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Darwin Town Community Programs Deliver in the (Somewhat Dry) Wet

At Palmerston Indigenous Village, Matthew gives Otis a lift home, after his surgery

Between December and February, the wet season usually restricts AMRRIC staff to the office, allowing some much-valued catch up time.  This time is typically spent developing annual work plans, re-establishing contacts for the year, organising veterinary and school visits, developing new educational resources, applying for and acquitting grants, working on advocacy campaigns and monitoring and evaluating our work.  There is never a lack of jobs to do over the wet season! 

Amid all this, the AMRRIC team also organise the Darwin Town Community programs, which are still readily accessible despite the usual wet.  These close-to-home programs are supported by the local Councils- City of Darwin and Palmerston City – and funded by Yilli Rreung Housing Aboriginal Corporation. This past year, a grant from INPEX-operated Icthys LNG Project has also enhanced these programs, enabling the supply of dog and cat vaccines and additional antiparasitic treatments.

In partnership with veterinary service provider The Ark Animal Hospital, this (somewhat dry) wet season AMRRIC organised delivery of companion animal vet programs in several Town Communities – Acacia, Amangal, Minmarama, Kulaluk, Bagot, Knuckey Lagoon and Palmerston Indigenous Village (PIV). 

The theme for the most recent two programs in PIV and Knuckey Lagoon was to expect the unexpected. Despite annual veterinary programs and previously high proportion of the companion animal populations desexed, at PIV there were many new dogs requiring desexing and in both communities there were massive numbers of owned entire cats.  Luckily the team was prepared and enthused for long days of surgery!

The recruitment of new animals to these Town Communities is likely a result of the highly transient nature of the communities’ human residents.  Also, cat ownership is on the increase in many of the communities that AMRRIC works with, especially those across the Top End. Community residents however are frequently unfamiliar with how efficiently these furry, four legged felines can breed. Without access to desexing, often a household can quickly be overwhelmed with a family of 20 or more cats. AMRRIC is currently working on cat-focused educational materials and resources (e.g. Felt Cat) to assist communities to better understand and address cat population management issues.

Consistent, culturally appropriate veterinary and education services are essential to sustained animal management. AMRRIC welcomes the ongoing commitment from all of the stakeholders involved in delivering the Darwin Town Community programs. It is clear that these sought-after services are necessary and beneficial for these close-to-home communities.


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Ph: 08 8948 1768
Fax: 08 8985 3454              

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P.O. Box 4829
Darwin NT 0801