Phillipa Dhagapan is an Animal Management Worker (AMW) working for the East Arnhem Regional Council. Animal Management Workers support the council’s veterinary services and provide expertise on dog health and management to the local community.
Why did you become an Animal Management Worker?
I became an AMW because I really enjoy this job and I love animals. I like being able to help animals and give them treatments if needed.
What do you enjoy most about working as an AMW ?
I enjoy talking to community members about helping their own pets – sharing my knowledge with my people. This job gives me a lot of responsibility and this makes me very proud. I really like getting out to visit other communities, exploring the area and helping animals in other communities. I like making sure animals are happy and healthy.
What has been your most inspiring moments in your work as an AMW?
When I’m given the opportunity to share my knowledge and experiences with other AMW’s and help them to learn (like in Milingimbi, Ramingining, Galiwin’ku, Groote Eylandt) and during different workshops. Also when I’m given jobs with more responsibility like using the blow dart pipe, especially under pressure in front of community members when everything goes to plan.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
The most challenging would probably be dealing with sick or injured dogs when owners don’t really want us to help. Sometimes it’s hard when owners won’t help catch or hold with their own pets.
What have you learned from working as an AMW?
Checking dogs and cats for sickness, disease and injuries and then giving treatment or at least assisting in treatment. Monitoring community and adding dogs and cats from each house to our database, handling animals correctly, recognising different dog behavior and knowing how to respond.
Copy supplied by AMRRIC – Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities