Braidwood resident Dr Bidda Jones has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List with an AM for significant service to animal welfare science and advocacy.
Dr Jones feels honoured at receiving the award. "It was completely unexpected. While the awards are given to an individual, for me it also includes the team of people I work with," she said.
She is working as the Chief Science and Strategy Officer at RSPCA since 2015 and was previously acting chief executive officer (2019-20), chief scientist (2006-15) and scientific officer (1997-2005).
She was working with RSPCA in the UK before moving to Australia 25 years ago and joining the organisation here. She, along with her family, lives on a property in Braidwood that is surrounded by forest.
Some of the issues she feels passionately about include concerns regarding the conditions of live export trade and freeing hens from the cages.
"When you see them in an outdoor environment, they are curious and love to interact and can't do any of those things if they are in a cage. I have been working on this issue since 1996," Dr Jones said.
She feels that there is much more awareness about animal welfare now than it used to be.
"If someone feels strongly about an issue, they can do their bit to bring in that change. One way is writing to the local MP about issues that matter to them," she added.
Dr Jones has held various positions in the government including being a member of the National Horse Traceability Working Group since 2020, and a member of the Live Export Animal Welfare Advisory Committee since 2018. She was also a member of the Australian Government Feral Cat Taskforce from 2015 to 2020.
She was also a member of Australian Government Animal Welfare Strategy Research and Development Working Group, 2012-2014; member, Review Steering Committee, Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock, 2012-2014; member, Steering Committee, Australian Feral Camel Management Project, 2010-2014 and member, Live Exports Standards Advisory Group, 2009-2012.
She has won several awards and recognition including the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards in 2013; Joint Awardee, Eureka Price, Australian Museum, 2011 and Public Education Ambassador, Eurobodalla Region, 2010.