AMRRIC Program Management supports and organises dog health programs nationally and in particular, across the Northern Territory. Our Program Management facilitates the improvement of health, safety and well-being in remote Indigenous communities by working from the ground up – empowering local communities through local employment, training and mentoring. AMRRIC assists veterinary dog health programs to become sustainable through the development of trust and relationships.
"It is a great privilege to be able to work in remote Indigenous communities and a great joy to experience so many different communities in beautiful remote Australia." Dr Jan Allen AMRRIC Program Manager
Kakadu Outstations Animal Population Management Project
AMRRIC received an NRETAS 2011-2012 EnvironmeNT Grant– Kakadu Outstations Invasive Species – to deliver animal management programs in the outstations of Kakadu National Park. Working with Warnbi Aboriginal Corporation, Gundjheimi Aboriginal Corporation, Parks Australia, veterinarian Dr Stephen Cutter, and four volunteers the AMRRIC team serviced the southern outstations of Spring Peak, Paradise Farm, Patonga Airstrip, Patonga Homestead, Whistle Duck and the northern Kapalga, desexing 47 dogs and 2 cats.
After extensive community consultation, AMRRIC developed Mutitjulu’s Animal Welfare and Management Program. In 2012, Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation (MCAC) asked AMRRIC to facilitate a change of veterinary services with an increase in community liaison. A tender was distributed and the community appointed veterinarian Dr Stephen Cutter. MCAC, Stephen and AMRRIC visited 35 houses in Mutitjulu and spoke to residents about the number of animals in each household and the services available for those animals. The team recorded general body condition and mange score for 155 dogs and three cats. Every dog was treated for internal and external parasites. During the first visit, 27 dogs and three cats were desexed. Eighteen dogs were desexed on the second visit in May 2012.
Utopia has 16 permanent outstations spread over 3,500 square kilometres, with the population varying from 20 to 100 people. The community has a history of self-determination and a strong commitment to traditional practices and customs. Urapuntja Health Service Aboriginal Corporation (UHS) recognised dogs were impacting negatively on human health and called AMRRIC for assistance. Following an AMRRIC weekend workshop for ACT Australian Veterinary Association members in 2010, a group of Canberra vets lead by Dr Alison Taylor and Dr Michael Archinal have committed to a long term dog health program in Utopia. AMRRIC facilitated the link to Utopia.
The UHS, AMRRIC, Dr Judith Mulholland, Barkly Shire and the Canberra vet team undertook the first dog health program in Utopia in August 2011. One hundred and fourteen dogs were desexed, and dogs in 11 outstations treated for internal and external parasites. Read more about the Utopia dog health program.
During the program at Wurrumiyanga on the Tiwi Islands, the team euthanased 52 dogs and desexed 14. In June, the Tiwi Islands Dog Health Program and training program was held in Milikapiti for five Animal Management Workers. A second visit delivered education and health programs and a dog washing and education stall at the Tiwi Festival in August.
Tennant Creek and town camps
The Barkly Shire held an eight day Tennant Creek Animal Health Week. AMRRIC played a large role in the implementation and coordination of this historic event, including linking vets and volunteers. Both the Tennant Creek community and surrounding urban areas were provided with veterinary services, leading to the desexing of 180 dogs. Well-known Indigenous artist Dion Beasley of ‘Cheeky Dog’ fame also joined the program.
Other programs delivered in 2011–2012 include: