Changemakers - Carmel Molloy
11 February 2013 at 9:40 am
Carmel Molloy is the chief executive of The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) Australia. This week we profile Carmel in Changemakers – a regular column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.
WSPA Australia exists to tackle animal cruelty across the globe. WSPA works directly with animals and with the people and organisations that can ensure animals are treated with respect and compassion.
What are you currently working on in your organisation?
WSPA has offices in 17 countries around the world but our animal welfare programs currently span over 50 countries. The 4 key areas of work that we cover are animals in farming, in communities, in the wild and those affected by disasters. The two campaigns that I’m very excited about in 2013 will be our projects on bear bile and marine debris.
Bear bile is a huge issue in China, with an estimated 20,000 bears affected by this cruel and unnecessary practice; it’s exciting that we’re going to be tackling this problem head on and demonstrating viable alternatives to the government and people of China.
The other project is the launch of our global marine debris campaign, which I’m sure will touch the hearts and minds of Australians, such is our outdoor lifestyle and love of our beaches. The issue has often been tackled from an environmental perspective, but WSPA will be concentrating on how human behaviour is causing a major animal welfare issue around the world.
What do you like best about working in your current organisation?
The sheer variety of work we deal with, on a daily basis. WSPA is such a dynamic and complex organisation and our campaigns are constantly exciting and challenging us. We work on local, regional and global level, moving people to protect animals. This is hugely rewarding work and I embrace the opportunity that I have to work with such a professional and passionate team and the challenges that brings!
I consider my greatest achievement to be…
My first Not for Profit role was with Kids Helpline. We worked on a 60 hour radiothon event with the Today network, which raised $760,000. It was my first major NFP project, my ‘baby’ from start to finish! I barely slept for 60 hours and I ended up shedding tears over the amazing way Australians got behind our cause and flooded us with their heartfelt stories and donations. It will always remain dear to my heart.
My favourite saying is…
Thomas Edison said that “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”. This inspires me, as I often find that the more one chips away at something, the more achievable it becomes.
I also love a quote from Abraham Lincoln that I came across recently. He said that “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.” This certainly resonates with the work that we are doing at WSPA. We need the public behind us to improve the welfare of animals. For live export, marine debris, animals in disasters etc, – we can make a world of change if people get behind us. And we will!
What are you reading/ watching/ listening to at the moment?
Ken Follett is one of my favourite authors. I recently read ‘Fall of Giants’ followed by ‘Winter of the World’. His latest sagas follow five families, spread over several continents, their stories told from a global historical perspective intertwined with personal dramas. I find Follet’s work is well researched, beautifully written and page turning.
I have recently watched the ABC TV series of ‘Pillars of the Earth’, one of Follett’s earlier novels; I loved the book and have really enjoyed the TV series too.