Breaking the norm for Animal Management Workers are two Elcho Island women, Virginia Barratj and Sharon Wunungmurra. Based at Galiwin’ku, they are the first women to be formally employed by East Arnhem Shire through the Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA) Animal Management Worker (AMW) Project, run by AMRRIC. Virginia and Sharon have already been involved in animal health and welfare as volunteers in the local community, and AMRRIC is delighted to welcome them to the team.
The women have participated in training sessions run by AMRRIC staff Dr John Skuja, Eddie Bobongie and Dr Jan Allen, learning about dog health and management – from the treatment of dog and cat internal and external parasites, supporting desexing procedures, data collection and record keeping on community dogs, to the potential impact of dog diseases on human health.
In the ABA project’s first year, John, Eddie and Jan provided over 30 training sessions, made more than 25 community trips (most lasting a week or more) and, with the assistance of the Animal Management Workers employed by the program, supported more than 20 dog health and desexing programs.