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).
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.
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.
Joining the RSPCA Australia board in May 2022, Jo McKennariey also sits on the RSPCA Qld board as a non-executive director.
Jo is a passionate and collaborative, strategic and enterprise thinking problem solver. She has over 15 years’ experience in executive, leadership and non-executive director roles across strategy, governance, corporate affairs and people and culture, and across a variety of industries and sectors including financial services, energy, transport, retail, not for profit, and government.
As a Principal at Davidson Advisory, Jo helps clients with culture, strategy and planning, systems and processes, structure, and capability and capacity.
Jo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics & Government (Double Major: Industrial Relations & Public Policy) from Griffith University and an Executive MBA from University of Melbourne. 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 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. She is passionate about community and social causes especially animal welfare and has been a longstanding supporter of the work of the RSPCA.
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.