Once in a while we are fortunate enough to cross paths with someone who makes a lasting impact on our lives.
I was fortunate to meet Dr Dave MacPhail while working together at a small animal hospital (Tea Tree Gully) in the mid-90s. Dave was committed, competent, fun, steady, and optimistic with a wonderful family -qualities that many would love to emulate. As young marrieds, my wife Anne and I soon headed off to the UK for several years I managed a veterinary clinic and we said to ourselves on a number of occasions we wouldn’t want to go into business ourselves unless it was with …Dave MacPhail. Amazingly, about 15 years later, the week I handed in notice to start my own locum business, Dave called me because he was buying a veterinary practice ‘not far from home’.
In November 2010 I joined him on his new venture, and adventure, at what was then Gawler South Small Animal Hospital and is now known as Gawler Animal Hospital.
Dave has never been one to let the dust settle, but rather has always thought progressively and been a creator of change. He has a real gift for bringing people along with the changes, at their own pace, and with an understanding of how everybody is different and that valuing all people as part of the team is just so important. Under his leadership, Gawler Animal Hospital has grown from about ten staff members to an amazing team of about 40, hence the move to a large purpose built animal hospital on the main road into Gawler.
This facility is one of the best in South Australia and a source of great pride among staff and clients and provides a place of genuine care and excellent treatment standards for all of its patients. Dave had a huge amount of input into the design and finish of the hospital just as he has had in creating an incredible team of dedicated, engaged, empathetic, committed people who are an absolute joy to work with.
I consider myself so fortunate because over the past ten years with Dave I have had a wonderful veterinary colleague, a terrific business mentor and a great friend. So many complicated surgeries together when “two pairs of hands’ have been required. So many conferences and courses to ensure we are building a great business. So many fun conversations often ending in a drink and either my dad jokes, or Dave’s regaling stories. It was in 2013 that I joined Dave as a business partner and now have the opportunity to take on sole ownership of the practice. So it is with mixed emotions we all wish Dr Dave MacPhail a hearty “all the best” in his retirement this November from Gawler Animal Hospital after ten years of investment and dedication into making it the amazing place it is today. He leaves a legacy of always making things better. Better for the animals. Better for their owners. Better for the staff. We hope to make him proud and continue to always make things better too.
From all of the staff of Gawler Animal Hospital, and especially myself, we wish Dave a happy and fulfilling retirement full of new adventures, good health, and an always open invitation to ‘Friday Night Drinks!”.
Dr Steve Crouch