IT’S fitting RSPCA WA president Lynne Bradshaw should be honoured on Australia Day given a big part of her love of animals stems from a fascination with her adopted country’s reptiles.
Ms Bradshaw will today be appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to animal welfare and her work as a Perth businesswoman.
Born in Leeds in England, she first lived in Australia for four years in the 60s when her father worked on the Sydney Opera House.
“I got my love of animals when I lived in Sydney… believe it or not, I liked reptiles because we had lots of goannas in the backyard,” she said.
“I just have an affinity with nature, which I think in this day and age is very important.
“I think I was born with it… it just comes naturally to me, I don’t really think about it.”
The Kallaroo resident has been the president for the RSPCA’s WA branch since 2004.
Nationally, she became the first female president of the organisation in 2006, a role she held until 2013.
She considers the “absolute improvements” made in the live export industry, after pressure from the RSPCA, to be among the most satisfying achievements she has witnessed.
Another is the influence the organisation has had in changing the public’s perception around caged egg-laying chickens.
“The public have really taken on board and are demanding change to some of the traditionally old practices,” she said.
“That’s quite refreshing… particularly the younger generation, I honestly thought I’d never see that amount of change in my tenure.”
She hoped the ongoing investigations into puppy farms – the most recent search happened less than two weeks ago – would have a similar influence.
Ms Bradshaw emphasised the RSPCA walked a middle ground, which is why they came under criticism from both animal activists and meat industry figures.
“We get criticised by one end of the spectrum for not doing enough for animals and by the other side of the spectrum for doing too much,” she said.
“I think I’ve done quite a good job of walking that middle ground… that’s where mainstream society sits.”
As a businesswoman, her success running a medical technology company has left her with the great belief that WA has much to offer the national economy outside of mining.
It’s a notion she has pushed as a member of the Ausbiotech WA committee.
“I really think we’re just so well positioned,” she said.
“We’ve got innovation, we’ve got ideas.
“(But) a lot of our innovators go interstate or overseas.”