Meet the PetRescue team
We’ve created an environment where the best talent in animal welfare, technology and marketing can use their knowledge and expertise for good, and we’re extremely proud of the team that drives our mission today.
Founding Director + Partnerships & Programs
Vix has her eyes firmly fixed on a future where every pet is safe, respected and loved. Her focus - the single-minded goal of seeing an end to the killing of Australia’s homeless pets.
Vix co-founded PetRescue in 2004. She works with corporates, academics and community rescue groups to create and run programs that create genuine impact, transforming the lives of pets and people.
Vix doesn’t just think outside of the box - she will turn that box inside out, make a rocket out of it and launch it into the stratosphere in the pursuit of a safer, happier future for rescue pets. Status quo be damned.
Vix is passionate about bringing the advantages of the for-profit sector to the NFP world, especially in the use of technology to help drive social change, driving innovation to grow capacity, and creating jobs to attract fresh talent to the animal welfare industry and create positive change.
She’s also a Delta qualified behavioural trainer with a special interest in anxiety and related aggression. Prior to PetRescue, she ran her own behavioural training business and worked in canine behaviour at RSPCA shelters in three states. Vix can spot a dog with whale eye at ten paces and is passionate about creating a low-stress world for pets.
Vix was awarded EY’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014, is a judge on the Companion Animal Rescue Awards panel, and juggles parenthood, a parade of foster kittens, two cats, and her very senior dog Mikalla. Just quietly, she’s also partial to a bit of interpretive dance.
Managing Director + Tech & Design
Patima leads the team at PetRescue with the MD hat on (which she self-describes as more like a sombrero) and heads up all things related to operations for our whole organisation. She amplifies everyone’s strengths and encourages a culture of teamwork, ensuring that we’re set up for success and continue to drive impact in the work that we do. Since joining our team, she’s created and implemented valuable internal processes for communication and workflow so that we can work together as smoothly as possible.
She uses her wide breadth of knowledge and experience in product, marketing, design and web development to rally the whole team around a shared vision and roadmap so that we can really focus on creating a future where every pet is safe, respected and loved!
With over a decade of experience in the creative tech industry and leading successful teams, we’re very lucky to have Patima here to spearhead an inclusive, supportive and balanced workplace with a culture that endorses work/life balance and self-care.
Her incredible energy, perhaps only matched by her four-legged sidekick named Mash, keeps us inspired, motivated and ready to slay the day.
On weekends, you’ll probably find her patting and swooning over (any) doggos and cattos, outdoors somewhere, enjoying a great gin or soaking up energy at her favourite place: the beach.
Fun fact: Patima was once in an all-girl band! We’re still waiting for her to share a tune with us...
Non Executive Director
Matt is the Chair of PetRescue, bringing his experience as a venture capitalist and angel investor to help navigate us towards accelerating growth, achieving milestones, and sustainably scaling operations to meet our big, hairy audacious goals!
An investor and entrepreneur, Matt has been mentoring and supporting tech companies in Perth for over a decade. He works full time as the CEO of ASX-listed video analytics company icetana.
Matt is a Perth native who obtained his Chartered Accountant qualification in 1992. After 11 years in Europe working in telecoms M&A he returned to Perth and co-founded a software company that raised over $2.5m in angel funding. In 2008 he co-founded a $40m venture capital fund which counts icetana amongst its investees.
In conjunction with his PetRescue and icetana roles he is the Chair Spacecubed Ventures (a coworking provider) as well as a director of AEGIC (a grains technology research organisation).
In 2017 he was named by the WA IT and Telecoms Association (WAITTA) as the Pearcey Western Australian Entrepreneur of the Year.
Non Executive Director
Gina joined the PetRescue board in 2021 to help create a safer future for Australian pets.
She brings her wealth of knowledge and experience to support the PetRescue team.
Gina is Chairman of GDI Property Group and GDI Funds Management and a Non-Executive Director of The George Institute for Global Health and George Investment Ventures.
In her past life, Gina served as a personal assistant to the Crown Prince of Jordan, and was involved in brokering a peace treaty between Jordan and Israel. She has also held previous roles at Westpac and St Hilliers including senior general management, corporate affairs, stakeholder engagement, human resources and project management.
