Practice History of Vercoe BrownAssociates

This practice was founded after the end of WWII in Morton St, Georgetown.  It changed hands several times until Dr John Vercoe took over in 1981.

The new surgery buildings were opened at 82 Elles Road in 1994.

Dr Jane Chalmers has worked part time with us since  1991.

Dr Steve Brown joined the practice at the beginning of 1995.

Dr Vercoe retired in 2019 after 38years of service to the people of Invercargill and surrounds.

Dr Andrew Costello has been on our team since 2019.

Dr Aidan Smith joined us as a registrar in 2020.

Dr  Emma MacCallum joined us in March 2021.


We all share the belief that the satisfaction of family medicine comes from continuity of care, looking after people over long periods of time.


Dr Steve Brown MBChB (Otago) Dip Obs BSc (Otago) FRNZCGP

Steve was born and received his schooling in Invercargill.

His basic medical degree comes from the University of Otago. He has a post graduate Diploma in obstetrics also from the University of Otago. He is a Fellow of the Royal NZ College of General Practice.

He was the deputy chair of Te Ara Kewa Ltd, our former Primary Health organisation. It ceased to function on October 1 2010 and has since been absorbed into Wellsouth PHO.

He has been involved in the local faculty of the college of General Practice and various roles on the Invercargill Urgent doctors service

Away from medicine Steve’s interests are his family, home, gardens, travel, digital photography, boating, diving and fishing. He has shares in a 15m launch based at Bluff from which he explores Southern New Zealand.

Dr Jane Chalmers MBChB MRCGP DRCOG

Jane was born in Scotland and trained at the University of Aberdeen.

She emigrated to NZ in 1987. Her Post Graduate qualifications include a Diploma in Obstetrics and she has additional training in family planning.

Jane has a full fellowship of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practice.

She is married with 2 adult children.

Jane enjoys cooking and getting out and exercising in the great scenery of Southland and Otago


I am Scottish and completed my medical training in and around Glasgow.  I moved to NZ shortly after completing my GP training in 2000 and never left! I enjoyed working for 18 years as a rural GP in Riverton before moving to urban practice in 2019. I completed several postgraduate courses in General Practice, child health, women’s health and family planning before coming to NZ and became a Fellow of the Royal NZ College of GPs in 2019.  I enjoy the diversity and continuity of General Practice. My main interests remain in women’s and children’s health and can offer procedures including insertion and removal of contraceptive devices.  I am married to a Scotsman and have 3 teenage children. Out of work I enjoy playing sport and music and relaxing at home with my family and dog.

Dr Aidan Smith MBChB

Aidan was born in Wellington and trained at the University of Otago.

He has spent the past five years in Invercargill, working mostly at Kew Hospital, drawn by the amazing Southland scenery.

While much of his spare time is spent looking after his two burmese cats, he enjoys tramping and geocaching outdoors, and has a great passion for fiction in the form of books and other media.

Aidan has moved into General Practice to help prevent illness before it occurs, and to develop a long-term partnership with the people whose health he cares for.

Dr. Andrew Costello  MBChb FRNZCGP

Dr. Andrew Costello and his wife came to New Zealand in 1993 from East Yorkshire in UK.

He then spent 25 years in General Practice in Mataura, since then he has been semi-retired.

He is a Medical Examiner for the CAA.

Andrew  spends most of his free time looking after his dog, “Spork”. The dog expects this and sometimes obeys commands. Andrew has three grown up daughters and sometimes he obeys their commands


Rhonda Wahren – Registered Nurse

Rhonda was born in Invercargill, and completed her Bachelors degree in Nursing at Southland Polytechnic, graduating in 2001. Her previous nursing experience consists of ward nursing in hospitals both overseas and here in Southland.

She is a mum to two young children and enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends, as well as exercising, reading and has recently regained her skills with a crochet needle, something she was taught as a young girl.


Rebecca Birch – Registered Nurse

Rebecca was born and raised in Invercargill. She gained her bachelor’s degree in nursing at the Southern Institute of Technology in 2017.

After a short period looking after older people in a rest home she joined Vercoe Brown to work in primary care.

If she gets any spare time  she spends it with her active 4 children watching and supporting their activities .

Administrative Staff

Diane Edwards – Receptionist

Diane was born in Dunedin but considers herself a Southlander as she has lived here most of her life. She loves this part of the country because of its wonderful forests, lakes and coastline. After moving to the city fifteen years ago, Diane worked in various roles within the healthcare industry whilst studying toward my NZIM certificate in Management. She now feels she has found her niche with the friendly team at Vercoe & Brown. She is married and has two adult daughters. Her interests include gardening, boating, fishing and going to the gym.


Bev Rabbidge – Receptionist

Bev is a local, with her family farming a sheep, beef and dairy property at Glenham.

She trained as a registered general and obstetric nurse at Southland Hospital.

As her three children became more independent it was time for a new challenge.  She saw the opportunity to work at Vercoe Brown and Associates as a welcome opportunity to be part of the medical profession again.

Spending time with family and friends is top priority, especially with the arrival of grandchildren.

When it’s time to relax she enjoys a daily walk or cycle for personal fitness. She enjoys reading, knitting, baking and helping on the dairy farm.

Receptionist – Amy Dale

Amy was born and educated in Invercargill.   Her OE was in Ireland where she worked in pharmacy

Upon returning to Invercargill she has worked in pharmacy for the last 15 years whilst having 4 children

Amy enjoys renovating her home, spending time with friends and family camps away with her husband and children

Jan Jenkins – Practice Manager

I am a born and bred Southlander as is my husband. We are ‘older parents’ to two school aged children.  Prior to working at Vercoe Brown I spent many years working at Southland  Hospital in various administrative roles.
As a family we enjoy trips to Central Otago or Queenstown to catch up with the wider family as much as we can.  My interests are mainly set around enjoying the children’s activities in and outside of school.

Juliet Brown – Administration

Juliet came to Southland in 1988 for a year – and never left.  Southland has been a great place to live and bring up their children.

She has an important role managing the behind-the-scenes administration and support.

Her background is as a registered general and obstetric nurse, with special interest in mothers and their young children. After registering, she worked on the wards for a year or so, then went back to the books, and gained her Plunket nurse qualifications, and then a certificate in early childhood learning and development through Massey. She worked for the Plunket Society for over 20 years. The highlight was being involved with the establishment and running of the Plunket family unit in South Dunedin.

She has two daughters and three grandchildren. Her interests include family, friends, church, and travel.


Andrea Winter – Clinical Assistant

Andrea is a true Southlander, born and raised in Invercargill and has remained here ever since. Since entering the workforce, she has mainly worked in administrative roles. Her previous roles included eight years as a receptionist and office manager for a medical laboratory and assistant to the vet nurse in a local veterinary clinic. In 2008, she joined the team at Vercoe Brown as a clinical assistant.

She is married with two children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and enjoy doing a variety of handcrafts.