Our Team

“Because helping patients die takes as much technique and expertise as saving lives”

– Dr Jessica Zitter MD

Dr Emma Whiston
BVSc(Hons) CHPV Fear Free Certified Veterinarian

Dr Emma Whiston graduated with Honours from the University of Melbourne and has been a qualified and registered Veterinarian since 1993. Dr Emma spent many years in general practice until 2004 when she established ‘My Best Friend’ in order to provide pets and their families with private, peaceful and dignified care in the last stages of their time together.

Dr Emma has a particular interest in the Human-Animal Bond, End of Life Care including Geriatric Medicine, Palliative Care, Pain Management, Home Euthanasia and Bereavement. She understands and is sensitive to the difficulties and emotions that may be associated with the management of the end of a pet’s life.

Emma grew up the daughter of a veterinarian, Dr Nigel Clayton who was a pioneer in many ways, particularly being instrumental in the establishment of Australia’s first after hours emergency centre in 1976.

Emma’s godmother Dr Margaret (Peg) Goodwin was also a veterinarian who created history when she established Melbourne’s first exclusively small animal practice in Ringwood in 1954.

Dr Emma has pursued further training in the USA and in 2017 became one of Australia’s first Veterinarians to become a Certified Hospice & Palliative Care Veterinarian (CHPV) with the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC). Emma is also a member of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), the Australian Small Animal Veterinary Association (ASAVA) and the Australian Veterinary Palliative Care Advisory Council (AVPCAC).

Dr Alison Trafford
BVSc(Hons) Fear Free Certified Veterinarian

Dr Alison Trafford graduated from the University of Queensland in 2012 with Honours. After graduation Alison undertook a rotating internship at Veterinary Specialist Services before spending years in general practice and veterinary hospitals in Brisbane, London and Melbourne. Shortly after moving to Melbourne, Alison joined the team at My Best Friend, where she was able to fully apply her special interests in palliative care, geriatric medicine and compassionate euthanasia. Dr Alison loves all creatures great and small but has a special fondness for cats and is the proud owner of two.

Dr Alison is currently completing her Certificate in Veterinary Hospice and Palliative care (CHPV). She is a compassionate vet who will give you guidance, care and professionalism through this trying time.

Dr Hannah Sherry
BSc BVSc(Hons) MANZCVS (Behaviour) Fear Free Certified Veterinarian

Dr Hannah has had over 10 years experience as a Small Animal Veterinarian after working for 10 years prior as a Veterinary Nurse. She has worked in both Emergency and GP clinics and enjoys all aspects of treating small animals but especially enjoys getting to know pets and their families to ensure the best outcome for everyone. This has led to a special interest in Home Euthanasia, Quality of Life assessments and further studies in Behaviour Medicine. Dr Hannah has obtained membership qualification with The Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Veterinary Behaviour medicine in 2022. Dr Hannah has worked with Dr Emma Whiston and the team at My Best Friend since 2018 and feels very privileged to be able to provide this very important and special service.

Mr Greg Whiston
BApp Sci (Human Movement) Grad Dip Ed (Sec)

From the very start, Greg who is Dr Emma’s husband has been a major part in assisting with her passion and vision. His roles have been many and varied, consistently changing from the early days way back in 2004. From being a ‘stay at home Dad’ keeping the fires burning, to driving and assisting lifting clients’ loved ones when Emma was pregnant, through to today as the Practice Manager and ‘front of house’ for My Best Friend. Greg now manages the practice full-time very efficiently.

Greg’s early professional beginnings were in Secondary Education. A teacher by trade for 20 years, he held multiple Positions of Leadership in both the Student Welfare and the Curriculum spheres. It is here where Greg learnt the importance of listening, remaining calm, instilling confidence and ensuring that those who he is assisting feel reassured and well cared for.

Greg transitioned out of the Education sector into the role as our Practice Manager during 2017. His role has allowed Emma, Alison & Hannah to just enjoy being veterinarians. Greg is able to take care of all the peripheral non-vet stuff that comes with running a veterinary service.

If you ever have to face dealing with the end of your pet’s life and you need to call My Best Friend, then please be reassured that you will be in the very best and most experienced hands with Greg as your initial contact.

Dr Nigel Clayton

Dr Nigel is an invaluable and special consultant for ‘My Best Friend’. He has been instrumental in inspiring & supporting this special home euthanasia service as it has grown over the years.

As well as being Dr Emma’s father, Nigel is a mentor to many in the veterinary profession as he is a kind, wise and intuitive man with a wonderful bedside manner. In recent years Nigel has been active in raising awareness and talking about improving the mental health of veterinary professionals.

Dr Nigel graduated from the Royal Dick Veterinary School, Edinburgh University as a Veterinary Surgeon in 1957, and began mixed practice in England before bringing his family to Australia in 1967. He has many wonderful stories about his life and work in the UK including seeing practice at Edinburgh Zoo and working for the Queen as veterinarian responsible for her kennel of black Labrador gun dogs.

After arriving in Australia, Nigel commenced work at Ringwood Veterinary Clinic – the first exclusively Small Animal practice in Melbourne, established by Dr Margaret Goodwin in 1954. Nigel was a pioneer in finding ways to improve quality of life for his staff, his clients and of course their pets. He was instrumental in establishing and developing the first Animal Emergency Centre in Australia in 1976, serving as it’s founding Chairman of Directors for 8 years. As a result of his initiative, Animal Emergency Centres are now found nationwide providing round the clock veterinary care.