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. 

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. 

Dr Alastair Stott

Victorian Delegate, Current President of Lort Smith
After starting his career as a veterinary surgeon in practices in the UK and Australia, Alastair ventured into the corporate world with roles with Bevington Consulting, Lonely Planet and Racing Victoria. He started his own mobile technology business before switching to the for-purpose sector with leadership roles with Carers Victoria and Guide Dogs Victoria. 

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In addition to his veterinary qualifications, Alastair has an MBA from the Melbourne Business School and is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course and the Centre for Ethical Leadership Ethical Leadership program. He has previously been a Director of Melbourne IVF and his family business Stott’s Correspondence College. Alastair also served as chief services officer at Beyond Blue supporting the Australian community to achieve their best possible mental health. “In my roles as a veterinary surgeon and at Guide Dogs Victoria, I have seen the positive impact animals can have on mental health and wellbeing. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to support Lort Smith deliver world-class, affordable animal health care.”  

Dr Penelope Moore

South Australian Delegate, Current Deputy Chair Animal Welfare League SA

Dr Penelope Moore is a governance specialist who has worked in the Australian Public Service, Higher Education and Local Government. She has qualifications in history, classics and business from the University of Tasmania, the University of South Australia, and the Harvard Kennedy School.

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Penelope is the Deputy Chair of the Animal Welfare League SA and is a member of the Finance Audit and Risk and People and Culture Sub-Committees. She lives in Adelaide with her partner and rescue cat Luna-Bella. 

Steven Weinert

South Australian Delegate, CEO Animal Welfare League
Having previously served as Chair of Animal Welfare League of SA’s Board of Directors for four years (finishing in October 2022), Steven brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the animal welfare sector. Steven has over 30 years management experience across diverse industries within private and public companies, including the last 10 years as Acting CEO, CFO and COO at Wine Australia. Steven joined AWLSA as CEO in May 2024 and is excited to join the Board of CANA. 

Samantha Bing

West Australian Delegate (SAFE Inc)
Samantha is an dedicated and energetic not for profit leader, currently working in the human services sector, specifically disability and homelessness. She became a Board Director of SAFE Inc in 2023 after the loss of her rescue dog and has found a deep passion in spending her time supporting the mission of rehoming companion animals. 

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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