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 joined the Board of RSPCA Australia in February 2018 and is also the Chair of RSPCA Darwin. He has been a member of RSPCA Darwin's Board since 2015.
Danny is an experienced executive and currently leads project implementations in the Northern Territory Government. Previously he had an extensive career in the energy industry having worked at AGL, Origin, EnergyAustralia and Jacana Energy, and started his career in travel and tourism with one of Europe's largest travel businesses, TUI.
With a wealth of leadership experience across commercial, strategic, operations and transformation, Danny also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in IT & Marketing, Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Engagement.
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 lives in Darwin with his husband Craig, and their spoilt dogs Fred and Molly as well as their brood of hens.
Danny was previously Treasurer of Mindil Beach Sunset Markets and Deputy Chair of Government House Foundation of the Northern Territory. Danny was also Alternate Chief Executive Officer at Jacana Energy.
Darren is Deputy Chair of RSPCA WA and joined the RSPCA Australia Board in July 2020. Darren is currently Principal of Ambition in Motion, an organization which provides strategic planning and execution support with experience across a range of industries including mining, manufacturing, insurance and retail. From 2007 to 2015 Darren was Partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers, and completed the AICD Director’s Program in 2014. He has been a strategy and management consultant to a range of industries for over 20 years, assisting Boards and executive teams develop and execute on growth strategy, operational performance improvement and innovation.
Deborah Hambleton joined the RSPCA Australia Board in 2015. Deborah has held a number of senior legal roles including at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Deutsche Bank, ASX and Allens Linklaters. Her areas of practice have encompassed corporate law, governance, mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets, but also law reform, regulation and policy-making.
Deborah is an AICD graduate and has held a number of non-executive director roles, including with Coliban Water and Kyneton District Health, chairing the Governance & Remuneration Committee at KDH. She is a member of several professional committees including with the Law Council of Australia and Governance Institute of Australia, as well as animal welfare legal committees including the Animal Welfare Committee, Law Institute of Victoria and Animal Welfare Lawyers, that she helped establish. Deborah also participates in the Not-for-profit Lawyers Network.
A member of RSPCA Queensland’s Board, Eileen Thumpkin became a Director of RSPCA Australia in 2006, as the RSPCA Queensland nominee, and is also a past President of RSPCA Queensland and RSPCA Australia.
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 andRSPCA fostering.
Jill Bottrall sits on the Board of RSPCA South Australia and joined the Board of RSPCA Australia, as RSPCA Australia’s nominee, in 2015.
Jill began her career as a newspaper and radio journalist. She spent 23 years working in Government and Opposition in Victoria and South Australia, 17 of which were as senior media adviser to former SA Premier Mike Rann. Jill is a regular commentator on politics and current affairs. Jill is proudly owned by a 16 year-old tabby and two rescued rabbits.