Gina wears many hats as a philanthropist and is passionate about making a difference in the community. From 2005 to 2010 Gina was Chief Executive Officer of Philanthropy Australia and served for five years as a founding Advisory Board Member of the ACNC.
She co-founded, and is a former Chairman of the Women’s Community Shelters Limited (WCS), which under her leadership developed a new social franchise model to establish women’s shelters in partnership with local communities, replicating the model, and taking it to scale. She is also a former Non-Executive Director of Landcare Australia Limited and Youth Off the Streets.
She has established strong professional, business, government and community links across metropolitan and rural and regional Australia and her professional profile includes an entry in Australia’s Who’s Who. She is also a member of the 30% Club Australia.
Projects & Programs
Currently overseeing the Home2Home and Safe & Sound Pets programs, Laura’s role at PetRescue is to bring people and skills together to smash our animal welfare goals and make things great for pets around Australia.
Prior to taking the reins for special projects, Laura was smashing out digital marketing goodness at PetRescue, helping us connect with thousands of pet lovers and expanding the PetRescue online community.
As someone who enjoys being organised and having a bit of routine, really, the only kind of chaos Laura likes in her life is binging doughnuts left and right.
A mother of three two-legged children and one four-legged child, when Laura isn’t working, her days are spent changing nappies and playing with superheroes!
Laura is also an undercover knitter and hopeful gardener who enjoys a walk along the coast listening to podcasts about health and crime. #confused
Projects & Programs
Laurel is on a mission to convert every human being into a cat lover. And she’s been pretty successful so far.
A passionate animal welfare advocate, Laurel leads the Community Care Squad. She’s responsible for managing and delivering the innovative programs, projects, campaigns, and platforms that we're able to provide for free to thousands of pet adopters, rescue members, and progressive community organisations Australia-wide.
Having been part of the PetRescue team for a number of years, Laurel knows the wonderful PetRescue community inside out! She knows what the ‘big rocks’ are and creates space for them to happen - contributing strategically and helping the team to execute a shared vision. Always looking for ways to make things even more awesome, she’s all about identifying gaps and opportunities that can help PetRescue further our mission to ensure every pet is safe, respected and loved!
Aside from being the glue that holds the Community Care squad together, she is also in charge of choosing #FridayBangers for the team’s weekend kick-off. And she takes this responsibility very seriously.
Laurel keeps her zen out of work hours with a morning surf, followed by a latte and snuggle with her resident cats, Penny Lane and Bowie, and the ever-rotating roster of kittens calling her foster room home.
Marketing, Fundraising & Communications
Alesha leads the Marketing Team at PetRescue. Our digital marketing superstar, she uses her creative genius to connect PetRescue to the pet-loving community.
Her extensive experience in digital marketing, brand strategy, creative direction and project management, combined with an inquisitive mind, make her the best ‘Captain’ to bring all our squads together to collaborate on campaigns and projects. She’s a classic Virgo, so her exceptional skills in time management, planning, creativity and her eye for detail are ‘chef's kiss’ - you should see her in action!
When she’s not working, you’ll find her by the ocean, hanging out with her handsome floofer, Obi, pottering around her herb garden or perfecting a pasta sauce.
If somebody made a movie on Kelly’s life, they’d really have their work cut out for them. From volunteering at a turtle conservation centre in Costa Rica and helping build a school in Cambodia to living in Mexico for almost a year, Kelly has most certainly been there, done that. And it’s this enthusiasm for connecting with people that helps her thrive in her role as a Partnership Development Manager.
At PetRescue, Kelly manages corporate partnerships and helps us drive collaborations with fellow pet lovers and animal welfare champions in the community.
Kelly was taking the big scary advertising world by storm before she decided to pursue her passion for animal welfare, and use her expertise in client engagement and project management to create positive change for rescue pets.
What drives Kelly to get out of bed everyday is a personal mission to build effective partnerships that she can leverage to help shape the future for vulnerable pets and give them a fighting chance.
