Chatting with Robyn, Lamb Care Rescue Australia

7 June 2021

Thanks to the incredible work of my team, not only did we secure the most animal friendly budget ever seen in Victoria, but for the first time ever, farm animals were included. Since this exciting announcement I’ve been travelling around Victoria visiting many of the incredible organisations who were successful. It won’t be possible to visit all of them in person, so today I’m chatting online with one of the successful applicants, Robyn from Lamb Care Australia. Lamb Care Australia is a charity that rescues and rehomes orphaned lambs who are born during the lambing season in Victoria. Their primary focus is rehoming neglected and orphaned lambs, most of which come into care as extremely sick and vulnerable newborns.

Chatting with Angela the President of Project Hope Horse Welfare

23 November  2020

Project Hope Horse began 50 years ago back in 1973 when Val Collingwood wrote into RIDER magazine about the number of neglected horses in Australia and a way to help them. Her idea was to co-ordinate the rescue and rehabilitation of horses subjected to maltreatment or abuse. Val’s letter resonated with RIDER’s readers and the scheme was organised with Val leading the charge. The scheme took off and in 1993 became a registered charity with the name Project Hope Horse Welfare Victoria. Horse welfare is on the forefront of a lot of Victorians minds. And to me personally, these gentle, kind animals have a special place in my heart. That’s why this year I have asked the government to allocate some money in this year’s state budget to support the vital work of Project Hope. Listen in to hear what this money would mean for Project Hope Horse Welfare and for improving horse welfare throughout Victoria.

Chatting with Samantha from Maneki Neko Cat rescue

8 November  2020

Across Australia, approximately 80,000 cats and kittens are killed each year. Some are only days old. Evidence shows the best way to combat this crisis is by offering desexing that is truly accessible. That doesn’t just mean free or affordable – it means convenient to access and an easy process. I been strongly advocating for subsidised desexing and have been calling for more subsidised desexing initiatives in the upcoming state budget. As a rescue organisation working on the front line, Samantha will share her experience of the issues around desexing and the role subsidised desexing would play in saving thousands of cats and kittens.

Chatting with Saskia Adams, Co-Founder and President of Forever Friends Animal Rescue

11 October  2020

Tonight I’m chatting with Saskia Adams, Co-Founder and President of Forever Friends Animal Rescue. Advocating for more humane and progressive animal welfare legislation Australia-wide has always been a lifelong dream of Saskias, and in 2011 she co-founded Forever Friends Animal Rescue which is a registered charity run entirely by volunteers that rescues and rehabilitates the most vulnerable animals in our community – the abandoned, abused, elderly and sick. From dogs and cats to rabbits, former racehorses and farmed animals, their over 900 strong volunteer team works tirelessly, seven days a week, to save lives. Saskia will share more about the tireless work that her organisation does to save animals, provide further insight into the horrific common practices of many pounds and shelters across Victoria, and the role she believes animal rescue organisations should play in ending convenience killing.

Chatting with Claire Harris, foster carer of beautiful greyhound Dash

27 September  2020

Today I’m chatting with Claire Harris. Claire is an award-winning screenwriter and film producer, based here in Melbourne. However to most of you listening in today, you will know Claire as the foster carer of the beautiful greyhound named Dash who was killed by a shelter after promising Claire they would find him a loving forever home. You have heard me talk about Dash countless times over the past few months, but tonight you will hear his story from Claire, who from the moment she found out about his tragic death has been doing everything in her power to ensure no more dogs or cats like Dash unnecessarily lose their lives.  A critical component of Claire’s work has been the parliamentary e-petition, which received overwhelming support with 27,545 signatures, securing it as the largest in Victoria’s history.

Interview with Dr Jacquie Rand veterinarian and Director of Australian Pet Welfare Foundation

24 September  2020

Tonight, I’m chatting with Dr Jacquie Rand. Dr Rand is Emeritus Professor of Companion Animal Health at The University of Queensland (UQ) and Executive Director and Chief Scientist for the Australian Pet Welfare Foundation. The Australian Pet Welfare Foundation is the peak research body and advocate for pet welfare in Australia. As a not-for-profit organisation, it specialises in evidence-based solutions for reducing euthanasia in animal welfare shelters and local government facilities. Professor Rand has an outstanding research career in veterinary science spanning 45 years and is recognised as an international leader in two research fields – companion animal health and shelter medicine. She has worked extensively in shelter research, including collaborative studies over 14 years with the RSPCA, Animal Welfare League and local governments.

