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About Us

Our History

In August 2019 the CEO of Farmers for Climate Action challenged a lifelong veterinarian by asking – What is the veterinary profession doing to address climate change?

A few weeks later we had a team of passionate people from our profession, and held our first formal meeting in early September 2019.  Veterinarians and vet nurses possess a fantastic skill set that makes us ideal for addressing the climate crisis; we’re energetic and empathetic, we have scientific knowledge and understanding, we’re great communicators and we’re trusted by the community. The only question was how do we engage these wonderful individuals and get them working together to solve such a daunting problem?

The solution was to create a new organisation dedicated solely to this cause, and by November 2019 Veterinarians for Climate Action had become a legal entity, was registered with the ACNC and had a full time employee working to build our organisation.

In December 2019 we put a call out to friends and followers and created our Board. We are formulating frameworks to create community organisations across the country, address sustainability in the hospital and train our members in media and communications.

We would love you to join us and contribute to solving such an important issue.

Our Structure

Veterinarians for Climate Action is set up as a Company Limited by Guarantee and is registered as a charity with the ACNC. We are also a member of the Climate Action Network Australia.

We are governed by a Board of Directors, which is in turn elected by you, our members. Our Board of directors is responsible for providing leadership and direction to VfCA and bears ultimate legal responsibility. Our governing constitution can be viewed here.

Below our Board sits three sub-committees:

  1. Reaching-In Sub-Committee. This group is responsible for our Community Groups, our Climate Smart in the Hospital program and improving climate literacy within our profession.
  2. Reaching-Out Sub-Committee. This group is responsible for policy and campaign development, media and changing the conversation.
  3. Treasury Sub-Committee. This group is responsible for overseeing the legal, financial and risk aspect of our organisation.

We currently operate in Australia, however we’d love to talk to you about reaching out into other countries as well!

 

What We’re Aiming to Achieve

Our Mission Statement
Our Mission Statement
We inspire the veterinary profession to advocate for and achieve climate action within and beyond our industry. This will benefit both our profession and the animals we care for, ensuring a sustainable future for all.
Our Strategic Goals
Our Strategic Goals
1) To improve awareness and communication regarding the impact of climate change on and through livestock, pets and wildlife, and thus to mobilise the veterinary profession to champion this cause.2) To formulate, promote and support policies to reduce and draw down greenhouse gas emissions.3) To formulate, promote and support the adoption of environmentally sustainable and climate-smart practices within the veterinary profession.
Our Cultural Values
Our Cultural Values
1) We are scientific and non-partisan.2) We understand biology and the principles of One Health; we care about human and animal welfare.3) We are precise, targeted and measured.4) We are approachable, integrative and work with existing communities and organisations.5) Our message is hope, not disaster.

Meet Our Board

Dr Jeannet Kessels - Board Chair
Dr Jeannet Kessels
Board Chair
Jeannet is responding with conviction and commitment to growing alarm at the effects of climate change on animals and the environment. She owns two awarded veterinary hospitals in Springfield, Queensland, engages in business consulting, and dearly enjoys her family. Her hospital’s community charity Groodles Australia has raised over $450,000 so far.
Dr Angela Frimberger - Public Officer
Dr Angela Frimberger
Public Officer
Angela was trained as a Climate Reality Leader by Al Gore’s The Climate Reality Project and the ACF in 2014. She then founded Climate Vets, a global network of animal health professionals concerned about climate change. Locally she’s a member of the Energy Forever Project and Climate Change Aus. Angela is a biologist, veterinary oncologist, mother, small business owner and climate advocate.
Dr Gary Beilby - Secretary
Dr Gary Beilby
Secretary
Gary is deeply passionate about species extinction and sees the climate crisis as an enormous contributor to this problem. He is a multi-talented professional who has enjoyed a long and very diverse career ranging from visual arts to veterinary conservation science. Gary currently runs the Animal Happiness Manning Vet Hospital and Mobile Service in Perth, Western Australia.

Meet Our Staff

Ben Cox - CEO
Ben Cox
CEO
Ben comes from a sustainability, engineering and business background and is incredibly passionate about climate change because of the impact it will have on future generations and the natural environment. He brings to the team a keen analytical mind, strong project management skills and a passion for implementing change at a political and business level. On top of his commitments with VfCA, Ben is currently undertaking a leadership fellowships with Progress Australia as well as a Community Organising fellowship with the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Meet our Patron

Prof Peter Doherty
Prof Peter Doherty
Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Medicine Prize with Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel, for their discoveries about transplantation and “killer” T cell-mediated immunity, an understanding that is currently translating into new cancer treatments. The first veterinarian to win a Nobel, he was Australian of the Year in 1997. Still active in research on immunity to influenza, he commutes between St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis and the Peter Doherty Institute at the University of Melbourne, where he now spends most of his professional time. Apart from his scientific output that can be found on PubMed, he is the author of several “lay” books, including: The Beginners Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize; A Light History of Hot Air; Sentinel Chickens: What Birds Tell us About our Health and the World; Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know, and most recently, The Incidental Tourist. Passionate about promoting an evidence-based view of reality, another book of Peter's: The Knowledge Wars is a “warts and all” view of science for non-scientists, even for people who don’t like science.  It also suggests how any thoughtful citizen can bypass the facile propagandists and probe the scientific evidence for and against some of the big issues, like climate change or GM foods.

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