When she isn’t working, you can catch her deep in Italian books trying to become bi-lingual, perfecting her ice-cream making, mapping out the next perfect location to watch a water sunset or playing with her extremely entertaining and curious kitty cat, Mila.
Besides rock climbing, one of the things Tom is most passionate about is building digital experiences for people, and using his coding skills to create meaningful change. And that's how he ended up at PetRescue!
With over 10 years of experience as a developer, Tom’s mission is to help implement new features to help connect thousands of pets with potential adopters, and help take the load off member rescue organisations.
When Tom isn’t lost in code world, he likes to hit up the farmer’s market, and takes pride in his ability to lug around 10kgs of veggies with a smile. So if you ever need a hand with your groceries, we’re happy to outsource him for the job.
Stephen is our Fun-draising Manager at PetRescue. He loves making donors and supporters feel appreciated by showing them how their contributions make a real difference in the lives of pets and their people. With his contagious positivity and passion for connecting people to the cause, Stephen creates happiness wherever he goes (it could also be the doughnuts he brings to the office)!
When he signs off from work, Stephen loves to spend time with his loved ones - if they’re traveling the world together, even better. He's a total beach bum and can often be found soaking up the sun, sand, and surf. His two Chow Chows, Stella and Wilbur, are always by his side. They're as different in personality as they are in fur colour, and both love a good cuddle and pat (and Stephen does too).
Digital Marketing & Communications
Em is part of the marcomms team at PetRescue, where she creates content and resources for the pet-lovin’ public and the amazing PetRescue member community while also embracing her inner data nerd!
A digital marketing whiz, Em loves her role because she gets to use her awesome communication skills and creativity to help find pets homes and create tons of happiness along the way while hanging out with the cutest office dogs!
When she clocks off, she hangs out with her furry BFF Rosie and spends her time reading, gymming, binging Schitt's Creek and cooking (and eating OFC!)
Digital Marketing & Communications
If you’re getting too distracted by all the cute pet photos on PetRescue’s social channels… Chantelle is the one to blame!
Chantelle loves all things social media and has been in the digital marketing and events spaces for some time before joining the team at PetRescue. Her well-rounded background has allowed her to try many exciting aspects of the industry after studying Screen Arts and PR. However, her favourites will always be social media content creation and strategy (putting her film degree to good use by making TikToks, of course!)
When she’s not posting on the ‘gram, you will find her with her adorable senior doggo, Duke, baking cupcakes, spending time at the beach or hiking a trail.
Chris is the point person for all the sparkles that you see on PetRescue’s platform. A big part of Chris’ work is ensuring that everyone using PetRescue, including adopters, rescue organisations, and pet owners, can seamlessly navigate the website.
Having always been passionate about creating a better future for pets, he loves that his role at PetRescue can help bring positive change to animal welfare while helping him grow personally and professionally.
Chris enjoys going for runs when he’s not showing off his coding wizardry. You can also catch him playing music in bands, going to gigs, and getting involved in a community that plays a part in sustaining and evolving the music scene. A man of many talents, Chris also likes to spend time on his side projects that include designing artwork for bands and screen printing t-shirts (he might create a lovely t-shirt for you if you ask nicely). And above everything else, he likes to hang out with his two cuddly felines, Luci and Xray!
Cleyton is one of PetRescue's talented developers. Resident Riddler, Cleyton loves the challenge of solving unique puzzles behind each request. He finds joy in the complexity of his tasks, enjoying the challenge of finding unique solutions to complex problems. What Cleyton loves most about working at PetRescue is the opportunity to help pets and work with a team of friendly, funny, and passionate individuals dedicated to the cause.
Outside of work, Cleyton enjoys spending time with his kids, teaching them life tips, and building things for them. His favourite activities with his family are creating puzzles, games, and riddles. He finds inspiration for these activities from his many adventures practising extreme sports in nature!
Member Care & Programs
Bella is part of the awesome Community Care Squad at PetRescue. Bella provides support to PetRescue member organisations (rescues, shelters, vets and councils) in all kinds of ways. Whether it’s helping them get started on the platform and listing pets for adoption or accessing PetRescue’s free services and programs. Bella facilitates PetRescue & Mars' Food Donation program as well as product donation drives for our members and the community.
