RSPCA Australia establishes national policies and positions on animal welfare issues, and works with government and industry to ensure these issues are addressed.View the RSPCA Charter
Member Society boards
Each of the RSPCA Member Societies is governed by a Board of elected members who preside over the organisation. Each Board meets regularly to review progress, determine strategic ways forward, develop local and state-level policy and prepare input into national RSPCA policy and procedure. The Board is led by the President.
RSPCA Australia board
Each Member Society Board nominates one of its Directors to also sit on the Board of RSPCA Australia. In addition to these eight nominated Directors, a recruited Chair and up to two recruited Directors are appointed.
The Board of RSPCA Australia meets several times a year to oversee the organisation and plan the future direction for the RSPCA. All draft new and amended animal welfare policies are referred by the Board of RSPCA Australia to a meeting of Members, where they require a unanimous vote in order to be adopted.
Meet the RSPCA Australia Board
Dr Richard Russell
Dr Richard Russell was appointed to the Board of RSPCA Australia in 2015, and was appointed Chair in 2019.
Richard is a medical practitioner and a specialist in occupational medicine and public health medicine. He has worked in the public sector and his own private business in regional and rural Australia and in SE Asia, especially Indonesia. He has been a Board Member of Victorian WorkCover Authority, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, Council Member of the NH&MRC, Examiner for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Patron of the Menzies School of Health Research.
A member of RSPCA Tasmania’s Board, Alex joined the RSPCA Australian Board in April 2016. Alex is a change manager, working in strategic human resource, industrial relations and organisational issues. She has 15 years experience in consulting into and working within not for profit, government and commercial sectors in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Alex is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
Alex is a graduate of UTAS in Bachelor of Arts (BA), Graduate Diploma of Science (Hons) and holds a Master of Business and Technology (MBT) from UNSW.
Alexandra is the Board President of RSPCA ACT and joined the RSPCA Australia Board in 2019.
Alexandra is a leading Government and ICT lawyer and regularly presents on the latest developments in commercial law, contract management and cyber security and related topics. She has been voted by her peers as one of Australia's Best Lawyers: Government (2008-2019) and Information Technology Law (2015-2019).
She has served on the Board of Clayton Utz and been a member of its Finance Risk and Audit Committee. Alexandra has also held the role of managing partner of the Canberra office of Clayton Utz and is currently chair of the Clayton Utz Cyber Security Board (since 2014).
Alexandra has had diverse experience as a director of not-for-profit boards including the ANU School of Music and the National Foundation for Australian Women. Alexandra also has a strong pro bono practice in governance, corporate structuring and ICT.
She is an enthusiastic supporter of various charities focused on animals, medical/human health and human well-being. She has an interest in the arts and supports the work of the National Gallery of Australia and the National Library of Australia.
Alexandra has a strong interest in sporting activities and has represented the ACT in touch football and dragon boating and Australia in dragon boating.
Her current pets are two groodles named Remi and Oscar.
Bernie is the Chairman of RSPCA Victoria and joined the RSPCA Australia Board in April 2016. He has experience at the highest level of corporate Australia and spent 22 years with BHP and BHP Billiton. A Director of Travellers Aid Australia and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Victorian Section), Bernie has a deep knowledge of complex business, public policy and regulatory issues. He is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).
Danny was elected Chair of the Board in 2017, having previously served since 2015 as a Board Member and Treasurer. He is also RSPCA Darwin's nominee to the Board of RSPCA Australia having served since February 2018 with a short break in between.
Danny is an experienced executive and director with an extensive career in the energy and utilities industry as well as government, health and tourism. With a wealth of leadership experience across commercial, strategic, operations and transformation, Danny also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in IT & Marketing, Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Engagement, Graduate Certificate in Applied Finance, Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Danny has been passionate about animals since a young age. Despite growing up inner city London, he has always had a range of pets including dogs, horses, goats and rabbits! Danny is owned by his dog Buddy who was adopted from RSPCA Darwin in April 2020.
Danny is also an Independent Member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of councilBIZ and was previously a Non-Executive Director of Red Lily Health Board, Government House Foundation of the Northern Territory and Mindil Markets Sunset Beach Association.
Previously, Ian was the Director of Governance and Strategy at the City of Joondalup for three years and a Director at the Department of Local Government for over 10 years, where he represented Western Australia on the Commonwealth Government’s National Consultative Committee on Animal Welfare and participated in the development of Australia’s first National Animal Welfare Strategy. Ian was also responsible for the development and implementation of Western Australia’s current Animal Welfare Act 2002.
Ian holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with first class honours from the University of Western Australia and a Masters Degree in Economics from the London School of Economics.
In June 2014, Ian received the Public Service Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours, for his outstanding public service, particularly to the City of Gosnells.
