Mission Statement

“Animal Care Australia (ACA) is the Peak Animal Welfare Body representing keepers and breeders of pet and companion animals in Australia”.

ACA encourages continued development of animal welfare standards and Codes of Practice for animal husbandry, breeding, training, sale and sporting exhibitions for a wide range of animal species. Our goal is to promote and encourage high standards in all interactions with the animals in our care. To encourage responsible pet ownership, and the respectful treatment of all animals in our community ACA continues to promote welfare education over regulation.

Right across Australia there are hundreds of community-based animal groups. These groups are the real animal welfare experts.

We encourage new animal keepers to join or at least familiarise yourself with your nearest community-based animal group. They have been animal welfare educators for many decades. Animal welfare is central to the day-to-day existence of the groups, their members and it is what we continue to endorse and encourage.

Our expertise is specialised and professional and all of us who keep animals must continue to strive for greater welfare outcomes.  We must never become complacent. We must never provide a reason for the animal rights movement to legitimately condemn us.

ACA Objectives

  • To represent Animal Care Groups as the peak animal welfare body
  • To engage and advise Government and legislators on welfare issues relating to pets and companion animals.
  • To protect the rights of ethical hobbyists & animal keepers to breed and keep pets and companion animals.
  • To clarify the difference between animal rights and animal welfare
  • To promote higher animal welfare outcomes

ACA Committee

Office Bearers

  • President: Michael Donnelly – elected until 2024 AGM
  • Vice President: Sam Davis – elected until 2026 AGM
  • Secretary: Michelle Grayson – elected until 2025 AGM
  • Treasurer/Public Officer: Sue Kowalczyk


  • Birds: Sam Davis – elected until 2026 AGM
  • Cats: Michelle Grayson – elected until 2025 AGM
  • Dogs: Kylie Gilbert – elected until 2025 AGM
  • Exhibited Animals: Tracey Dierikx – elected until 2026 AGM
  • Fish: vacant position
  • Horses & Livestock: Karri Nadazdy – elected until 2024 AGM
  • Native Mammals: Michael Donnelly – elected until 2024 AGM
  • Reptiles: Joanne Payne – elected until 2025 AGM
  • Small Mammals: Rachel Sydenham – elected until 2026 AGM

ACA Structure

Animal Care Australia is governed by a committee comprised of the Executive and Representatives from all pet & companion animal species.

The Animal Care Australia constitution provides for two categories of financial membership:

Members – who are animal keeping associations. These associations have voting rights and appoint relevant Species Representatives. They are predominantly hobbyist-based associations. Animal Care Australia recognises some of these organisations do have members who are breeders, but those individuals do not have influence over the Animal Care Australia Committee as the associations appoint representatives to participate in an Animal Advisory Group.    

Supporters – who can be individuals or other animal-specific organisations and these have no voting rights. 

Animal Advisory Groups are comprised of the Species Representative, at least one other ACA Committee member, and our members’ representatives. Upon approval of membership members are invited to participate in an Animal Advisory Group, providing our members with a voice.

The State & Territory Advisory Team is comprised of the Assistant to the President, at least one other ACA Committee member, and volunteer representatives from within each State or Territory.

Their task is to monitor and advise the Animal Care Australia Committee of animal-based reviews, proposed legislative changes, and other animal welfare concerns that would require Animal Care Australia’s attention. 

Animal Care Australia Membership breakdown: