On 17th November 2023, the Animal Welfare League NSW hosted its inaugural major industry conference, “A Better Journey – Elevating Animal Care Through Innovation.” This landmark event, led by our CEO Stephen Albin, brought together leading voices in animal welfare from across NSW and Australia, focusing on pioneering approaches in the field. 

The conference opened with a speech by Marg Steel, our then-President, setting an inspiring tone. Keynote speaker Naomi Elkin, Executive Producer of ‘The Dog House Australia,’ delved into the profound emotional connections between humans and animals, captivating the audience. Highlighting AWL NSW’s forward-thinking vision, Stephen Albin unveiled our new three-year strategy, steering the organisation towards groundbreaking paths in animal care. 

A thought-provoking pre-lunch panel, featuring John Grima & Siggy Grima of Kellyville Pets, Brett Whitworth from Office of Local Government and Cllr Karress Rhodes from Liverpool City Council, spotlighted the need for broader collaboration in animal welfare across government and private sectors.  

The afternoon sessions continued to engage attendees with Dr Jacquie Rand discussing community cat management, Dr Joanne Righetti exploring animal behaviour, and Michelle Lang from Nestlé Purina shedding light on the latest trends in pet nutrition. Dr Kim Filmer rounded off the speaker series with an overview of the latest advancements in animal welfare in NSW. 

The conference concluded with our inaugural AWL NSW Volunteer awards dinner, where two of our staff, Carol Deudney from Shoalhaven Branch and AJ Deirmendjian from our Veterinary Clinic at Kemps Creek Shelter, being the first ever recipients of the Presidents Volunteer of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year Awards, celebrating the remarkable achievements in animal welfare within the NSW community. This event not only served as a platform for sharing expertise and strategies but also played a pivotal role in uniting animal welfare professionals and enthusiasts, thereby making a substantial contribution to the field.

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