Bella has always been passionate about animal welfare which motivated her to complete a Cert 3 in animal studies and join the RSPCA. What Bella loves the most about her role at PetRescue is that she gets to combine her degree in Marketing and Public Relations with animal welfare experience to help pets and people.
Outside of work, you’ll find her outdoors with her four-legged bestie, Zarla, by her side. Whether it's playing social sports like footy, finding the next best 4x4 adventure or soaking up the sun at the beach, she will always try to be amongst nature on her days off. She’s a social little critter and loves spending evenings sharing a meal, a glass of red and playing games with friends.
Wendy helps manage the Perth HQ and keep the wheels running for our Board and Execs. She also jumps on to assist with any on-going projects and programs, and communicates with PetRescue’s amazing donors.
With a background in investment banking, oil and gas, and contracts and procurement, Wendy decided to take the leap into a space that has her heart - animal welfare. She set out as a volunteer at RSPCA and made her way to a full time role at PetRescue.
Besides being able to pat office dogs everyday, what Wendy loves about her role is making a difference for so many pets through technology. Wendy loves being able to work towards a cause driven by love and kindness for pets, and enjoys the fact that no day is ever the same for her.
Outside of work she likes to spoil her four-legged bestie, Miss Poppy, who accompanies her to work every week. She enjoys relaxing by the beach with a great coffee, finding her next underrated food joint, shopping for a good bargain, and planning the next stamp on her passport.
The amazing Dr Di often gets asked by the team whether they can just download her incredible knowledge into their own brains, and once you meet her, you'll understand why!
Dr. Di is a walking encyclopedia, armed with an impressive PhD that dives deep into the world of improving assessments of dog behavior in shelters. She's had the privilege of collaborating with brilliant minds across the entire spectrum of companion animal welfare, management, research, and broader service provision throughout her career.
As a Program Specialist, Di gets to nerd out on data and support the team to assess and develop PetRescue programs. She also works in the Home2Home program, helping dog owners who enquire about rehoming to find the best pathways possible for their doggos, providing excellent advice and resources along the way.
Di loves that her role at PetRescue is an interesting blend of directly helping people and their pets, and 'big picture' work helping to advance the field of companion animal welfare and management towards a future in which pets and people are safe and supported, no matter what they are facing in life.
When she’s not busy helping people and pets, greenthumb Di is tending to the beautiful garden on her property, or spending time with her doggos Bolt, Reggie and Shinto and horse Sophie (who she’s trained to smile on command.) Yep, you heard that right – a smiling horse!
Merel is one of the faces of the Home2Home team and is passionate about helping pets and their owners stay together or new loving homes. With an empathetic approach, a knack for problem-solving, and an open mind, Merel has been helping furry families since the early stages of the program. She thrives on being part of the growth and development and has big, ambitious dreams for its future.
Growing up surrounded by all kinds of animals, the choice to combine her previous experiences in marketing, her Bachelor of Communication and Media Design and her passion for helping people and animals in need was already paved out.
Born and raised in the Netherlands, she quickly fell in love with Australia’s nature and culture. She’s always looking for new adventures, exploring beaches and discovering cute little coastal towns with her rescue doggo Kobe by her side. Now settled Down Under, she enjoys her daily routine, including sunrise walks, pilates sessions, dog parks, and the occasional wine.
Adoption Support Representative
Helping pets and people is what gives Vicki a spring in her step and a happy heart.
Having spent more than a decade working in animal care, Vicki cherishes bringing people and pets together. She loves that her role at PetRescue allows her to do this by helping adopters looking for a new furry family member, or pet owners looking for the best outcome for their beloved pet.
As a small child Vicki’s life ambition was to cuddle every animal she could find, and that obsession was something she never grew out of. That’s why seeing every pet safe, respected and loved means so much to her!
When she’s not trying to show friends (or let’s be honest…random strangers) every picture she’s ever taken of her three super-doggos Snoopy, Lacey, and Ada, Vicki plays music, reads books and loves being outside surrounded by nature.
