The story of the RSPCA in Australia is a story of people collaborating to create positive change for animals. It began in 1871 when Victoria (Australia) was still a fledgling British colony. A group of citizens met in Melbourne to discuss their concerns over the welfare of horses who were working in the city in harsh conditions. From that first grassroots meeting, the first SPCA in Australia was formed. In the years that followed, SPCAs opened in every state (province) and territory. Royal assignation was received in the 1900s, and in 1980, a separate national society, RSPCA Australia, was created primarily to ensure a consistent advocating voice for animal welfare across the country that could also leverage other collaboration opportunities. The RSPCA Federation was born.
The 8 RSPCA entities in each state and territory of Australia run animal rehoming shelters, provide veterinary services, investigate and prosecute animal cruelty complaints, educate the community on animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, and advocate for changes in policy, legislation, and practice that improve the welfare of animals.
As the leading and most trusted animal welfare organisation in Australia, the RSPCA federation advocates relentlessly to improve animal welfare and plays a major role in generating awareness and action relating to the welfare of animals across a range of industries, environments, and issues, such as animal welfare legislation, racing, puppy farming, layer hens in battery cages, farming practices, control of over abundant species, and live export.
While RSPCA has now grown to be one of Australia’s most recognized, loved and trusted charities, collaborating across a country as large and diverse as Australia isn’t always straightforward and the journey to unity throws up challenges.
Join RSPCA Victoria’s CEO, Dr. Liz Walker, as she shares this incredible story of Australia’s foremost animal charity, which has carved out a successful history through national collaboration and now looks to the future.