It’s hard to believe the 2018 Commonwealth Games have been and gone. The logistics promoting our amazing city as a national and international tourism destination were certainly challenging but the accomplishments override those. We commend our veterinary colleagues around the Gold Coast whose clinics had to accommodate ‘The Games’. The increased traffic, road closures, and so much more were a logistical challenge and the AES team hope we were able to meet our obligation to provide after-hours veterinary care in this time.

What we’re most proud of is the contribution of one of our own who is also a highly respected and illustrious leader. Dr Rod Meehan, a Director of Animal Emergency Service and Principal Veterinarian at AES Carrara, seized the moment of The Games to create memories with his family through volunteer work while navigating the challenges of leading the team at AES Carrara.

Animal Emergency Service’s prep for the 2018 Commonwealth Games

The management team at Carrara worked very hard to ensure the process caring for sick and injured pets was available 24/7. Gold Coast’s veterinary clinics experienced challenging traffic during the event while others were forced to close for events.

We worked hard in the lead-up to ‘The Games’ to contact vet clinics in an effort to understand how they would be impacted so we could formulate solutions to help. Phone calls, social media and emails helped us achieve this. We recorded all details so our staff had accurate information to give pet owners in the event they needed our urgent help. Another challenge was ensuring we allowed for delays our staff experienced travelling to and from work.

In time the challenges became insignificant when one of our illustrious leaders reminded us what is important despite the hurdles we needed to navigate. He is Dr Rod Meehan and he volunteered at the 2018 Commonwealth Games with his family while ensuring the GC pets had help when they needed it.

Dr Rod Meehan volunteers at #GC2018

It was a family occasion for Dr Rod. His partner in crime was his lovely wife Dr Cathy Meehan who is a veterinarian at ExcelVets Robina. Joining them was their beloved children and friends.

When asked why he decided to volunteer at GC2018, Dr Rod humbly responded, “It was an altruistic event where we got to be part of a greater community at which we built once in a lifetime memories. Our children took part as well so we’re proud to say the Meehan family were all involved. Cathy and I volunteered at Expo 88 and have shared many amazing life experiences together. This was a chance to share another once in a lifetime event and we were able to share it with our children who are of influential age.”

The Meehan family took part in the GC2018 Opening Ceremony and worked in various roles throughout The Games in ‘Spectator Services’ where they helped people to seats, assisted the disabled, provided catering and so much more.

“We were the lucky ones,” Dr Meehan laments. “We got to watch The Games more than anyone else and that was pretty cool.”

The best of the 2018 Commonwealth Games

Animal Emergency Service is proud of Dr Rod Meehan’s involvement in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and his feedback about the experience is inspirational. Dr Rod advocates seizing opportunities when they present themselves. When asked about volunteering at GC2018 the message he most wanted to share is, “Life presents you with moments. You have to seize them. When it’s gone… it’s gone, and there’s nothing you can do after that. When the opportunity to be part of a huge event like the Commonwealth Games presented we chose to volunteer and we now have some amazing family memories as a result.”

At the forefront of the amazing family memories, Dr Rod has one to share that gives us goose bumps. His son is a 1500 metre runner who competes at national level. Dr Rod, Dr Cathy and their talented son watched the GC2018 1500m Final together, amidst the excitement and fanfare, as a family. Shared family experiences like that are rare.

When asked what was most challenging about being a volunteer at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Dr Rod replied, “There were a lot of late night rehearsals for the Opening Ceremony requiring compromise around my responsibilities at AES Carrara. That was challenging but I also got to spend time with my family building memories. There are few things you can do these days with teenage sons. I got to watch a phenomenal moment that was the 1500m final with my son and that was a fantastic experience given his talent in the field. There are so many memories from the Commonwealth Games we’d be here forever if I told you about them all. Building memories with family overrides any challenges..”