About us

What we’re aiming to achieve

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

  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

  • We are scientific and non-partisan
  • We understand biology and the principles of One Health; we care about human and animal welfare
  • We are precise, targeted and measured
  • We are approachable, integrative and work with existing communities and organisations
  • Our message is hope, not disaster

Read our Position Statement for more information about why we decided to found this organisation.

Gundular Rhoades, one of our Board members, at a media event in 2019

Our history

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

A few weeks later we had found a team passionate people from our profession, with our first formal meeting held in early September. It was quickly realised that veterinarians and vet nurses posses a fantastic skillset 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 generously working to build our organisation.

In December we put out a call to friends, followers and our colleagues to submit applications to our Board, and as of the time of writing we are busy shortlisting the best mix of individuals to make our organisation the success it needs to be. In the meantime we're formulating frameworks to create community organisations across the country, address sustainability in the hospital and train our members in media and communications.

We are planning a formal launch in February, after the traditional Christmas rush which consumes our profession . In the meantime we'd love you to join us and help contribute to solving such an important problem.

Our Board

Learn about our wonderful and passionate founders.

Dr Jeannet Kessels Chair VfCA

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

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 VfCA

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.

Our Staff

Meet Ben.

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.

Ben Cox

Dr Jeannet Kessels is VfCA's Chairperson

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 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.

In late 2019 we put out invitations for people to express their interst in sitting in either our Board and/or Sub-Committees. We plan to finalise the selection process by the end of January.

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