Dr Monika Merkes, Dipl Päd, BSW, MHSc, PhD (Public Health), President
Monika has spent her professional life in state and local governments, the community sector and academia as a social researcher, a consultant, a project manager, developing social and health policy and involved in community development. She is an Honorary Associate with the Australian Institute for Primary Care & Ageing at La Trobe University and a member of the Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee.
Steph Geddes, Vice PresidentSteph first became involved in the animal welfare movement approximately 25 years ago when she became a member of The Humane Society of Australia (Vic.). After some years on the committee she was elected President. During this time she was also employed by Animals Australia as Office Administrator and retired after 20 years.
Cheryl Veitch, Treasurer
Cheryl worked for an energy company for most of her career in CapeTown, London, Singapore and Melbourne. She completed the Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare at Monash in 2007 and is a volunteer member of various animal welfare bodies in Australia as well as the Red Cross. She was involved in corporate governance at a government agency in Melbourne before moving to Brisbane in 2011.
Shatha Hamade, Committee Member
Shatha is the Legal Counsel for Animals Australia here in Melbourne, and former Legal Counsel for RSPCA SA where she ran their general legal matters and their prosecutions. Prior to moving to SA to take up the role with RSPCA, she worked as a commercial lawyer for two prominent commercial law firms, and as Judge's Associate to the [then] most senior Judge of the Federal Court of Australia. Prior to a career in law, Shatha was a senior Project Manager for a major financial institution where she managed large projects ranging from IT roll-outs to product development (retail and investment products). Shatha holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters in Commerce from the University of Sydney. Her career change into law was driven solely by her desire to become an advocate for animals, where she went on to complete a Juris Doctor in Law from the University of Melbourne in 2008. In 2012, Shatha was awarded the Australian Young Lawyer of the Year by the Law Council of Australia.
Rob Buttrose, B.A. (Hons.), Master of Cognitive ScienceRob has an academic background in philosophy and computer science and a long standing interest in the welfare of animals. He has co-authored a number of recent articles on animal experimentation with a particular focus on ethical justification.
Dr Peter Lange, BSc MBBS FRACPDr Peter Lange is a consultant physician and geriatrician.
Dr Eleonora Gullone, PhD, Psychologist
Dr Gullone, currently an adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University, is a psychologist with an academic background. Her academic career began in 1991. For much of her career, she has actively engaged in research examining human-animal interactions resulting in many published articles, chapters, conference papers and books. She served as a committee member of Animal Liberation Victoria, and later founded and chaired a group within the Australian Psychological Society focused on promoting positive human-animal interactions. In 2014 she began active engagement with the Animal Justice Party (AJP) and ran as an AJP candidate for the seat of Prahran in the Victorian state election. She also stood as an AJP candidate for the seat of Higgins in the 2016 federal election. In February, 2015 she took on the role of campaign coordinator for the AJP campaign to ban greyhound racing and she founded the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds shortly after that time. She believes that we need to adopt compassionate and cruelty free lifestyle choices, for our own sake and that of all of other living beings on this planet.