LYNNE Bradshaw believes her nomination for West Australian of the Year is actually a group effort.
The Kallaroo resident has been nominated in the Community Award category, having volunteered with the RSPCA for nearly two decades after joining the WA board in 1997.
Mrs Bradshaw said she was prompted to help the RSPCA after she saw an animal cruelty case on television.
“It was shocking and I remember screaming at the TV,” she said.
“My husband said if you really feel that strongly, go and do something about it.
“I joined so I could, what I thought, go down from my busy business life to help clean up dog poo but what I didn’t realise at the time was the RSPCA in WA was not really a very big operation.
“It worked out of a very small house in Cannington and there was no animal shelter.
“There were just two or three inspectors on the road and a few people who were running education programs voluntarily.
“It was a very, very small organisation and the fact that at the time it had been around over 100 years was very surprising to me.”
Mrs Bradshaw said she was asked to join the board and she stood for election. In 2004, she was elected president and in 2006 she became the first female president of RSPCA Australia.
She was in the voluntary role until 2013 but is still the RSPCA WA president.
“I seem to have been born with a love and empathy for animals and I think that’s come from my grandad and through my mother’s side,” she said.
“I lived in an area in the UK on the country fringe of Manchester and a lot of the people I went to school with lived in rural areas, so I spent most of my holidays on farms.”
“I was brought up around those kinds of animals but they weren’t mine, so I always had a desire that I would have animals myself.”
Mrs Bradshaw said she had had many animals in the past but at the moment she has a rescue dog called Dennis, a labradoodle called Billi and she helps foster a rescue border collie with her neighbours.
When she was told of the nomination, she said she was humbled.
“Then I thought ‘well that’s recognition for everybody who’s working voluntarily or employed by the organisation or supports the work we do in the community’,” she said.
“It’s a reward to me but it’s for all of us who have taken the animal welfare message and made it fly.”
Mrs Bradshaw also serves on the Telethon Kids Animal Ethics committee, the Ausbiotech WA committee and on the WA Animal Welfare Advisory committee.
The awards will be announced on June 3 at a WA Day gala dinner.