Meeting the needs of companion animals - Australia CAN

Meet our Directors

Melissa Penn

President, NSW delegate
Melissa is the General Manager of Sydney Dogs & Cats Home, previously the Vice President of their Board, and committed supporter and volunteer with the home for over 20 years. 

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Melissa has over 25 years’ experience in Operations & General Management, Project & Change Management and Leadership & Governance. Passionate about Animal Welfare & Leadership, Melissa is excited to be joining SDCH to support them to succeed through challenging periods of change. 

Dr Megan Alessandrini

Vice President, Tasmanian delegate
Megan has a keen and long-standing interest in animal ethics, assisting in the development of our Positive Ageing in the Company of Animals Project and attending the 2015 Roundtable on Animal Welfare in Canberra.  

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A member of the Dogs’ Home of Tasmania board for 12 years and our board since 2010, she lives in Hobart and works as a senior lecturer in politics and policy at the University of Tasmania. 

Katie Garrett

Treasurer, Queensland delegate
Katie has eighteen years' experience in marketing, communications and business management, with diverse knowledge across non-profit, animal welfare, health and specialist consulting, within the private and public sector. 

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She has more than 10 years’ experience working and volunteering within the companion animal welfare industry including time as a member of the University of Queensland Animal Ethics Committee (Animal Welfare Representative). Katie is passionate about community and social causes, particularly animal welfare, and has been a long-standing supporter of the work of Animal Welfare League Queensland. She lives on the Gold Coast with her husband, two children and a ginger tabby cat who rules the house. 

Sue Hedley OAM

West Australian delegate, Founder of SAFE Inc (Saving Animals From Euthanasia)
Sue previously worked primarily in human services, driving towards de-institutionalising care in the welfare sector. 

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It was a natural progression to champion the foster care model in animal welfare as the best means to achieve zero euthanasia for re-homable pets. Sue established SAFE Karratha in 2003 and the organisation is now a large network of branches, volunteers and supporters across Western Australia. 

Jennifer Fleming

Victorian Delegate
Jennifer joined Lort Smith in late 2021. Her extensive experience spans health, financial services, community services, energy and fast-moving consumer goods. 

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She has held positions with Baptcare as Executive General Manager, Mission & Corporate Development, the Victorian Government as a Deputy Secretary, Corporate Chief Strategy Officer, Department of Economic Developments, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Girl Guides Victoria as the Chief Executive Officer, Medibank Private as the Group GM Strategy and Transformation and other senior roles with ANZ Bank, National Australia Bank and A.T. Kearney. Jennifer joined Lort Smith at an exciting time of growth with their second site opening in Campbellfield and the redevelopment of North Melbourne Animal Hospital. 

Mark Wild

Tasmanian delegate
Mark has extensive experience across the NFP and corporate sectors with a keen interest in strategy, governance and business excellence, and is valued for his management and leadership skills. Mark is passionate about animal welfare and advocating for businesses across the NFP sector. 

Dr Angus Henderson

Victorian Delegate
Angus has an accomplished track record in strategic management and business planning, with a main focus on healthcare and medical technologies. Prior to his current role as Director of Enterprise Strategy at Monash Health, Angus has held various senior public and private sector positions and has led initiatives to promote business partnering as a way to drive innovation and growth. 

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“Having always had pets and enjoyed the devoted companionship of several dogs, I am thrilled to be a part of the CANA Board and for the opportunity to help the organisation grow and continue the wonderful services it provides to support animal health and wellbeing and promote the human-animal bond” 

Jane Donnelly

Queensland Delegate
Jane is an experienced and energetic Director with a demonstrated history of leadership within the Financial Services and Telecommunications Sectors. The ability to navigate strategic shifts has been a core thread throughout a diverse career in sales, management and transformational turnaround within large International and Australian organisations.

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She is passionate about , customer experience, strategy and elevating organisational performance and culture to thrive in times of competition and reform. Jane has a deep experience in retail management, project leadership and change acceleration programs. Jane has been involved with the Telstra Womens Awards and Telstra Business Awards as a judge 2016-2018 and an active board member on several Not for Profit Boards . Jane is passionate about community and social causes and has been a long standing supporter of the Animal Welfare League Qld Jane is married with 1 daughter, 4 grandchildren and lives on the Gold Coast Qld. 

Trish Ennis

CEO, Companion Animal Network Australia
Trish started her working career as a nurse training at the Royal Children's and the Austin Hospitals in Melbourne. She then moved into marketing and started her own Marketing Agency servicing many multinational companies with projects including product launches, design, branding, events, sales promotion and advertising. 

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Trish is an experienced, strategic Marketing, Communications and Event Management Leader who turned her talents to the Not-for-Profit sector working with charities such as Cathy Freeman Foundation, Camp Quality, Leading Aged Services, Music Outback Foundation, Cabrini Hospital Emergency Department and Bayley House. Trish joined us (formerly Animal Welfare League Australia) in 2019. With the support of the Board, AWLA was then transformed into CANA focusing on Companion Animals, the human-animal bond and everything it takes to build and sustain a better place for animals and humans alike. 

Imagine a future where every dog and cat is safe and wanted - Australia CAN

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