Meet the Hoomans
Who We Are
Pam AhernFounder and Director
In The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Douglas Adams’ fictional detective, Dirk Gently, states: “I may not have gone where I intended to go but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” I think this quote sums up my life perfectly.
From an animal-loving little city kid who always wanted a pony, I went on to achieve her dream and so, so much more by becoming a successful equestrian – and I thought that was it. However, I quickly realized that it was but a stepping-stone to where I needed to be, which was truly championing the cause of animals in ways that I had not ever imagined.
I founded Edgar’s Mission in 2003 after I rescued a tiny piglet for a photo shoot. I named the piglet Edgar Alan Pig. At the time I was assisting Animals Australia (on a voluntary basis) with their Save Babe campaign ‒ a brilliantly conceived campaign to highlight the plight of pigs and our flawed animal protection laws.
It was through watching people’s interactions with Edgar when I took him to the local park in the company of my little dog, ET, that the idea of Edgar’s Mission came into being. I found in Edgar the most amazing and moving ambassador for animals; whilst I could talk to people’s minds, Edgar so eloquently oinked his way into their heart.
And so I hung up the boots on my equestrian career, quit my full time and secure paying job, and said farewell to ever having a normal life and goodbye to my partner when he said, “It’s me or the pig”. I threw on my gumboots as I sent caution packing, because I did not want to get to be 85 and say, “hmm, what if?”
Establishing a much-needed sanctuary for farmed animals (as far as I know there were no other farmed animal sanctuaries in Victoria at the time, although today many exist, no doubt inspired by the work of Edgar’s Mission) enabled me to not only provide a place for these forgotten farmed animals like Edgar and his kind to live out their lives, but for people to come and meet these animals and learn about them, make connections with them, and moreover open their hearts and minds to seeing these animals beyond the production units our society has reduced them to.
So here I am, staggered at both the size to which my beloved Edgar grew and also the size and reach of Edgar’s Mission, daily doing things I never thought possible. I do all of this because I truly believe a kinder world for animals is not only possible, she is on her way – oh boy, is she on her formidable way.
“I want to live in a world of kindness. A world where people look out for one another, regardless of the species. I trust you do too.” — Pam Ahern
Kyle BehrendCommunity Engagement & Advocacy
Back in 2010, an affable South African came to volunteer at a small animal sanctuary called Edgar’s Mission as part of his travels. Kyle, who swore he would never live in Australia, soon fell in love with the rescued residents like his piggy pal Hip Hop Bob and doting sidekick Vet Nurse Ruby, and he decided to stay! Kyle became Edgar’s Mission’s first official staff member. Among his duties around the sanctuary doing everything from advocacy and fundraising campaigns to tour guiding and IT, he also took an interest in photography and videography and has captured countless precious moments over the years.
Sophia GrewalCommunity Engagement & Advocacy
Before joining Edgar’s Mission, Sophia’s life couldn’t have been more different. Living in the urban sprawl and working up the corporate ladder, she began volunteering at a dog shelter which changed the course of her life. Completing a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition, Sophia has now added two goats and six sheep to her family, all adopted from Edgar’s Mission. Starting out as a volunteer tour guide, Sophia now heads up Edgar’s Mission’s Advocacy and Community Engagement team, managing campaign strategy and cuddling animals whenever she can.
Gail BradburyPeople and Culture
Growing up in a family of animal lovers alongside dogs, cats, rabbits and goldfish, little did Gail know that this love would extend so profoundly to farmed animals. With an extensive background in aviation and logistics, Gail had worked in planes, trains and automobiles before she found her greatest joy working with farmed animals as our People & Culture Manager. Gail has fallen for many of the rescued residents including Miss Clementine.
Kelly DinhamCommunity Engagement & Advocacy
There are many string to Kelly’s bow. Not only does this gifted gal oversee our merchandise, social media, tour and events bookings, she also helps others open their hearts and minds to the inner worlds of farmed animals as Tour Guide and Photographer. Kelly also holds the ever-important role at the sanctuary of keeping up with the daily pat quota for Makamae the office cat. Kelly’s unique world view is not only shaped by her kind heart and love for animals but also her view from above. As an accomplished sky diver, Kelly has seen sights many of us could only dream to experience.
Bianca RomeroSanctuary Experience Officer
Long before Bianca joined our team as Sanctuary Experience Officer, she always had a very special
bond with animals. A talented teacher, she always felt that something was missing until she found
her true calling at Edgar’s Mission, a place that truly aligned with her strong values of kindness.
When Bianca is not hosting volunteer groups, training wonderful new volunteers or ensuring the
sanctuary delivers the best possible experience for all who visit, you can find Bianca spending quality
time with the animal residents.
