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Dr Jan Allen reflects on ten years with AMRRIC

Ten years and many fond memories gained for AMRRIC's Program Manager Dr Jan Allen

This year, AMRRIC's Program Manager Dr Jan Allen achieved a momentous milestone - ten years of employment with AMRRIC.  AMRRIC congratulates Jan on her many years of service, and is grateful for her unwavering dedication and enthusiam.  In this article, Jan reflects on her ten years with AMRRIC...

It’s been a crazy ride! Ten years with AMRRIC has been a delightful, awesome, challenging, inspiring ride for me, as AMRRIC’s Program Manager.

With a veterinary background, having previously worked in Tasmania, New South Wales and remote and isolated Samoa, I became AMRRIC’s second employed staff member in 2008 and now, AMRRIC’s longest serving staff member!  It has been a real roller coaster ride. Early days it seemed that I was a sales person, always having to open the usually very long distant phone conversation introducing the mouthful name ‘Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities’ and quickly trying to explain that ‘No’ I wasn’t selling anything but was offering assistance in that no-man’s-land of remote animal management.

Working within a not for profit organisation, multi-skilling is essential, so my learning curve was steep and  my comfort zone was challenged. The new skills acquired along the way are many and a far cry from routine veterinary work - writing reports, liaising with all levels of government, presenting power point presentations, writing grant applications, organising teams to work in remote locations, etc, etc. 

It is now a joy when ‘AMRRIC’ does not need explanation. The changes have been immense. Now in remote communities ‘leatherbacks’ and Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumours (CTVTs) are novel sightings. In communities, vet programs are understood and welcomed, animal management is no longer in the too-hard basket but is an active agenda item with the regional councils and more and more veterinarians/ corporates / volunteers/ universities are wanting to be involved in ‘giving back’.  There have been so many positive changes!

For me, as well as relishing the changes, I especially celebrate the opportunity the ten years have provided. Meeting incredibly passionate, altruistic, ‘can-do’ people has enriched my path –  AMRRIC staff, vets, nurses, volunteers, rangers, environmental health workers, community members, crazy characters, Local/State/Territory/ Federal government staff and the international animal management providers- who all shine.

AMRRIC’s work in the unique Indigenous lands, places and people, plus all the support people, has been a privilege and has left me with indelible memories for which I am incredibly grateful.


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