In the 2019/20 Australian summer bushfires Zoos Victoria played a critical role, working alongside others, to support the health and well-being of wildlife across Victoria. In a natural extension of its threatened species program, ZV staff including vets, keepers, vet nurses, communications specialists, operations teams, and corporate staff rallied to support the bushfire response efforts. This included species extraction and ex situ housing, field assessments and transport, managing field triage units and staff and volunteers, providing veterinary care to injured wildlife, wildlife release, managing public queries and donations and providing expert advice and assistance to government departments and NGOs. All the while ensuring its core business of animal conservation and the operations of its 3 zoos continued. This panel presentation will share stories, wildlife welfare updates, lessons, and new developments 12 months on from the bushfires. The presentation will also share how Zoos Victoria is leading the way in developing stakeholder engagement strategies, wildlife emergency response training, and an internal organisational disaster management framework which dovetails into the state emergency management framework to ensure ZV is ready and prepared to respond to more frequent and extreme natural hazards and disasters and play a key role in recovery and rehabilitation of wildlife and threatened species.
Amanda is a specialist in stakeholder engagement, partnerships and relationship management, with a focus on disaster resilience and disaster risk reduction. A qualified lawyer, she has more than 20 years experience in roles spanning the corporate, government, legal, humanitarian, not-for-profit, research and community sectors in Australia and globally. Amanda's current focus is on finding ways to support place-based disaster recovery, resilience and risk reduction initiatives, and scaling up successful outcomes to inform policy and strategy.
Amanda has recently joined Zoos Victoria to develop and deliver strategies to increase wildlife resilience in disasters. She is a volunteer firefighter with her local fire brigade, volunteers with Australian Red Cross Emergency Services and is the co-founder and Vice President of the Australasian Women in Emergencies Network. Amanda was activated in the Black Summer bushfires in Australia in 2019-20 as a firefighter, as well as volunteering in evacuation and relief centres, and advising local and state governments on community relief and recovery strategies