Animal welfare advisory committee

The Victorian Government has established the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) to provide the Minister for Agriculture (Minister) with expert and strategic advice on animal welfare related issues.

The role of the committee

The committee is subject to the general direction of the Minister. The role of AWAC is to:

  • contribute to improving the welfare of animals in Victoria by providing strategic advice to the minister on animal welfare issues
  • assist the Minister and the department in reviewing legislation (including regulations) to improve the effectiveness of policies that relate to animal welfare
  • provide comment on and participate in the development and revision of animal welfare codes and standards and
  • provide considered advice on any animal welfare matters referred to it by the Minister or the department


  • Dr Tim Dyke (Chairperson)
  • Dr Scott Williams (Deputy Chair)
  • Dr Catherine Ainsworth
  • Dr David Beggs
  • Dr Thierry Beths
  • Dr Leanne Horstman
  • Ms Glenys Oogjes
  • Dr Sally Sherwen
  • Dr Elizabeth Walker.

Membership selection

Members are selected by the Minister  using a formal curriculum vitae and taking into account their animal welfare expertise, government diversity objectives and that the membership of AWAC will adequately balance the requisite expertise criteria described below.

Members are also required to have the skills and knowledge to fulfil the duties of AWAC as required by the terms of reference.

The Minister for Agriculture appoints nine members and an independent chairperson.

When a vacancy arises, a public invitation for expressions of interest will be undertaken to fill the vacancy by the department. If you have knowledge and expertise in relevant areas described, you are eligible to apply for membership.

Eligibility for membership

Prospective members must have knowledge and expertise in animal welfare in at least one or more of the following categories:

  1. agricultural, animal or veterinary science
  2. commercial, recreational, display and scientific use of animals
  3. care, breeding and management of companion animals
  4. ethical standards and conduct in respect of animals
  5. animal welfare expertise
  6. wildlife and conservation management
  7. public policy
  8. any other area that the minister considers relevant to fulfil the role of AWAC.

Member requirements

The primary role of members is to provide strategic advice to the Minister based on collective experience and knowledge. AWAC meetings are held four times per year.

The timing of meetings will be determined by members and depends on the nature of issues considered and outcomes required. In addition to meetings, members may be required to commit additional time for preparation and participation in working groups where established.

All members must work openly, cooperatively and effectively as part of a small, but diverse group committed to providing sound advice to the Minister.

Are AWAC members paid?

AWAC is classified as a Group C, Band 2 organisation under the Victorian Government Guidelines.

Eligible members and the chairperson are entitled to receive remuneration as prescribed by the guidelines. Travelling and personal expenses will also be paid where applicable.

Page last updated: 29 Feb 2024