Meet the Team

RSPCA Presidents

Eileen Thumpkin

Eileen Thumpkin



RSPCA Australia President
RSPCA QLD President

Eileen has completed studies across a number of disciplines including education, arts and animal welfare. She has a Masters degree in social planning. She has worked in a range of senior positions in the Queensland public service and has extensive experience in project planning and management at a state-wide and national level.

Eileen was involved in the roll-out of a number of Queensland Government education projects and currently is managing the implementation of several projects in Indigenous education. Eileen has also been an active volunteer in a number of areas including hockey team management, RSPCA fostering, and she has also been the Queensland representative on the Board of RSPCA Australia since 2006.

Lynne Bradshaw

Lynne Bradshaw



RSPCA WA President

Lynne Bradshaw was the President of RSPCA Australia from 2006-2013, and has held the office of President of Western Australia since 2004. Lynne is Director of Marketing for an ASX listed healthcare group. She has a 25-year record in senior management and director positions in the healthcare industry, both locally and overseas.

Her wide ranging career experience spans local and international markets with a focus on growing businesses from inception to merger or acquisition. Having established, grown and eventually sold her own businesses, she has high level experience in business strategy, marketing, financial management and business development. Lynne is also a sitting member of the Telethon Institute Animal Ethics Committee and is the RSPCA WA representative on the WA Animal Welfare Advisory Committee.

Dr. Hugh Wirth

Dr. Hugh Wirth



RSPCA Victoria President

Dr. Hugh Wirth AM, Melbourne born high-profile vet, past President RSPCA Australia and President RSPCA Victoria, has spent a lifetime as an animal welfare advocate. Dr Wirth joined the RSPCA as a junior member in 1948, trained in veterinary science and practiced as a veterinarian for 47 years.

From his time as a young country vet to running his own busy practice in suburban Melbourne, Dr. Wirth has become one of Australia's best known and outspoken animal welfare advocates and has taught three generations of Australians how to care for their pets through his weekly 774 ABC Melbourne radio show. He was the first non-European to hold the position as President of the World Society for the Protection of Animals where Wirth remains an International Board Member

Louise Douglas

Louise Douglas



RSPCA ACT President

Louise was elected President on 26 November 2013 after joining the RSPCA ACT Council in 2011. She recently retired from the National Museum of Australia having come to Canberra in 1994 to be part of the executive management team which developed and opened the Museum in 2001.

Louise has been an animal lover since childhood as a result of her parents operating an informal refuge for stray and injured dogs, cats and wildlife on the edge of Sydney’s bush suburbs. In her capacity as President, Louise presides over the RSPCA ACT Council which meets monthly and is responsible for the governance of the organisation including the development and monitoring of overall strategy and policy.

RSPCA Chief Executive Officers

Heather Neil

Heather Neil



RSPCA Australia CEO

Heather was appointed Chief Executive Officer of RSPCA Australia in 2006. She has a long career in the not-for-profit sector including organisations such as the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Quit Tasmania and Croplife.

Tammy Ven Dange

Tammy Ven Dange



RSPCA ACT CEO

Tammy Ven Dange was appointed as CEO of RSPCA ACT in February 2014. Tammy has had a varied and adventurous career that has taken her across four continents. She has worked for NASA, been an US Air Force officer and spent 15 months as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa. She has worked for global companies (Capgemini), as well as Australian owned businesses (Plaut IT). She owned three companies herself and helped found two not-for-profits. Tammy has also been on the board for five other not-for-profit organisations, including serving as president for two of them.

Tammy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Northern Arizona University and a MBA from Cornell University, an Ivy League School in New York. Her areas of specialty include strategic planning, raising revenue, operational improvement and in leading teams towards big goals.

Originally from the United States and now an Australia citizen, Canberra has been her home for the last seven years.

Dr Elizabeth Walker

Dr Elizabeth Walker ('Liz')



RSPCA Victoria CEO

Victoria born Liz graduated in 1989 from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours). She also holds a Masters of Management (Marketing) from Macquarie University.

Liz’s passion and strong work ethic has driven her diverse 25 year career in animal health and welfare. She began her working life as a small-animal clinician and progressed through to senior positions in the animal health industry. Before joining the RSPCA Liz was CEO of Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne – the largest not-for-profit animal hospital in Australia.

Liz has worked with organisations including the Australian Companion Animal Council, the federal government’s Australian Animal Welfare Strategy initiative and was a Board Member and President of the Animal Welfare League of Australia (AWLA).

She is the Treasurer of the Australian Companion Animal Health Foundation, a member of the University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary Science Advisory Board, the Australian Veterinary Association and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

David van Ooran

David van Ooran



RSPCA WA CEO

David van Ooran joined the RSPCA team in February 2012. He moved to RSPCA WA from EventsCorp WA, where he was the Executive Director. In his five years with the State Government’s events body, David was involved in substantially boosting the number and diversity of major events in Western Australia.

Prior to EventsCorp, he worked at the WA Museum, AQWA – Aquarium of Western Australia and Perth Zoo. Since joining the RSPCA, David has focused on improving the financial capacity of the Society to better deliver its vital inspectorate and animal service operations.

Steve Coleman

Steve Coleman



RSPCA NSW CEO

Steve was appointed as CEO of RSPCA NSW in 2007 following a successful tenure as the Chief Inspector. This unique experience as a law enforcer and organisational leader has enabled Steve to approach his role with a broad understanding of the issues and opportunities facing Animal Welfare.

Steve sits on numerous government and industry committees and advisory councils including the Animal Welfare Advisory Council that reports direct to the NSW Minister for Primary Industries. Additionally, Steve sit’s on government and industry committees addressing numerous welfare issues including companion animals, livestock, feral animal management, native and wildlife management, hoarding and humane education. Steve holds a Graduate Diploma in Investigations Management from Charles Sturt University and an MBA from the Sydney Graduate School of Management.

Mark Townend

Mark Townend



RSPCA QLD CEO

Mark Townend was appointed as CEO of RSPCA Queensland in January 2000 after spending nearly 20 years owning and building Queensland’s leading Independent Automotive Spare Parts Wholesale business and 8 years as the Finance and Policy Chairperson for Logan City Council, Qld’s 3rd largest city.

Since his appointment he has introduced many innovative programs such as EMU, the mobile Education Unit, PAWS, a portable desexing unit, and World for Pets (which does not sell pets). He was also the leading force behind the building of RSPCA Qld's new Animal Care Campus - a world class venue for Animal Welfare.

Mark is also CEO of Shelter Buddy software which is now sold worldwide to the animal welfare industry helping to rehome over 200,000 animals each year. He is also the Chairperson of the St Paul De Chartres Aged Care and Patron of the 80,000 member Greenbank RSL. Mark is the recipient of the Prime Ministers Federation Centenary Medal for distinguished service to the community.

Tim Vasudeva

Tim Vasudeva



RSPCA SA CEO

Tim took on the role of CEO in South Australia in May 2013. Tim is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Animal Welfare League (AWL) NSW. He brings a unique blend of experience and knowledge gained from many years of working and volunteering in the animal welfare sector, combined with an extensive business background in Senior and Executive roles in the Banking & Finance and Mining industries.
Image courtesy of Carol Gibbons Photography.

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