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Member Engagement Week – March 2022 (wrap up)

30 Mar

AHA’s first Member Engagement for 2022 was held from the 21–25 March with a number of activities to enhance our members knowledge and awareness of happenings in the sector.

The week started off with the EADRA Workshop held on 21 March 2022. In the light of the Japanese encephalitis virus (JE) outbreak, the scope of the EADRA Workshop was modified to focus on essential business and key updates, to allow for a wider discussion on events related to the JE response and its implications for the EADRA and EAD response arrangements.

Tuesday saw our Members Forum bring together 68 staff from our member organisations to listen to CEO Kathleen Plowman give an update on three main areas – AHA Business, AHA Restructure and the 2022/23 AOP development.

After Kathleen’s presentation were two key external presentations looking at current issues of importance to members. Managers of Commodity Market Insights | Thomas Elders Markets (TEM) gave the latest insights into the cost of inputs which can impact on-farm productivity which was very enlightening and then Medical Entomologist Dr Cameron Webb, one of Australia’s leading mosquito-borne disease experts gave a presentation on mosquito biology, their risk as vectors for emergency animal diseases, and how we are currently enhancing our surveillance techniques to be ready to respond.

Heidi Reid then finished up on behalf of the industry forum working group of emergency animal diseases, presenting on the work and outcomes from this group in its first 12 months. The working group is going from strength to strength and Heidi reiterated the need to continue to ensure all parties of the biosecurity sector, industry, government and community alike all work together to better the system.

All these presentations will soon be available to view online if you missed it.

On Wednesday our members split into their respective forums – industry and government.

The 44th Industry Forum(IF) had key engagement sessions on the agenda included updates from the Animal Health Committee Chair and the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness Director, as well as an opportunity to engage with the AHA Chair and CEO. IF also spent time discussing progress and recommendations from the pilot Industry Forum EAD Working Group (IFWG), the training component of AHA’s Increase Response capability and capacity program and progress on the National Animal Biosecurity Research, Development and Extension Strategy (NABRDES). An outcome from the meeting includes endorsement by IF of the pilot IFWG to transition from a pilot into an ongoing group, however, further discussions are required to determine resourcing for the group.

The government roundtable brought the jurisdictional CVOs together to discuss the escalating threat posed by Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD). The Commonwealth shared information on the international situation about our near neighbours, Animal Health Committee shared insights on broader national preparedness and Animal Health Australia provided an update on the progress of the update of the LSD AUSVETPLAN manual, and our current activities with industry to enhance LSD preparedness.

The CCEAD and NMG virtual workshops closed out member engagement and saw a broad cross-section of AHA’s membership in attendance:

  • CCEAD – 23 participants (nine participants from five industry sectors; two NGO participants; and 12 government participants from four jurisdictions)
  • NMG – 16 participants (seven participants from three industry sectors; two NGO participants; and seven government participants from three jurisdictions)

The updated scenario-based discussion sessions enabled participants to discuss their relevant roles and responsibilities and provided an opportunity for them to develop their EAD response networks and understanding of the EADRA.

Participants returned constructive, positive survey feedback.

Thanks again to all those who attended events and we always appreciate any feedback you might have which you email through to events@animalhealthaustralia.com.au