RSPCA farewells and thanks Gary Humphries, welcomes new chair Dr Richard Russell

Newly appointed RSPCA Australia Chair has warmly thanked his outgoing predecessor Gary Humphries for his almost four years of dedicated service to the organisation.

Dr Richard Russell is a long-standing independent director of RSPCA Australia, who will take up the role of Chair effective 18 May 2019.

In his first formal engagement at the helm of Australia’s foremost animal welfare organisation, Dr Russell acknowledged Mr Humphries’ dedication to animal welfare and RSPCA Australia.

“Gary Humphries has been a long-time supporter and advocate for the RSPCA and for animal welfare in Australia, in both his personal and professional life,” he said.

“He continued that commitment in his capacity as Chair of RSPCA Australia, and in that time, he has been a driving force in progressing the welfare of animals in Australia.

“I know I can speak for my fellow Board members when I say we feel very fortunate to have had his leadership at the helm of our organisation.

“Gary came into this role with the vision to continue and foster RSPCA’s strong science-based positions and policies and ensure the organisation’s continuation of providing evidence-based solutions to key animal welfare issues.

“His endeavours in those areas have been a great success, I look forward to continuing that legacy and maintaining our focus on continuous and positive science- and evidence-based animal welfare improvement,” said Dr Russell.

Mr Humphries was a strong supporter of the important campaigns run by the RSPCA including the treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs, the appalling conditions facing sheep in live exports to the Middle East, legislation to outlaw the testing of cosmetics on animals, and the campaign to end battery cages in domestic egg production.

Dr Richard Russell has been an independent member of the RSPCA Australia national board of directors for over three years and brings to the position a wealth of experience and a passion for continuing the RSPCA’s work into its 148th year.

Dr Russell is 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.

“Three and a half years with RSPCA Australia means I know what great organisations make up the RSPCA federation in Australia, and what talented and dedicated staff and volunteers bring it to life,” said Dr Russell.

“I am honoured to be given the opportunity to Chair, and am determined to make a positive contribution.

“Every animal deserves a life worth living and all of us feel some level of responsibility for that animal, and this applies whether it is a companion animal, a farm animal, a working animal, a native animal or a wild introduced species.

“I’m looking forward to continuing and building upon our valuable relationships with industry and government, and I’m privileged to help steer RSPCA Australia into the future,” said Dr Russell.