Kel ShannonSanctuary Animal Care Coordinator
After a long background working with horses, Kel packed up her life in the South East to join the Edgar’s Mission team. This talented lady, who coordinates our animal care to ensure every rescued resident receives a high level of care, is smitten with all of the animals. She shares a beautiful bond with a cheeky goat named Tim Tam, who she assisted in rehabilitating after he was unable to walk. Kel ensures he is always looking fashionable for the season, and we can’t work out who enjoys this more – her or Tim Tam!
Stacy JeffersonSenior Sanctuary Hand
Stacy has always had a passion for animals, after growing up with a range of domesticated and farmed animals and volunteering for years as a Wildlife Rescuer. After a five year career as a Flight Attendant took her around the world, she realised how much she missed being around animals and decided to make a change. Since joining Edgar’s Mission, the “Scooby Doo Crew” of alpacas, who came from a past life of neglect, have left hoof prints on her heart. Through kindness, patience and treats, Stacy soon earned the trust of Shaggy Rogers and the gang.
Leonie MertensSenior Sanctuary Hand
Leonie grew up on her parent’s hobby farm in the Netherlands, where her passion for animals began. After studying Animal Management, she set off to travel the world and gain a wider range of animal experiences which included volunteering at a sanctuary in Costa Rica with sloths, monkeys, parrots and snakes. Eventually she settled in Australia where she worked for cattle and sheep stations, but it wasn’t until she came across Edgar’s Mission that she truly found her calling at Edgar’s Mission. While capable Leonie is always on the go, she always makes time to give Sadie the pig a loving belly rub.
Kwok LeeAfter Hours Sanctuary Coordinator
Kwok comes to us from a diverse and extensive background working in humanitarian aid and now adeptly fills his role caring for our animal residents, tucking them in safely at night and ensuring each and every need is met, down to the very last feather. Kwok first began his journey in animal care with an internship at the renowned Farm Sanctuary in the USA, who then sent him Edgar’s Mission-bound to continue his journey in creating a kinder world for farmed animals. Kwok’s middle name is a direct translation of the word ‘Wisdom’ in Cantonese, which is one of the many qualities he brings to our team each and every day.
Richard OglesbySanctuary Maintenance
Many are surprised to learn that our resident handyman Richard, who stopped eating meat years ago, is in his mid-70’s and still going strong! A zookeeper in the 1970’s and a groomer of show bulls at a stud farm in the 1990’s, it was an encounter with Pam Ahern at a local farmers market in 2015 that saw Richard start out at the sanctuary. With Steady Eddie the goat beside him, he’s been inspired to make kinder choices, and hasn’t looked back since!
Graham McGeorgeSanctuary Hand
From the very beginning, Graham’s true loves were music and animals. Becoming a professional cellist, he embarked on a career as a Luthier (stringed instrument maker/repairer), but after almost twenty years in the violin making business, it was time to march to a new tune. After bottle raising three orphaned lambs, Graham joined the team as a Sanctuary Hand. Today he makes sweet music of the heart with our rescued animal residents, while violin making and music remains a treasured pastime.
Ella FaragherSanctuary Hand
After growing up on acreage with an assortment of animals and loving her time outside with them, it was no wonder that Ella decided she wanted to work helping animals. Studying Veterinary Science with the aim of working with farmed animals, Ella soon realised she didn’t want to work in an industry where the animals were part of a business and not seen as individuals. That’s when she found her perfect role as a Sanctuary Hand at Edgar’s Mission, where she helps animals live their best lives every day.
Jaden FanariSanctuary Hand
From the beginning, Jaden always wanted to work with animals. This led him to study production animal science in a Bachelor of Agriculture. Through his studies, Jaden found it difficult to assume an animal as just a number in the large scale of production, and when he found out about Edgar’s Mission he knew that he shared the same values of kindness towards animals. Thus he found his calling as Sanctuary Hand, serving beloved residents including Ryan the gentle goat.
Jayde ThewlisSanctuary Hand
Growing up in a small town of dairy farmers alongside a range of different pets, Jayde’s passion for animals was ignited. Completing a Bachelor of Zoology and Animal Science, Jayde went on to participate in a range volunteer experiences. As a valued team member at Edgar’s Mission, Jayde has learned new skills and has seen a whole new side to farmed animals, and loves getting to know their individual personalities and quirks.
