Obi”, two young kitten “Freya” and “Taz” and a collection of very spoilt chickens.
Shannon Hope – Behavioural Trainer ( remote), Vet nurse
Mark Graham- Accounts Manager
Mark is an integral part of Calm Companions, not only as Dr Nela’s supportive husband but also as the all-important Accounts Manager. Beside his qualification in accounting, his experiences as an electrician cross over well when it comes to problem-solving cross over well with assisting the Calm Companions team in a wide range of day-to-day business and maintenance work. Mark’s innate ability to connect with animals means that he is always the one animals are drawn to like a magnet! His calm, collected and clear communications also come in handy when he assists puppy classes by supporting owners by giving one on one help.
When not working, Mark loves to follow the Broncos and guide their son Finn to gradually grow into a calm, positive and resilient boy who will hopefully have the same love for animals and skiing like his mum and dad!
Ivan- Manitenance manager
Dr Nela’s dad Ivan has been the work-horse behind Calm Companions. Every step of the way, Ivan has been involved with the designing, ordering, coordinating, demolishing, renovating, building, supporting and supervising Nela and Mark’s dream of having a Behaviour Vet Clinic.
He has worked tirelessly night and day, sometimes doing all-nighters to get certain projects done on time. Ivan is the mastermind behind many creative ideas and is also the one who together with Dr Nela’s grandma Majka is making the snuffle mats to help enrich dog’s lives. Parallel to his invaluable skill as a general handyman and builder, Ivan has found a calling for child care! To allow Dr Nela and husband Mark to have time to put towards developing Calm Companions, Ivan has often had their son Finn for days at a time – enjoying the giggles, smiles and of course, teaching Finn to dance before he could even walk!
Clinic is located:
2 Ford Rd (corner of Ford Rd and Beattie Rd, entrance is opposite Global Footware) Coomera 4209
Phone: 1800 DR NELA (1800 376 352)