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
- 150+ volunteers
- 18 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 – 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.
Vice President – 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 – Vanessa Williams
A Life Member, Vanessa moved to the far South Coast in 2017 after more than a decade working at Cat Protection in feline welfare services and policy, and foster care coordination. Previous to that she was a flight crew training scheduling officer for Qantas, and she currently works as Op Shop Manager for Anglicare NSW South in Bermagui. With her own cats securely confined to her house and veranda, Vanessa has a wildlife-friendly garden and she volunteers with a local wildlife rescue and rehabilitation group.
Director – Felicity Walton
Felicity is an experienced regulatory and strategy analyst with a decade of experience in the energy sector. She has an MBA, is admitted as a practising lawyer in the NSW Supreme Court, and has a Graduate Diploma in Practical Legal Training, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law (majoring in Economics and International Business).
Director – Natalie Meadows
Natalie has a Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) and a Bachelor of Laws, and has 20 years’ experience as a lawyer representing health professionals. She worked as a veterinary nurse for over 10 years while studying, and volunteers for a number of animal welfare organisations. She is a member of the Northern Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee.
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; an ISFM Certificate in Feline Friendly Nursing; an Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour (with Distinction) from ISFM; Fear Free Certification Level 3; and associate certification by the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants.
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.