Bridging the city/country divide by awareness of AMRRIC’s work

Video Caption:

AMRRIC’s Australian Biosecurity Symposium presentation, as summarised by Think In Colour


June/July 2019 was a busy period of travel and advocacy for AMRRIC’s Program Manager – Strategic Delivery, Dr Bonny Cumming.  In the space of four weeks, Bonny showcased AMRRIC’s work to varied yet relevant audiences at three conferencesthe inaugural Australian Biosecurity Symposium on the Gold Coast, the Lowitja International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference in Darwin, and the Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists Science Week 2019, also on the Gold Coast. 


The Australian Biosecurity Symposium brought together leaders and innovators across Australia’s biosecurity sectors, to exchange knowledge and ideas focusing on preventative biosecurity practices.  Bonny’s presentation, ‘One Health-focused companion animal veterinary services assist in mitigating biosecurity threats in remote Indigenous communities’ explored and advocated the biosecurity benefits of regular veterinary services provision for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  The presentation was also captured visually, by Think In Colour Graphic Recorder Jessamy Gee. View a timelapse of the visual capture here. 


In Darwin at the Lowitja International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference, Bonny was humbled to present alongside an amazing array of expert Indigenous and non-Indigenous speakers from around the globe, including co-presenter Dr Tamara Riley from the Australian National University.  Together, Bonny and Tamara spoke about the ongoing collaborative animal health program at Wadeye, NT, and Tamara’s work to evaluate its impacts.  The focus of the conference was clearly human health and wellbeing, so to have a One Health presentation included, featuring animal health and its links to human and environmental health, was commendable. 


Finally, in early July, Bonny returned to the Gold Coast to present alongside Dr Greg Simmons from The University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science (UQSVS), to their veterinary colleagues at Science Week.  Their presentation showcased the ongoing collaboration between AMRRIC, UQSVS, Darling Downs Public Health Unit and Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, that enables final year veterinary students from UQSVS the opportunity to participate in a community outreach veterinary and education program at Cherbourg – a rural Indigenous community in South East Queensland.  The presentation was delivered within the Public Health stream of the conference, and resulted in strong interest in, and support for the program.   


AMRRIC’s work predominantly occurs in remote locations, far from general public awareness.  Presenting at conferences allows AMRRIC to showcase this important, but often unseen work, to largely metropolitan audiences.  In doing so, we are bridging the country/city divide and raising awareness of AMRRIC’s work to improve the health and safety of companion animals and their communities.  By attending relevant conferences, AMRRIC staff are also able to establish new relationships, in turn, growing our networks of relevant stakeholders and catalyzing opportunities for future collaboration.  AMRRIC is grateful to the organisers of all three conferences, for inviting Bonny to present and share AMRRIC’s work with their attendees. 


If you are aware of a conference that AMRRIC should present at, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: 

Frances Grant
Author: Frances Grant