Former AMRRIC intern Brooke Kennedy assisting on a veterinary program.
Brooke had already worked alongside the AMRRIC team for a number of years during her Honours research and subsequent PhD studies, focusing on animal management on the Tiwi Islands. These existing relationships, together with the support provided by the University of New England and APR.Intern made Brooke’s transition to an AMRRIC office-based intern smooth sailing. Brooke was guided by AMRRIC’s team throughout her internship, to undertake a review of cat population management published literature, collate and analyse available data on remote community cat populations and assist our team to develop cat-focused educational resources.
Brooke’s systematic literature review – now published and open access – researched global best practice cat population management techniques, and considered how such techniques could be adapted to suit the unique context in which AMRRIC works. Brooke’s paper confirms that AMRRIC’s existing approach aligns with global best practice, and that cultural considerations and community involvement are always key.
By collating and analysing quantitative and qualitative cat population data, Brooke confirmed that many remote communities have large cat populations with significant reproductive potential. This data will assist AMRRIC in advocating to a broader audience of stakeholders – particularly those interested in, or impacted by uncontrolled cat populations. We anticipate that this advocacy will lead to new funding sources for sustainable access to humane and effective cat population management, and ultimately improve the health and management of cat populations. This in turn, will assist in improving the health and wellbeing of remote Indigenous communities and their surrounding ecosystems.
Finally, Brooke also worked with AMRRIC’s Education Officer, developing and tailoring AMRRIC’s education materials, ensuring that remote Indigenous communities have access to reliable and culturally appropriate information to assist them in demonstrating responsible cat ownership behaviours. View AMRRIC’s cat-focused educational resources, including those that Brooke contributed to, here.
It was AMRRIC’s pleasure to host Brooke during her 5 months internship, and we are thrilled with the outcomes she delivered. Her work has enhanced our knowledge of cat population management and assisted us to ensure we continue to deliver and advocate for best practice companion animal population management programs. A big thank you to Brooke, Brooke’s University of New England based supervisor Dr Wendy Brown, and APR.Intern for their respective roles in ensuring the success of this internship.
AMRRIC hopes to continue to offer companion animal health and management internships. If you are a university student interested in undertaking an internship with AMRRIC, please get in touch.