Jan Edwards was appointed to the Board of RSPCA Australia in August 2022.
Jan is a recently retired CEO of a regional bank that traded as a social enterprise. She has held senior positions in insurance & superannuation, banking, manufacturing, and consulting industries in Canada, the UK, USA and the Middle East.
In addition to her RSPCA appointment, she is a Board Member of Social Traders Australia, Warringah Financial Services Limited and Dying with Dignity NSW. Her past Board and Committee memberships include Wingecarribee Shire Council Risk and Audit Committee, HarbisonCare Retirement Village, Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens, APRA Advisory Committee, Prudential Assurance Superannuation Co Pty Limited and Oxley College Private School.
Jan has an Honours degree in Psychology and Statistics and a Master of Business Administration. She is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Professional Accountant with membership with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Jan is a member and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Jan is a committed proponent of purpose driven organisations where the mission, vision and values are focused on positive societal impact. She is also the proud owner of three delightful, if exhausting Kelpies.
Jo joined the RSPCA Australia board in May 2022 and chairs our Animal Welfare & Ethics Committee. She has also been member of RSPCA QLD’s board since 2017 and chairs its Community Engagement Committee.
An experienced Director, Executive and Consultant, Jo has more than 20 years’ experience in strategy, governance, organisational design, culture, talent and performance, stakeholder engagement, external relations, communications, and community/social investment. She has worked across a variety of industries and sectors including financial services, energy, transport, technology, retail, not for profit, and government.
Jo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics & Government (Double Major: Industrial Relations & Public Policy) from Griffith University and an Executive MBA from Melbourne Business School. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and a Certified Professional of the Australian Human Resources Institute (CAHRI).
Jo has her own business providing advice and consulting services to support organisations with unlocking their potential through strategy, operational excellence, and people. She is a passionate and collaborative, strategic and enterprise thinking problem solver and thrives in working with purpose driven transforming organisations who are focused on creating a step change in how they impact their customers, employees, stakeholders, and community. Jo is also a board member of APS Benefits Group (a profit to member financial services organisation) and a member of its Remuneration Committee.
She is passionate about community and social causes especially animal welfare and has been a longstanding supporter of the work of the RSPCA. Jo lives in Melbourne with her partner and their adopted greyhound Sable.
Mark is a member of the Board of RSPCA NSW and is a life member of RSPCA NSW. He has undertaken pro bono legal work for RSPCA NSW for many years, is Chair of its Governance Committee and a member of its Animal Welfare Committee. Mark joined the RSPCA Australia Board in 2022.
Mark’s background is as a barrister and senior counsel at the NSW Bar, where he specialises in commercial disputes and corporate law. He has practised as a barrister since 1995 and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2013. Prior to 1995, Mark worked for ten years as an investment banker in London, New York and Sydney, for Salomon Brothers Inc and Goldman Sachs & Co.
Mark has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Bachelor of Laws (1st class Honours) degree from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from Oxford University. He is currently undertaking a PhD in Law at the University of Sydney, where he is also on the Editorial Board of the Sydney Law Review.
Mark and his wife, Mia (who is also a director and life member of RSPCA NSW) have had a succession of beloved RSPCA rescue dogs over the years and are currently fostering a pug for the RSPCA, who is called Dora (when she is good) and Gremlin (when she is not so good).
Rob joined the RSPCA Australia Board in April 2022 and is the President of RSPCA South Australia, where he has served on the Board for 7 years. He is a chartered accountant and professional company director.
Rob has held many board roles over the past 38 years and is currently a director of The Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium of South Australia, Chair of Junction Australia; GP Partners Australia; Australian Grain Technologies Pty Ltd, RAA Board Nominations Committee; Credit Union SA Board Nominations Committee and PIRSA Risk and Audit Committee.
He is driven by purpose and is passionate about improving the social and economic wellbeing of South Australians, the importance of animals in people’s lives and consequently their wellbeing.
Russell Hunter was appointed to the Board of RSPCA Australia in July 2023.
Russell has a genuine interest in contributing to impactful animal health and welfare programs, particularly in the context of animals in society and human-animal interactions. He brings to the Board unique skills, knowledge, experience and insight into the technical, political, strategic, legal and operational context of animal welfare issues in Australia.
He has worked at state and federal levels of government in Australia, in non-government organisations (both voluntary and paid), along with consulting to private companies, peak bodies and governments in Australia and South-East Asia. This has included grassroots animal welfare work with dogs and cats in developing countries, and in regulatory roles for livestock welfare in Australia.
Russell holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Veterinary Technology) from the University of Queensland, a Master of Veterinary Public Health Management from The University of Sydney, additional qualifications in government and project management, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.