Pet Adoption & Crisis Care Support
Have you ever hiked up the roadside with cows, goats, chooks, ducks, pigs and horses all in tow? Susan has!
As one of our helpdesk superstars at PetRescue, she ensures that everyone who reaches out to PetRescue for help is supported and is one step closer to finding their furry BFF.
Susan brings a treasure trove of animal welfare experience to the team, having worked in pounds, wildlife shelters, catteries and boarding kennels. She has also managed boarding facilities and has been a committee member of two council shelters. We told you she’s a superstar!
When Susan isn’t working to create a better future for pets, she’s learning more about them. On a continuous path to enlightenment, she already has a long list of achievements in her kitty, including certifications in dog behaviour and training, chicken behaviour and welfare, advanced wildlife care and management, and cognitive dysfunction in ageing pets. And she’s just getting started, folks.
Bryony finds immense satisfaction in assisting people during challenging times, transforming difficult situations into positive experiences. As part of the Home2Home team, she’s dedicated to helping people find loving new homes for their pets and supporting new pet owners in their adoption journey.
With over 15 years in the animal welfare world, Bryony is passionate about empowering pet lovers with the knowledge to build fulfilling and loving relationships with their furry companions, making sure every wagging tail gets all the love and cuddles they deserve!
On the weekend, you’ll catch Bryony exploring the world with her camera and snuggling her beloved cattos Askari and Louis, who also double as excellent lap warmers during winter! She’s also on a mission to find the best cup of coffee, frequenting the hidden cafes around her city.
Legal (Vital Vollie)
Shandré is the legal beagle at PetRescue and is good at sniffing out things to look out for so that we can be the best for all the pets!
She is originally from South Africa, has lived in and practised law in four countries so far, has crazy hair and generally has an opinion on everything! She hopes to one day be part of drafting legislation against cruelty to animals in Australia. She says that her most important achievement by far is being a fur-mom to her two mini-sausage rescue babies, Nina and Felix! They make everything in the world better and she is regularly distracted from work by their cuteness. Nina particularly enjoys attending Zoom meetings to people-watch whilst Felix barks his demands out to everyone!
Her loves include (in order of importance): all animals (especially dogs), cake, singing, the outdoors, and more recently (and much to her own surprise), triathlons!
Kelly is the design guru at PetRescue. She brings bucketloads of creativity to her role as a front-end developer, helping us provide a platform that is aesthetic, inclusive, and accessible to the larger PetRescue community.
As part of her role, Kelly ensures that the PetRescue website is up to date, user-friendly, and functioning smoothly. She was a core part of PetRescue’s Matchmakers project and hopes that one day, the process for pet adoption is more streamlined, and rescue pets can find their forever homes faster.
Kelly believes that the best part about her job is being able to put her ah-mazing visual and coding skills to create positive change for rescue pets in Australia!
When she’s not impressing us with her artistic flair, she’s busy impressing the rest of the world via her eye-popping Instagram page! Kelly is always up for adventures that involve scrumptious veggie food and weird but wonderful cocktails.
Our past vital vollies + awesome alumni
We are forever grateful to the amazing pet-loving humans who’ve contributed in so many ways to helping pets over the years! JB, Tarsha, Maree, Kelly, Nic, Nik, Claire, Mel, Andy, Alex, Taylor, Kathy, Rach, Iain, Jake, Davis, Jess, Zoe, Leonie, Ellen, Amanda, Lauren, Allyson, Laurel, Clodagh, Nicole, Akanksha, Stevo, Mog, Akshi, Nik, Shannon, Lodewijk, Siân, Katie, Brooke, Rebecca, Bec, Krystal, Elise, Andrew, Wan Chin, Lili, Alina, Talia, Kate, Brodie, Ophelie, Tom, Emma, Stefanie, Natasha (Tash), Katie, Stefanie, Michael , Brooke, Lisa, Krystal, Carol, Bec, Elise, Marlo, Jess, Rebecca, Rhys, Sue, Kirsten, Stefanie, Sue, Jo, Jess, Renee, Deb, Rebecca, Tim, Jon, Scott, Kayla, Tina, Tristan, George, Missy and Kandy.