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Acting CEO update – February 2024

13 Feb

We are now well and truly into the working year! I hope you all managed to enjoy a restful and relaxing break.

The team here at Animal Health Australia (AHA) are ready for another big year and we are progressing our planning and program for March Member Engagement Week scheduled for the week starting the 18th.

You would have received the registration details in your inbox on the 18th of January but if not, you can find out more here

A vital component of Member Engagement Week is the EADRA workshop which will include the report of the five-year review of the EADRA.

The report will be circulated to EADRA signatories ahead of the workshop, along with a draft three-year work plan to action outstanding recommendations. A paper will also be provided to EADRA signatories in February seeking nominations for a working group on issues identified in the review relating to categorisation. Please keep an eye out for this.

I also want to let you know that the AUSPESTCHECK program and database work is progressing according to schedule. Our technical expert on the project, Emily Sears returns to AHA from her placement at PHA from March and will be focussing on finalising the work on the animal health part of the system.  Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is still on the radar for our members and every five years, Animal Health Australia leads the renewal of our FMD Vaccine Bank. This includes determining the priority antigens and number of doses to be held in the bank. This work is being undertaken by the Vaccine Expert Advisory Group (VEAG; a sub-committee of Animal Health Committee) as per the due process. The VEAG will provide advice on the priority antigens to Animal Health Committee, following which, we will commence a tender process for a supplier of the renewed bank. At this stage, it is envisaged that the tender process will commence in the first week of March 2024 for a 30-day period. The tender evaluation process will be completed as soon as possible thereafter, and a recommended supplier identified by the FMD Vaccine Contract Advisory Committee on behalf of the Funding Parties. 

A reminder that the call for abstracts is currently open for the 3rd Australian Biosecurity Symposium scheduled for August 27th to 29th. We hope that many of our members will consider presenting the work they are doing in the biosecurity and animal health space, whether by showcasing a program, project, policy or piece of innovation – we’d love to see you apply.

Finally, an update on some staff movements with Adam Pate leaving AHA. We thank Adam for his four years of service and commitment to AHA and wish him all the best in his next endeavours. The current acting arrangements continue, with Jackie Poyser (former AHA Executive Manager) as Acting General Manager Customer, Strategy & Operations. I continue as Acting CEO until Kathleen’s return from leave, with Peter Dagg Acting General Manager Emergency Preparedness, Animal Health & Biosecurity.


Dr Samantha Allan