Blogs

 

30 November
2016

Overcoming policy reform inertia through collaboration

Marcia Balzer
National Public Affairs Manager

Policy reform inertia. It’s a good description of our current political climate. Governments seem to be increasingly unwilling to make major reforms. Media diversification, minor parties, competing interest groups and short attention spans are all discouraging governments from making big policy decisions.

I recently had an opportunity to speak to a conference audience of fellow communication professionals on the theme of ‘communication innovation’. I thought it would be a great opportunity to look at some examples of how people are coming together in innovative ways to achieve change in an environment where governments seem to be suffering from reform inertia.

Read more >

 

6 October
2016

Will pets be part of our future?

Marcia Balzer
National Public Affairs Manager

With pet ownership declining, how can we make sure citizens of the future can enjoy all the great benefits pets can bring? How can we create more pet-friendly communities? And how do we do a better job of pet policy and regulation of companion animals to make this a reality?

Read more >

 

11 December
2015

Trust and transparency in the veterinary profession

Marcia Balzer
National Public Affairs Manager

A recent story broadcast on ABC TV’s 7.30 program cast suspicion on the ‘influence’ that pharmaceutical and pet food companies have on vets’ decisions and the AVA. It sparked discussion and reflection on where we currently are in relation to public trust, and whether anything has changed in the last year.

Read more >

 

17 November
2015

Take advantage of excess capacity

Graham Catt
Chief Executive Officer

I  recently attended the AVMA (our sister organisation American Veterinary Medical Association) Annual Economic Summit in Chicago.

From an economic perspective, there is no over supply of veterinarians in the USA. There is, however, excess capacity, which you may recall from high school economics, is the gap between the ability to supply goods and services and the actual level of demand in a given market.

Read more >

 

7 October
2015

Ready for positive transformation?

Marcia Balzer
National Public Affairs Manager

Some people spent their October long weekend with DIY projects, enjoying the unseasonably summery weather at the beach, or immersing themselves in football mania. Not me. For some reason, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to delve into Appreciative Inquiry.

I had come across the term before, but never explored it in any depth. When I stumbled across a mention in my social media meanderings last week, my internal autodidact jumped up and yelled, “Eureka! Both interesting and useful. Better get cracking.”

Read more >

 

4 August
2015

The path of progress – or the proof of the pudding!

Graham Catt
Chief Executive Officer

Over the past 6 months we have been working to seek major reform in the greyhound racing industry in the wake of the Four Corners live baiting exposé. This hasn’t been a simple exercise.

Read more >

 

4 August
2015

Rod the vet

Dr Robert Johnson
AVA President

‘Rod the vet’ and Harold have known each other for some time. Harold painted a colourfully warm picture of how caring and service-oriented  Rod is, to the point of saying that people looking after humans could take a lesson or two from Rod the ‘wonder vet’.

Read more >

 

21 July
2015

A moment to reflect on how far we've come

Marcia Balzer
National Public Affairs Manager

I was very lucky a few weeks ago to present at the annual conference of the Australasian Society of Association Executives, the industry body for those of us who work in not-for-profit organisations.

For the first time, I told the full story of the AVA’s unique member-centred advocacy program that commenced in April 2013. It was an opportunity to step back, take stock, and see how far we’ve come in the two years since we started our brave new experiment.

Read more >

 

25 May
2015

Starting a new conversation on animal welfare

Marcia Balzer
National Public Affairs Manager

The Pan Pacific Veterinary Conference 2015 kicked off last night with a forum to raise one of the most important (and difficult) of topics we deal with as an association – animal welfare. I talked a bit about the background to this forum in my last blog entry.

It was a first for the AVA, and an attempt to help members discuss animal welfare in new ways that are based on common ground rather than conflict. If Sir Humphrey from the classic BBC show Yes Minister had been there, he may have commented that it was something of a “courageous” move on the part of the AVA.

Read more >

 

6 May
2015

Agreeing to disagree

Marcia Balzer
National Public Affairs Manager

We must be ever courteous and patient with those who do not see eye to eye with us. We must resolutely refuse to consider our opponents as enemies.”
― Mahatma Gandhi, The Wit and Wisdom of Gandhi

In two weeks, I’ll walk into my ninth meeting of the AVA Policy Advisory Council. I remember that first meeting as a newly-minted National Communications Manager in a newly-created role causing quite a sense of bemusement by not only showing up to the PAC meeting, but also having something to say!

