November Newsletter from the Chair

Dear friends,

I write to you buoyed by our federal and state governments’ recent positive steps to take action on climate change. The Minister for the Environment and Water has announced the release of the Threatened Species Action Plan 2022-32. We welcome this new plan, and look forward to meeting with Minister Plibersek to discuss how our VfCA community can play a key role in implementing it. Species extinction must end. 

The NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently released its draft Climate Change Policy and Action Plan for public comment. VfCA is making a submission and we urge you to personally make your voices heard too. The Environmental Defenders’ Office has put together this handy guide

In a recent speech, Prime Minister Albanese announced the government's new Urban Rivers and Catchments Program to help restore habitats for native species. He acknowledged that “we have moved beyond the false choice between acting on climate change and growing the economy… a focus on sustainability is not the enemy of development – rather it is fundamental to its success.”

VfCA will continue to engage with the government to ensure a world where animals and people can thrive in a healthy climate.


FUNDRAISING - big news!

Exciting News! After three years we have finally received Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status!

This means that every dollar over $2 donated to VfCA’s work is now tax deductible. We welcome your donations, large or small, as we increase our team to deliver our new 3-Year Strategic Plan.


We are proud to release our new 3-year Strategic Plan with four key focus areas: Educate, Collaborate, Trusted Advisor, Governance

Our goals are that:

  1. 100% of veterinary professionals understand the impact of climate change on companion animals, livestock and wildlife, and are willing to take climate action.  We will work with universities, TAFE, at conferences and specifically through our wonderful Climate Care Program to achieve this goal. 
  2. 100% of the broader animal care community understand the impact of climate change on animals, and the urgency of what needs to be done. We will collaborate with animal care organisations across Australia to ensure they and their members also understand, and are willing to act.
  3. Veterinary professionals have an increasingly influential voice for action on climate change through our media presence, rural and regional program, and continued government engagement. 
  4. VfCA has the resources we need to realise our Vision and Purpose. We are financially solid with strong governance structures in place

We welcome input into our coming Operation Plan. Our CEO Tara O’Connell will invite your feedback in coming weeks.


We are thrilled that Ben Tyler from Kakadu National Park has agreed to support the Board as our Indigenous Advisor. A proud Bininj man, Ben co-authored Walking In Gagudju Country and owns and operates Kakadu Kitchen, a proudly 100% Indigenous company producing wholesale beverages infusing Kakadu native botanicals for Australia's hospitality, tourism, and Indigenous bush food sectors.


With over 190 media mentions in the last quarter - our VfCA team and mediaspokes have been busy! Radio station 2ER reported on our recent submission to the review of the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and The Australian noted our comments on the NSW EPA's Climate Plan 

Deputy Chair Dr Angela Frimberger answered CNN’s questions about the carbon footprint (or carbon pawprint) of pets! She provided some fantastic tips about how to reduce the impact of our fluffy friends in their article here, which was even translated into Spanish! Garnett Hall also spoke with Sky News about the effect of La Nina and WA's hot summer on animals.

And for this year’s World Animal Day, I wrote this article on koalas and climate change, which was picked up by over 80 regional media outlets.


We’re delighted that our membership this quarter has grown from 1500 members to over 2000! 

Those new to VfCA, welcome! To our established membership, thank you!

Our Community Engagement Manager Jesse is planning volunteer induction evenings via zoom. If you would like to volunteer and learn more, please contact Jesse on [email protected]


We welcome you to help out at the Vet Nurses’ Council of Australia Conference in Perth in April 2023.

To host a VfCA Stand at any conferences Australia-wide, please be in touch and we will set you up with banners, flags and brochures!

Pictured here at Bark in the Park in Springfield is House Speaker Milton Dick MP (in navy) , Keegan (cleverly disguised) from Charis Mullen MP’s office, our wonderful volunteer Barb Wilson and myself with Niles the dog!


VfCA had a stand at Vet Expo in Sydney on 26-27 October. Deputy Chair Dr Angela Frimberger delivered a keynote speech on how climate change impacts animals. Volunteer Dr Mariane Morin spoke beautifully on the Climate Care Program and Dr Jeremy Watson about his experience creating Australia's first carbon neutral veterinary hospital. I also took to the stage to talk to the profession about the importance of getting to Net Zero. Thank you to all of you who came by to say 'Hi' and to our team on the stand!

As a volunteer-driven organisation, your generosity of time and energy is invaluable to ensuring urgent action to protect the animals we love and need from climate change.


The preliminary launch of the Climate Care Program has concluded and we’re now evaluating the feedback from 21 participating clinics across the country. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re delighted to read about the changes that have already been implemented. 

The official launch in scheduled for early 2023.

In the meantime, check out the resources page on our website and help us spread the word! If you haven't yet registered your interest in the program, you can sign up via our website to be kept up to date on the latest program information and launch announcements.

Vet Nurse and Climate Champion, Gina and her team
pictured at a Climate Care 'Lunch & Learn' session!


Yvon Choinard’s book Let My People Go Surfing  is inspirational.

Choinard recently sold his company Patagonia for US$3 billion, with the ongoing stakeholder now our planet. Patagonia has set a high bar for corporate environmental leadership and business owners all around the world are being inspired by his actions to join the 1% for the Planet Program.

My veterinary hospitals will be joining 1% for the Planet. If your business, however small, is keen to join us, please email me directly on [email protected].

Finally, you might enjoy my recent conversation with Dr Hubert and Dr Gerard on podcast The Vet Vault. I appreciated the opportunity to speak so candidly, with strong references to VfCA’s vision. Here it is!

For the animals we love and need.

Warmest regards,

Dr Jeannet Kessels
Chair, Vets for Climate Action
E: [email protected] W: