Committee

Originating in March 2018 as the Native Mammal Keepers of NSW Working Group to formally respond to the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage Licensing Review, the Mammal Society of NSW was incorporated in August 2018.

The Committee is currently composed of 7 members. A brief introduction is set out below:

President – Mitchell Hodgson
BEnvSc (Hons): Mitchell is currently studying a PhD in evolutionary biology and his work focuses on understanding the ways in which changes in the thermal physiology and behaviour of reptiles may enable them to persist with changing climates. As well as having a strong interest in all thing’s reptile, Mitchell has a passion for all native fauna especially mammals. Having been a private keeper of native mice for five years he’s had a personal interest in native mammals fostered by his ability to care from them in such a personal setting. He believes that by more people being aware of Australia’s unique fauna, the ways to care for them and the unique bonds that form between pet and keeper that ownership of native mammals may help humanise Australia’s current extinction crisis.

Public Officer – Michael Donnelly:
Michael is currently a founding committee member and President of Animal Care Australia, a primary animal welfare organisation in NSW. He is also a founding member and previous Secretary of the Herpetocultural Cooperative of NSW. He has actively participated as a member of the Stakeholder Consultative Group for the OEH Licensing Review.
He has been a keeper of native animals for more than 40 years holding advanced bird & reptile licenses, and a mammal license. He currently keeps and breeds both Spinifex Hopping Mice and Plains Mice.

Prof Mike Archer AM, FAA, FRSN: Mike graduated from Princeton University before returning to Australia, completing his PhD in the University of Western Australia. He became Curator of Mammals at the Queensland Museum, Lecturer in the University of New South Wales, Director of the Australian Museum in Sydney, Dean of Science at the University of New South Wales and now a Professor and member of the PANGEA Research Center at UNSW, where is research focuses on the World Heritage fossil deposits at Riversleigh, and conservation through sustainable use of native resources including having native animals as pets. He has produced over 350 scientific publications including 15 books and received a range of awards including Fellowships in the Australian Academy of Science, Royal Society of NSW, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Australian College of Educators, Eureka Prize for Promotion of Science and Member of the Order of Australia.

Dr Michelle Dalli BSc BVSc (Hons): Michelle has been a vet for 13 years and over that time has been treating wildlife for the public, WIRES and other organisations. Her services and time dedicated to assisting WIRES and others in her capacity as a vet has always been free of charge. She has raised flying foxes for WIRES as well as raising wildlife for other private keepers.

Aaron Baker: Aaron has over 3 years mammal care/experience working in zoos. Collectively he has keeping experience for mammals, as well as birds and reptiles. He has worked with brush tail possums, ring tail possums, eastern grey and western grey kangaroos, swamp wallabies, wallaroos, red neck wallabies, common and southern hairy nose wombats, koalas and eastern quolls.

Our remaining two Committee members hold Exhibition Licenses for the purpose of maintaining two of Australia’s premier wildlife conservation education services. The services are held in both NSW & Victoria, providing informative displays of Australian animals to many hundreds of thousands of people each year. They breed a large variety of the wildlife seen in the shows, including reptiles, possums, frogs, bats, birds and other invertebrates.

Professor Mike Archer with his red kangaroo joey. Mike has kept many native mammal species including kangaroos, possums and quoll, and we are proud to have his expertise and wealth of knowledge as a valued committee member of the Mammal Society of NSW.