“In 2023, national animal welfare charity Companion Animal Network Australia completed a Survey on the Status of Pets in Aged Care facilities and at home. The results tell us that 86% of older adults with pets, experience improved mental and physical health. This month we’ll be discussing how owning pets impacts us physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually as we age.


Trish Ennis – CEO, Companion Animal Network Australia

Trish started her working career as a nurse training at the Royal Children’s and the Austin Hospitals in Melbourne. She then moved into marketing and started her own Marketing Agency servicing many multinational companies with projects including product launches, design, branding, events, sales promotion and advertising.

Trish is an experienced, strategic Marketing, Communications and Event Management Leader who turned her talents to the Not-for-Profit sector working with charities such as Cathy Freeman Foundation, Camp Quality, Leading Aged Services, Music Outback Foundation, Cabrini Hospital Emergency Department and Bayley House. Trish joined us (formerly Animal Welfare League Australia) in 2019. With the support of the Board, AWLA was then transformed into CANA focusing on Companion Animals, the human-animal bond and everything it takes to build and sustain a better place for animals and humans alike.

Helen Trussler – RSPCA NSW, Gift in Wills Manager

Working in the Fundraising Industry for over 18 years for several different charities, Helen joined RSPCA NSW almost 6 years ago. With a lifelong love for all animals and to motivate people to be responsible pet owners, Helen enjoys the diversity that working at RSPCA has to offer. She is also known as the ‘duck lady’ as has now adopted 13 ducks from the shelter. She is the proud pawrent of a Golden Retriever called Mani.

Dr Gemma Ma BVSc (Hons), PhD – RSPCA NSW, Project Manager – Keeping Cats Safe at Home and Community Veterinarian