Chatting with Dr Elaine Ong, Veterinarian and Founder of Vets for Compassion

16 September  2020

Elaine has been the Principal surgeon and owner of the Balwyn Central Vet Hospital since 1995. She is the Founder of Vets For Compassion, a charity that sends vets and vet nurses to volunteer in underdeveloped countries in Asia. Teaching Vets to perform cat/dog birth control surgery, antirabies vaccinations and delivers animal welfare education. As well as being the Principal Trainer of the Train the Trainers Project in Asia. As you all know we recently took some really positive steps forward for wildlife in parliament. After I introduced a bill to establish a new authority for wildlife rescue, modelled off other emergency services, like the SES and CFA – the government came to the table and agreed to work with me to fix wildlife rescue in Victoria. This new authority we’ve named Wildlife Rescue Victoria couldn’t have happened without people like Elaine providing me with advice and information around the changes we need. As a vet on the front line of the Victorian Bushfires, Elaine shares her thoughts on this new model and how she believes it will benefit wildlife.

Chatting with Dr Tash Bassett, companion animal vet and volunteer wildlife rescue and rehabilitation

13 September  2020

Many of you know about the Kinley kangaroos, a kangaroo mob landlocked in the Kinley development site in Lilydale. You would also know that I have been doing everything in my power to save these kangaroos. What you may not know is all the work that goes on behind the scenes and all the incredible work happening around the clock by many people to ensure a positive outcome is reached for these kangaroos. Today I’m talking to veterinarian Dr Natasha Bassett, a companion animal vet who volunteers her time in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. She has been the triage vet for duck rescue since 2015 and worked in fireground search and rescue and triage, most recently in the Black Summer fires in NSW. As both a vet and a passionate local Tash got involved very early on with the bid to save the Kinley roos. As an experienced vet working around the clock Tash shares her experience of working on the frontline to save the mob.

Chatting with Kelly Halls, principal veterinarian of Bentons Road Vet Clinic.

30 August  2020

You may not be aware that the law in Victoria currently says vets cannot legally scan for a microchip on a stray animal and attempt to reunite the animal with their owner. Instead they must send them to the council for impoundment. The Victorian Government committed to changing these laws, which would allow vets to immediately reunite companion animals with their owners, however have not yet done so and in February I read in a motion to Parliament calling for the government to prioritise their commitment. Today I’m speaking with Dr Kelly Halls. Kelly is the principal veterinarian of Bentons Road Vet Clinic. Kelly has been working as a vet since 2002 and has a strong interest in holistic health care and animal behaviour, particularly the human role in reducing fear in our companion animals. As an experienced vet, Kelly will be sharing her experience of working on the front line under these current laws.

Chatting with Jo-Anne McArthur, photographer and author

22 June  2020

Animal advocacy comes in so many forms, all of them playing an important role in protecting animals. Tonight I’m chatting with Jo-Anne McArthur who is an award-winning photographer  and author. Through her long-term body of work, We Animals, she has documented our complex relationship with animals around the globe. Jo-Anne was the subject of the critically acclaimed 2013 documentary The Ghosts in Our Machine, which followed her as she documented the plight of abused and exploited animals and advocated for their rights as sentient beings. Jo-Anne who lives in Canada also travelled to Australia to photograph wildlife during the recent bushfires. I’m also very excited to let you know about her forthcoming book which she co-edited with Keith Wilson called HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene. It should be landing in Australia at the end of the year.

Chatting with Helen and Manfred, Five Freedoms Animal Rescue

21 June  2020

This evening I’m chatting with Helen and Manfred from Five Freedoms Animal Rescue. Helen and Manfred play such a critical role in wildlife rescue and care in Victoria, both dedicating their lives to ensuring they provide around the clock assistance to wildlife in need. As you know, last week we took some really positive steps forward for wildlife with the government supporting my Private Members Bill to establish a new authority for wildlife rescue, modelled off other emergency services like the SES and CFA. Helen and Manfred will share their thoughts on this new authority we’ve named Wildlife Rescue Victoria. They’ll also explain the issue of mineshafts that exist throughout Western Victoria – something many people aren’t aware of, but often result in wildlife injury. Listen in to learn what you can do if you come across a mineshaft with wildlife trapped inside.

Chatting with Katja, Mange Management

15 June  2020

My sixth interview is with Katja from Mange Management. Mange Management is a volunteer run organisation committed to treating and reducing the impact of mange in “Free Living Wombats”. Wombats are incredible creatures, often described as eco engineers. Sadly, they’re often seen by the farming community as pests, something that is destructive and in the way. Wombats can’t adapt to the way humans live their lives, and the changes we make to their environment with fencing and turning land into farms makes life really tough for them. Katja will be explaining what mange actually is and how it affects wombats, and what you can do in your own life to protect these animals.