Tracey grew up around horses after being lucky enough to get her first horse at age 5. Rescuing those in need from bunnies to parrots, it is no wonder that today her brood has grown to 3 beautiful horses and 2 dogs who live on a small acreage with an abundance of bird life. During her time at Edgar’s Mission as our wonderful bookkeeper, she has hosted many a rescued baby animal in her lap, including a charismatic piglet named Calvin Swine, the keeper of many swooning hearts!
Vet Nurse RubyVet Nurse and Tour Guide
Before her time at Edgar’s Mission, Ruby’s person didn’t recognise her iridescent shine. Ruby was purchased for a pretty penny to perform sheepdog duties but didn’t understand what was expected, she was only motivated by cuddles. Since starting work at Edgar’s Mission Ruby has proven herself a more than valuable contributor, she has become part of the heart and soul of the sanctuary. Ruby greets tour groups and visitors with copious love, comforts orphaned lambs and kid goats and provides comic relief whenever deemed necessary.
Set on 153 acres near Lancefield, Victoria, Edgar’s Mission is a not-for-profit sanctuary nestled in the tranquil countryside of the Macedon Ranges. Seeking to create a humane and just world for all, Edgar’s Mission rescues and provides sanctuary to farmed animals in need, currently providing lifelong love and care to over 400 rescued animals. Through education, outreach, advocacy, community enrichment and sanctuary tours, we encourage and inspire people to expand their circle of compassion to include all animals.
What We Offer
Fantastic environment – spend your days doing what you love while working with a passionate and supportive team of caring and like-minded people.
Job satisfaction – feel proud about helping rescued farmed animals in rewarding roles that bring excitement and variety every day.
Good remuneration – enjoy above award rates, with uniforms and wet weather gear supplied along with excellent staff facilities.
If you have the skills and experience for our positions below, we want to hear from you!
Please send a copy of your cover letter and resume, outlining your relevant skills and experience to Gail.
Edgar’s Mission is an equal opportunity employer who celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.
Sanctuary Hand – Full Time
The purpose of this role is to provide a high level of care for rescued farmed animals to ensure they have all the necessary conditions to have a life truly worth living. Working within a team to maintain and further the smooth running of the sanctuary in areas of hygiene, safety and animal health, cleaning and maintaining animal housing and sanctuary grounds is a large aspect of this position.
$23 per hour (including weekend days) plus 17.5% Annual leave loading, plus superannuation.
- This position requires a high level of physical fitness as it involves significant hands-on work, including lifting and bending.
- Work schedule is 5 days, working 4 weekdays and 1 weekend day
- Hours vary from 7:00am to 3:00pm during cooler months, and 6:00am to 2:00pm in warmer months. Evening hours may be required during warmer months.
- Good interpersonal skills with a positive attitude towards advocating on behalf of farmed animals.
- Strong communications skills, including the ability to take and give constructive feedback and respond to the feedback accordingly.
- Excellent observational skills.
- Personal commitment to the goals and values of Edgar’s Mission and the promotion of kindness.
- Experience in the safe handling of farmed animals with sound understanding of their health and behavioural needs.
- High degree of physical fitness and the willingness to perform manual and hands-on work in all weather conditions.
- A professional, responsible and respectful approach to working as part of a team.
- A flexible and proactive attitude with the ability to adapt to changing needs and priorities on a daily basis.
- The ability to follow detailed instructions and use initiative to solve problems.
- Reliable with excellent time management skills.
- Ability to work alone and unsupervised, and take accountability.
- Current driver’s licence.
- Working with Children’s Check. – to be obtained after offer of position
- Current Police check – to be obtained after offer of position
- Able to drive animal transport vehicles including a horse float.
- Experience operating and maintaining sanctuary equipment and infrastructure.
- Experience working at an animal sanctuary, shelter or advocacy organisation.
Provide for the daily care needs of rescued farmed animals, including:
- Following daily feeding and watering schedules.
- Cleaning and maintaining animal housing, bedding and yards to EM training standards.
- Monitoring animal health and wellbeing, taking immediate action to notify the health team, Director and/or senior husbandry with any noted health and wellbeing concerns.
- Assisting with all aspects of animal care, health and rehabilitation regimes as directed.
- Provide a safe and enriching environment.
- Cleaning and maintaining animal care equipment and transport vehicles to EM training standards.
- Ensure tasks are completed in accordance with the associated checklist and within the timeline guide.
Other responsibilities include:
- Maintaining a safe environment for animals, staff, volunteers and visitors by following biosecurity, emergency and safety procedures.
- Occasional travel may be required for animal transport and general errands.
- Other duties as required.
If you have the skills and experience required to be a great addition to our team, we want to hear from you!
Please send a copy of your cover letter and resume, outlining your relevant skills and experience to Gail.