Meet the Team

RSPCA Presidents

Eileen ThumpkinEileen 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.

Sheree SellickSheree Sellick
RSPCA Australia Vice President
RSPCA SA President

With a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), Sheree has more than 30 years experience owning and managing a number of retail, manufacturing and investment businesses, and has spent the last 15 years in architecture, property development and management.

Since 1980, Sheree has volunteered at several non-profit organisations as Treasurer and Publicity and Marketing Officer and has also been the South Australian Volunteer Coordinator for Animals Asia.

Lynne BradshawLynne 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.

Hugh WirthDr. 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 DouglasLouise 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 NeilHeather 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.


RSPCA ACT logoTammy Ven Dange

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.

Maria MecurioMaria Mercurio
RSPCA Victoria CEO

Maria has been the CEO of RSPCA Victoria since 2002, prior to which she was CEO at Moreland City Council. With a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) and a Master of Business Administration, Maria has enjoyed a successful and varied career in business and commerce in the U.S. and Australia.

Maria was nominated for Telstra Businesswoman of the year in 2002 and 2006 and was announced Equal Opportunity for Women Agency’s Leading CEO for the Advancement of Women in 2006. She is a Fellow of the CEO Institute of Australia, a Member of the Australian Institute of Management, a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

David van OoranDavid van Ooran

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 ColemanSteve Coleman

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

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 VasudevaTim Vasudeva

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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