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 special programs such as The Adoptables, Workplace Foster Care Program, and ad-hoc fundraising campaigns, 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 on 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 looks after all the programs that we're able to provide for free to thousands of pet adopters, rescue members and progressive community organisations with the help of our major partners. And she does a pretty kickass job at it!
Laurel is a people person and thrives on building long-term connections with rescue organisations, businesses, and individuals, seeking out potential collaborations that can amplify PetRescue’s efforts in reaching its big, hairy, audacious goals!
Aside from managing programs, 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 is our digital marketing superstar at PetRescue. She uses her creative genius to connect PetRescue to the pet-loving community across multiple channels.
Her extensive experience in digital marketing, brand strategy and project management combined with an inquisitive mind and an eye for detail make her a valuable part of the PetRescue team.
The best ‘Captain’ to empower the Marcomms team to work together and steer us toward our goals, her exceptional skills in time management, planning and creativity are impressive - you should see her in action!
Alesha is the resident plant expert and our go-to for music and podcast recommendations. When she’s not working, she's probably by the ocean or adventuring with her adorable doggo, Obi.
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.
Content & Communications
Tina has two important jobs at PetRescue, producing content and hugging all the office doggos. And she loves them both.
As part of her role, Tina ensures that you keep up with all our initiatives for #TeamRescue and get maximum feels over all the sappy, heart-warming love stories of rescue pets finding their human BFFs! She also keeps our blog updated with all the happenings at PetRescue, and creates external communications for the PetRescue community.
One of the things that Tina loves about her role is being able to use her words to create positive change for rescue pets. She particularly loves creating pet profiles for the Adoptables program, because it means helping special pets that find it harder to get adopted otherwise.
Some of Tina’s super not-so-secret abilities are being able to touch her nose with her tongue, and bake scrumptious apple pies (or so she claims).
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.
One of Susan’s most rewarding experiences in her role has been organising free flights for pets via the PetRescue and Jetpets free flights program. This includes helping pound pets in need of foster care, a rescue pet in urgent need of specialist surgery, or an adopted pet needing transport to its new forever home in another state.
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.
Pet Adoption Support
With 10+ years of experience in animal welfare, Kayla takes pride in being able to help people and pets, and bring them together to create so much happiness! A big part of Kayla’s role at PetRescue is to bridge the gap between pet owners, adopters, and pets, and ensure that adoptions happen smoothly and pets are settling in well.
A huge pet lover, Kayla hopes to pass on her passion for rescue and animal welfare to her two girls. When she’s not working, you can find Kayla indulging in mindful yoga, pilates, crafts, or listening to One Direction.
George brings a wealth of software development knowledge to help thousands of adopters find pets on PetRescue. George's forte is working on Ruby on Rails.
What he particularly loves about his role is being able to make a difference and help vulnerable pets. George was born and raised in the Netherlands, and has spent close to 12 years living and working in Singapore, so he's definitely our go-to person for travel tips! Quite the cycling enthusiast, When he’s off the clock, George likes to do a whole lot of cycling, including virtual rides on his smart trainer.
He likes to relax and rewind by watching his favourite shows on TV, spending time with his family and working on his websites. And of course, hanging with his two cats!
Digital Marketing & Communications
If you’re getting too distracted by all the cute pet photos on our social channels… Emily is the one to blame! A digital marketing whiz, Emily loves her role because she gets to use her awesome communication skills and creativity to help save the lives of pets and create tons of happiness along the way, and work with the cutest office dogs! When she clocks off, she hangs out with her furry BFF Rosie and spends her time reading, running or cooking (and eating OFC!)
Supporters & Member Care
Bella is part of the awesome helpdesk team at PetRescue. She’s there to lend a helping hand when someone needs help finding their pawfect pet, and build relationships with PetRescue’s supporters to show them the impact they make with their support.
Bella was always passionate about animal welfare which eventually 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.
In her past life Bella was part of a private investment platform where she was the youngest (22 at the time) and only female in the company to be a head of department, and manage a client base of over 250 companies.
Outside of work you will 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 also a social little critter, and loves spending evenings sharing a meal, a glass of red and playing games with friends.
A safe haven for wayward birds and a passionate animal welfare advocate, Missy has been involved in the animal welfare space in a raft of different roles for more years than she will willingly admit, actively advocating change for all animals!
With years of experience in fundraising and community engagement, Missy traded in her corporate gig a while ago to pursue her passion to make the world a better place for furries and feathers, and has never looked back.
At PetRescue, Missy’s role primarily focuses on supporting us in areas of community engagement, communications, fundraising, and strategizing to ensure that we stay ahead of our Animal Welfare goals!
A communications expert, Missy loves building relationships with donors, sponsors and the community to bring people together and create mutually beneficial relationships to make the world a better place. #LEGEND.
On weekends you can catch her doing gigs around the Perth circuit, or hanging out at the beach with her adorable Kelpie, Charli!
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.
Support (Vital Vollie)
Merel started volunteering with PetRescue because she feels strongly for pets in need and believes in the work behind PetRescue. Besides volunteering, Merel can be found adventuring with her doggo Kobe (found on PetRescue), helping out the local dog walker and finding ways to spark up any dog’s life.
Support (Vital Vollie)
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