Image: Joanne Abraham, AMRRIC’s first Indigenous Chairperson
Following the AGM, with sadness the board also accepted the resignation of Dr Kate Blaszak who has served on AMRRIC’s board since 2015. During her time on the board, Kate has held the role of Vice President, and more recently has stepped into the role of Chair of the board since 2019. During her time as Chair, Kate has proactively overseen the development and release of the organisation’s 5-year Strategic Plan. Kate, along with the board, was passionate about the new strategic pillars for AMRRIC, particularly the role they play in self-determination and building capacity for remote communities in their management of companion animals locally. A key priority of the organisation is to increase Indigenous representation not only from a board/governance perspective but also in employment opportunities in key roles supporting the operations of AMRRIC. This key priority has been progressed under Kate’s leadership through the establishment of an Indigenous co-chair position on the Board as part of the governance strategy for building capacity within the organisation.
It is therefore appropriate in parting, that following Kate’s departure, the new Chair appointment is Joanne Abraham, AMRRIC’s first Indigenous Chairperson. AMRRIC welcomed Joanne to the board in 2019. Along with taking on the role of Board Chair, Joanne also currently holds the role of Chair of the Advisory Committee, of which she has been a member since her appointment. Joanne is immensely proud and incredibly humble to have been embraced by her Ngarluma family of Ieramugadu (Roebourne) in the Pilbara region. She was born into the Mowarin family and has close ties with the O’Donoghue, Carey, Walker, Churnside and Dhu families of the same region. Joanne’s passion for Indigenous empowerment is well aligned with AMRRIC. You can read more about Joanne and her fellow Board and Advisory Committee members at the “About Us” section of the website https://www.amrric.org/governance/