Chatting with Tamsyn, Fly By Night

14 June  2020

The fifth interview in my online chat interview series is with Tamsyn from Fly By Night. Fly By Night is an entirely volunteer run Wildlife Shelter in Melbourne dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of the threatened Grey Headed Flying Fox, as well as other native bats and wildlife. In early 2014, the bats of Melbourne suffered terribly, with a week of sweltering temperatures over 40 degrees killing thousands of these precious animals. Tamsyn knew she couldn’t just stand by and let this happen and this is what led to her establishing Fly by Night. Bats or ‘sky puppies’ as I like to call them are incredible creatures, who unfortunately have so many misconceptions around them. Tamsyn will share just how amazing these animals are, the critical role they play in our ecosystem, and what you can do in your own lives to help protect them and keep them safe.

Chatting with Tracey, Mosswood Wildlife

13 June  2020

As you know, over the next few months I’ll be chatting with a number of people and organisations who do incredible work for animals, rescuing and caring for them, and advocating for them within the community. My fourth interview is with Tracey who is a wildlife rescuer and carer and runs Mosswood Wildlife. Tracey and her team of volunteers were also responsible for rescuing many koalas from Cape Bridgewater Koala Massacre, and today Tracey will provide an update on how those koalas are going.

Chatting with Lisa Palma, Aurora Wildlife Shelter

6 June  2020

I’m chatting with Lisa Palma, who began working in wildlife rescue in 2012 and since then has been a dedicated advocate, particularly in emergency responses. I recently introduced a Private Members Bill to establish a new authority for wildlife, and Lisa played a vital role in its development. Lisa has great insight into why it is so critical to improve wildlife rescue systems and ensuring wildlife receive the care they so desperately need.

Chatting with Megan Davidson, CEO of Wildlife Victoria

27 May 2020

The media may have moved on to other topics, but the aftermath of the bushfires continues, with thousands of wildlife still requiring care and rehabilitation. Wildlife Victoria was one of the organisations on the frontline of wildlife rescue during the recent bushfires. With their mission to help and protect wildlife through our rescue, education, and advocacy activities, this incredible organisation provides a critical service around the clock to wildlife in need here in Victoria. The recent devastating bushfires highlighted just how critical organisations like Wildlife Victoria are and the current gaps in Victoria’s wildlife rescue systems. Today I chatted with Megan, the CEO of Wildlife Victoria. Megan provides an update on the continued work by wildlife rescuers and carers since the bushfires and shares her thoughts on the urgent changes needed to improve wildlife rescue systems here in Victoria.

Chatting with Pam Ahern from Edgar’s Mission

7 May 2020

Ahead of Mother’s Day, I spoke with Pam Ahern from Edgar’s Mission about their exciting new campaign: All Mother’s Day.

Mothers come in all shapes, sizes and species, yet when it comes to their babies… they love them just the same.

And, as Pam explains, a kinder Mother’s Day begins with you.

Meeting my team: Bruce Poon Political Adviser

19 February 2020

The person I speak with in this episode of Meet My Team represents a departure from Tamasin and Georgie who I spoke with in the first two episodes. All my team approach their roles from an emotive and practical perspective. You can’t not bring emotion into the role when we’re spending each day trying to make the world a better place for animals. However, Bruce Poon my Political Adviser who I’m chatting with today has to try at all times to have a very practical approach to things because that’s the realm that he works in, and he fulfils that in a number of ways.

Meeting my team: Georgie Purcell Chief of Staff

30 January 2020

This Meet the Team Podcast Series is all about meeting the incredible people in my team and the role they play in helping me achieve positive change for animals. Today I’m chatting with who I see as really the driver of engine behind what I do and who I always say is the master of multi-tasking my Chief of Staff Georgie Purcell.

Meeting my team: Dr Tamasin Ramsay Research and Policy Adviser

14 January 2020

What a year it’s been, and I couldn’t have done it without my incredible team. Over the next few months I’ll be taking you behind the scenes and chatting with members of my team to give you a glimpse into the work that goes on in the lead up to introducing or amending a bill or motion. In this podcast I chat with Dr Tamasin Ramsay my Research and Policy Adviser. Tam who I often say “has a brain the size of a planet” does an incredible job in not only researching and providing advice on bills and motions relating to my key campaigns, but also in identifying opportunities to amend proposed government legislation so there is a recognition of how that legislation will impact non-human animals and changes are made so that the legislation reduces animal cruelty and results in positive changes to their lives. Tam is playing a critical role in ensuring Victorian law evolves to ensure non-human animals are viewed as sentient subjects, rather than objects.

Horse racing: the year that was

8 November 2019

Since the early days of becoming an animal activist, as I moved into politics and now as a Victorian Member of Parliament for the Animal Justice Party, I have been a fierce advocate for racehorses and of highlighting the cruelty and greed of the racing industry. This year we’ve shone a public spotlight on this cruelty and greed like never before. Listen as I take you through the year that was for horse racing and everything I’m doing in Parliament to bring this cruelty to an end.

Stay up to date on how I’m using my role as an Animal Justice Party Member of Parliament to protect all animals across Western Victoria.