2019 RSPCA WA State Award Winners Revealed
Three committed animal welfare heroes were recognised today by RSPCA WA at a State Awards Presentation.
The presentation was hosted by RSPCA WA Chair Lynne Bradshaw AM and held on World Animal Day – an international day of action for animal welfare and a fitting time to celebrate the winners.
The RSPCA WA State Awards Program is designed to recognise commendable acts of bravery, compassion and advocacy carried out by individuals or groups with the purpose of saving animal’s lives or improving animal welfare standards in Western Australia.
Members of the public were invited to nominate deserving individuals, groups and even animals across five categories: RSPCA WA Humane Award, RSPCA WA Youth Award, RSPCA WA Community Action Award, RSPCA WA Volunteer of the Year Award and RSPCA WA Animal Bravery Award.
Three winners were chosen across three categories by a dedicated Awards Committee made up of five experienced individuals, who work in animal welfare, media and the not-for-profit sector.
The RSPCA WA State Awards 2019 winners are:
RSPCA WA Community Action Award: Mick Fullerton
RSPCA WA Youth Award: Trinity Sorenson
RSPCA WA Volunteer of the Year Award: Kate Black
More information on Mick, Kate and Trinity’s efforts below.
Comments attributed to RSPCA WA Chair Lynne Bradshaw AM:
“RSPCA WA received some strong nominations for the awards this year, and the process of narrowing these down was very challenging for the Committee.
“We’re thrilled to announce the winners for 2019, and are humbled to share in celebrating their efforts.
“Mick, Kate and Trinity’s achievements are truly uplifting. Each has generously given their own time and considerable energy to save animals' lives and improve welfare outcomes in WA.
“I’d like to thank those who submitted a nomination, and encourage people from across WA to do so next year.
“RSPCA WA hopes that by recognising the efforts of these individuals, a ripple effect will be created to inspire others to treat animals with kindness and compassion.”
More information about award winners:
Certified Snake Catcher Mick Fullerton is driven by his love of reptiles – and wants to do anything in his power to help keep them safe.
Mick works full-time as a welder, but is on call 24/7 to rescue reptiles and other wildlife in need as a volunteer.
Mick has been offering venomous snake relocation and wildlife rescue for about 15 years through Western Reptile Removal.
In the summer months, Mick can be called upon to relocate up to 15 reptiles a week – and he does all this after work and on weekends for no charge to encourage more people to take this option.
Most of Mick’s rescues are venomous snakes inside people’s houses or on their property. He has also rescued many injured reptiles over the years and nursed them back to health before releasing them.
Mick is passionate about dispelling myths surrounding native snakes, and happily shares his knowledge with the public – both in person and through Western Reptile Removal’s Facebook page. Mick also has plans to host educational presentations at schools and shopping centres.
In IApril 2018, when Trinity Sorenson learnt – through her mum’s work in remote WA – that there were many dogs suffering with ticks in communities along the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley, she made it her mission to help them.
15-year-old Trinity saved her own money to buy supplies, and enlisted the help of several family members to make the 3000km journey during her school holidays. Trinity and her family then worked to remove ticks from about 30 dogs.
Trinity also shared her knowledge, empowering locals to continue with parasite prevention in the future. On the trip home, the group stopped at a roadhouse, where the owner was struggling to coax a litter of abandoned puppies out from underneath his shop.
Trinity was quick to assist, and managed what the owner thought impossible in rescuing the puppies. She even managed to organise good homes for the puppies in nearby Derby.
Then, late last year, Trinity was given a school research project and chose to educate her classmates on the plight of battery hens.
For the project, she rescued three battery hens, documenting her dedicated care, and their progress, in a moving video which encourages higher-welfare choices. Since then, she’s continued to love and care for these animals.
Kate has been one of RSPCA WA's most outstanding volunteers since joining us in May 2016.
She has generously given more than 830 hours of her time in the shelter, RSPCA’s retail stores and wherever else support is needed.
Kate was integral to the creation of RSPCA WA’s Cat Corp team – a group of highly knowledgeable volunteers who work intensively with the cats to improve their behaviour and bring them out of their shell – helping them find loving homes, sooner.
She acts as a mentor to new volunteers, helping them feel welcome and confident in their role. Kate also created a volunteer group to make toys for the shelter animals. The group’s colourful handiwork is on display in almost every condo in the cattery.
Kate’s ability to think out of the box, and come up with creative ideas has had a great impact on RSPCA WA’s programs, and the animals in our care.