Read more >

 

29 April
2015

Inside an AVA Board meeting

Julia Nicholls
President

A member-only look at some of the key issues discussed at the April AVA Board meeting, including: membership subscriptions, strategy, advocacy and redesigning the AVA website.

Read more >

 

28 April
2015

What's innovation got to do with anything?

Marcia Balzer
National Public Affairs Manager

‘Innovation’ is one of the AVA’s six core values. We have a hint about what this means by the explanation that follows – ‘we recognise that creativity and new ideas will lead the way to the future’.

Having innovation as a core value doesn’t mean that we’re currently on the cutting edge of creativity and breaking records in being forward-thinking. Instead, we have acknowledged that it is both essential to the AVA’s future prosperity and an area where we can do better.

Read more >

 

11 March
2015

Veterinary workforce modelling report is here

Graham Catt
Chief Executive Officer

To ensure a sustainable future for the veterinary profession, we need the right number of vets with the right skills in the right places.

To get this right, there is a great deal we need to know. What are the current and emerging drivers that will impact us, and how? Are there areas that face an over or under supply of veterinary skills and capacity? What are the emerging areas of demand?

We need a sound, evidence based picture of where the profession is now and where we are headed.

The Veterinary Workforce Modelling Report is a landmark AVA project, providing Australia’s first long-term national projections for the entire veterinary workforce.

Read more >

 

25 February
2015

Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) and IVOC

Julia Nicholls
President

AVA is a member of the International Veterinary Officers Coalition or IVOC. This is a semi-formal group of the British Veterinary Association, American Veterinary Medicine Association, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, NZVA, South African Veterinary Association and AVA. The President and the CEO attend an annual two day meeting hosted in rotation by one of the members. This year was the turn of AVMA and the meeting was held in conjunction with the WVC which is always in Las Vegas. I’d like to share some of my experiences and learnings from the conference.

Read more >

 

 

19 February
2015

Riding the issues rollercoaster

Marcia Balzer
National Public Affairs Manager

One of the jobs of the public affairs team is to coordinate the AVA’s response to other peoples’ agendas that make it into the public debate. This might be some high profile media story, something important happening in a parliament (like new legislation), or some growing threat or discussion in the public domain that may directly affect the veterinary profession.

The last two weeks has been full of all these types of issues and more!

Naturally, the big media story nationally is the Four Corners coverage of live baiting in greyhound racing, and that has been high on our agenda. Here are just a few of the other issues we’ve also been working on in the last two weeks.

Read more >

 

9 February
2015

Training our talking heads

Marcia Balzer
National Public Affairs Manager

Our AVA media training day last Friday was an opportunity for current and future presidents to learn how to take full advantage of the opportunity to promote the profession when the media comes calling. They also got some experience handling the tricky questions journalists often ask.

We organise these training days once or twice a year, and engage experts Templeman Consulting to do the actual training.

Read more >

 

23 January
2015

A letter from London

Graham Catt
Chief Executive Officer

As you’ve read in our President’s column this month, the AVA engages with a number of national, regional and global veterinary organisations. This engagement helps us to exchange knowledge on the issues that affect the veterinary profession in our respective countries, contribute to solutions, build capacity and assist those who don’t have ready access to the veterinary resources and expertise that we enjoy in Australia.

We often find that the issues facing the profession are similar, and so are the priorities of veterinary organisations. This is certainly the case in the UK, as I learned on a recent visit where I attended the BVA Congress at the London Vet Show and also spent some time with my BVA CEO counterpart.

Read more >

 

23 January
2015

Engagement with international veterinary associations

Julia Nicholls
President

Member organisations have differing levels of maturity of governance, regulatory support, responsibility and representation of the profession. AVA is a member of a many international organisations and over the years has had varying levels of involvement and representation. There are also a myriad of NGOs, NFPs, statutory bodies, government-funded bodies and other consultancies we work with locally, regionally and globally. In addition, almost every one of our special interest groups is connected with a regional and/or international association.

Read more >

 

     Privacy Policy  |  Disclaimer  |  Contact us