AMRRIC’s 2021 impact reviewed and celebrated as the Board wraps up another AGM

The AMRRIC Board, Advisory Committee and staff have met to reflect on another year gone by at AMRRIC, undertaking bi-annual strategic planning and Board meetings alongside the Annual General Meeting of the organisation, over the week from the 27th of November to the 5th of December, 2021. 

The AGM provides the opportunity to release the annual report and reflect on a year of activity. This year, AMRRIC refocused presentation of the 2021 Annual Report to highlight the impact of the organisation which AMRRIC gratefully acknowledges is maintained by the collaboration and involvement of program partners and its many and varied supporters.  The impact report, themed Outbreaks & Opportunities, draws focus to how AMRRIC has worked through these times of change, thinking innovatively and re-directing energy and advocacy towards opportunities for raising awareness, education and re-designing remote program delivery to maintain the health of communities through companion animal management. 

The 2021 Impact report is available to view here 

There were a few changes acknowledged at the AGM within the Board and staff, particularly as long serving members of both were acknowledged and farewelled.  Those changes included a farewell to Dr Ann-Margret Withers, who has been associated with the Board of AMRRIC for 14 years, serving in many roles during that time, including holding the role of Chair of the Finance and Risk Committee, and reflecting her skills and experience, being on the inaugural Vet Committee providing technical guidance and advice. The AMRRIC team thank Ann-Margret for her commitment and dedication over the years, and beyond AMRRIC’s governance, look forward to continuing to collaborate with her through her role coordinating RSPCA NSW Outreach Programs.  

The Board also farewelled former Chair Dr Kate Blaszak and welcomed Joanne Abraham as its first Indigenous Chair. You can read more about Kate’s contribution and Joanne’s new appointment here. 

The Board executive for 2021/2022 includes Joanne Abraham as Chair, Steve Rogers as vice-Chair and Karl Dyason as Chair of the Finance & Risk Committee.  You can read more about the current Board here 

At the AGM, the Board were also pleased to present two very deserving recipients the AMRRIC Special Recognition Award. The first award was presented to Dr Ann-Margret Withers for her outstanding service to the organisation (as outlined above); the second to Christine Ross, who was a former Board member and instrumental in establishing and chairing AMRRIC’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.   

In addition to her role on the Board, AMRRIC’s Advisory Committee Chair, Joanne Abraham, spoke of Christine Ross’s departure as an inaugural member of the Advisory Committee and acknowledged her contributions and leadership.  Similarly acknowledged was Dr Julie Owen who resigned this year as an inaugural member of the committee and Sandra Creamer.  Both women were acknowledged as talented, impactful women in their own rights.    

The CEO, Brooke Rankmore took the opportunity to acknowledge those staff who had worked with AMRRIC and were farewelled during the last year.  Those included an acknowledgement to Courtney Falls who finished with the organisation after almost 5 years with AMRRIC as Education Officer.  Courtney was valued for her creative, engaging and endearing personality which resulted in creating so many positive relationships with community members and program partners.   AMRRIC also farewelled and congratulated Kit Reed, who was the first participant in an Indigenous administrative traineeship with AMRRIC and completed her Cert III in Business Administration.  There were also several short-term members of the team acknowledged who provided pivotal support and experience in their time with AMRRIC; those were Angela Hammond as Community Training & Education Manager, and Vicky Wellman and Robyn Purtill who provided Office Management support to the team during staff maternity leave.   

The Board took the time during the strategic planning to discuss upcoming opportunities and explore AMRRIC’s nimbleness and appetite for change in the current operating climate, with the focus always on how the organisation can improve the long-term sustainability of remote companion animal management programs and continue to build the capacity of remote communities to make informed decisions on how this occurs.  The Board certainly look forward to supporting the executive team with exciting developments and opportunities over the coming year which the team will continue to share with AMRRIC’s valued supporters along the way in 2022! 

Michelle Hayes
Author: Michelle Hayes