who we are
Cat Protection began in 1958, as a small group of people dedicated to reducing the number of stray cats by desexing and finding loving and responsible homes for street cats.
Our vision remains the same – that every cat has a loving and responsible home – but we now offer a range of feline care services from our purpose-designed, no-kill shelter in Newtown.
We are an independent registered charity operating only in NSW.
We’re not a subsidiary of any other organisation and we don’t have branches.
Previously structured as an association under the NSW Associations Incorporation Act, in 2019 we were registered as a public company limited by guarantee under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission – our ACN is 631 197 629. We are governed by a Board of Directors, five of whom are elected by the membership and two of whom are expert directors appointed by the Board in accordance with our Constitution. Our independently audited accounts are submitted to our Annual General Meeting and the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission each year, and are published there and on this website.
Cat Protection is an approved rehoming organisation – our number is R251000224.
We’re endorsed by the Australian Tax Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient which means you can claim donations $2 and over as tax deductions – you can check our status on ABN Lookup.
Cat Protection quick facts:
- 1000+ members
- 130+ volunteers
- 19 full-time equivalent paid staff
- 5,000 human clients each year
- 3,000 feline clients each year
- $3m pa operating expenses
- Caring for cats since 1958
All Board members volunteer their time and skills and receive no remuneration
President – Ms Kaye Isbister
Kaye is human resources professional who, over the past 20 years, has worked with some of Australia’s largest companies. She holds an MBA, specialising in HR Management & Human Resources, from the University of Technology, Sydney. She has always had a keen interest in animal welfare and a belief in the importance of creating a great working environment.
Vice President – Mrs Nita Harvey
Nita became a Life Member of Cat Protection in the 1980s and began volunteering in 1996, after retiring from her role as office manager for a major health fund. She was appointed Treasurer in 1998 and also served as president from 2004 to November 2007.
Director – Ms Petra Dobrijevic
Petra holds a BA (Hons) in Sociology from UNSW. She has worked extensively in the tertiary education sector as a lecturer, tutor and researcher. She has also worked as a policy adviser in a variety of state and federal government departments. Her public sector experience also includes work as a senior training consultant, research officer and manager. She is an active supporter of Cat Protection and has hands-on experience in feline welfare.
Director – Mrs Angelika Elliott
Angelika was born in Austria and studied design in Vienna, later moving to London where she volunteered for Cats Protection UK. She moved to Australia in 1984 and has volunteered for Cat Protection for more than 20 years. She runs her own French antique import business.
Director – Ms Emily Falkingham CPA
Emily has a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and has 10 years accounting experience. She works in a chartered firm specialising in outsourced accounting across a variety of industries.
Director – Mr Guy Farrands
Guy has over 30 years’ experience in direct and listed property markets both in Australia and internationally and across commercial, retail, industrial, residential and retirement asset classes. He was managing director and CEO of GEO Property Group (now Villa World Limited) between 2007 and 2011. Previously Mr Farrands was CEO of Valad Property Group between 2005 and 2007. Mr Farrands’ former roles included division director of the real estate division of Macquarie Bank’s Investment Banking Group where he managed IPOs, equity raisings and mergers and acquisitions; and associate director and joint head of property for Heine Management Limited.
Director– Mr Gordon McDowall
Gordon is a senior lawyer with extensive experience in Australia and the UK across international law firms, major corporations, independent regulators and not-for-profits, focusing on litigation, regulatory and commercial law. He is admitted as a lawyer in NSW as well as England and Wales, has a Master of Arts in Political Science and post-graduate qualifications in law. He has been a keen animal welfare advocate and volunteer for many years.
CEO – Ms Kristina Vesk OAM
CEO since late 2006, Kristina has a BA in Social Science and her career has focused on public policy, public affairs and media, in the government and not-for-profit sectors. For 10 years she served as a layperson on the human research ethics committee of a Sydney teaching hospital. She is responsible for the overall management of Cat Protection, and she reports to the Board.
Feline Services Manager – Ms Nerida Atkin
Nerida has more than 20 years’ experience working with animals, and joined Cat Protection in 2004. She is a qualified vet nurse, with a Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare and an ISFM Certificate in Feline Friendly Nursing and an Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour (with Distinction) from ISFM.
General Manager – Mr Neil Williams CPA, JP
With more than 20 years’ experience in a range of industries including health, government, property and charities, Neil brings to Cat Protection financial, governance and risk management expertise. He joined Cat Protection in 2016.