Friday, April 25, 2014

Animal Management in Rural and
Remote Indigenous Communities


15 April 2014
For immediate use

10th Anniversary AMRRIC Conference Dates Announced

23-25 September 2014 will see a momentous event take place marking a decade of AMRRIC (Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities) working with remote communities in the areas of dog health and welfare, education and research.

The One Health - Indigenous Community Animal Management Conference will bring together those involved in global Indigenous companion animal and community health policy and practice, including those working in community, at all levels of government and in the not for profit, welfare, research, veterinary and pet industry sectors.

Julia Hardaker, AMRRIC CEO, says 'This conference will be a celebration of our achievements and explore innovative solutions to guide Australia's approach tot he management of companion animals in an Indigenous community setting now and into the future.  Local and international authorities will provide insights on how the challenges of the One Health approach to animal authorities are being addressed here at home and around the world.'  The health and wellbeing of companion animals has a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of whole communities.

Event details:
Date:              23-25 September 2014
Location:       Double Tree by Hilton, Esplanade, Darwin
                       116 The Esplanade
More information can be found at

AMRRIC are dedicated to working with Indigenous people in remote and rural communities to improve animal and community health.  The organisation is focussed on all areas of animal management in remote communities, including dog health and welfare, policy, research, education and capacity building of our stakeholders.  AMRRIC are dedicated to developing and implementing national acknowledged best practice guidelines for animal management, based on guidance from the organisations Indigenous colleagues and mentors.

For more information, interviews or photos please contact:
Julia Hardaker, CEO on and 0428 485 436.


Reconciliation Action Plans

10th Anniversary of AMRRIC Conference 2014

15 April 2014 - News

One Health - Indigenous Community Animal Management
Dates:     23-55 September 2014
Venue:    Darwin - Double Tree Hilton

Join us in September at the 10th Anniversary AMRRIC Conference.  We invite you to be a part of this highly anticipated event in the animal management sector and expand your network in the one health community.

Our conference is unique, being the only event specifically focussed on animal management in Indigenous communities and is expected to attract approximately 250 delegates from around Australia and the world.  This event is a 'must attend' for all those involved in global indigenous companion animal and community health, policy and practice - including those working in community, all levels of government, the not for profit welfare, research, veterinary and pet industry sectors.  The conference is an excellent opportunity for delegates to engage and share information and walk away with new insights, strategies and practices relating to the health and welfare of Indigenous communities and the animals that are so important to their culture and social fabric.

Contribute to the conference by submitting your abstract.

Conference Themes

A wide range of local and international speakers will be presenting at this year's conference.  This is your opportunity to hear from experts in the field, participate in workshops and connect with professionals operating in best practice in their chosen sectors.

*  Animal health and welfare in remote/developing community context;
*  Zoonoses;
*  Research updates - Rabies;
*  Animals in natural disaster management;
*  School and community education and awareness;
*  Cultural awareness - engaging with Indigenous communities;
*  Dog behaviour;
*  Community social aspects of animal ownership;
*  Environmental health;
*  Philanthropy, communications and animal welfare;
*  Interpersonal violence/animal violence link;
*  Invasive animals/national parks and Indigenous communities.

Subscribe to AMRRIC Enews to stay up to date with conference news.
Join AMRRIC for registration discounts.
Registration opens soon.

Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities
There are a wide range of sponsorship and exhibition opportunities and we would be happy to discuss these with you.  If you would like to be a part of this important event, contact conference organiser Nell Thompson for a prospectus.

Darwin - the relaxed, tropical capital of the Northern Territory.  Situated on the edge of a harbour larger than the iconic Sydney Harbour, Darwin is a beautiful, fascinating tropical city that prides itself in its unique and friendly laid-back lifestyle.  Darwin is also the departure point for unique Australian adventure.  From Darwin, it's a day trip to world heritage-listed national parks, rich tapestries of wetlands and wildlife, Aboriginal rock art galleries and island communities.  There's plenty to do in the CBD too from market shopping, the waterfront precinct, gardens and walking trails, art and food as well as historic landmarks.

Get in quick to book your accommodation for the 10th Anniversary AMRRIC Conference.  There is no accommodation available at the conference venue so we have secured some rooms at nearby motels for our delegates.  Spaces are limited though so we recommend you make your booking as soon as possible.

Contact Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin and use the promo code TH6454253 to get a great deal at this inner city oasis.

Quest Darwin - call Quest Darwin on +61 8 8982 3272 and tell the friendly staff that you are an AMRRIC conference delegate to get a great deal at these luxury serviced apartments.

Contact Darwin Central Hotel and use the promo code AMRRIC, this hotel is located close to the Esplanade and the Mitchell Street entertainment district.  This promotion is available until 31/8/14.

The Conference will be held at the Double Tree by Hilton, 116 The Esplanade, Darwin.  The Double Tree by Hilton is near the centre of Darwin's vibrant entertainment and dining district and Mitchell Street.  The venue is also close to great shopping and popular tourist attractions.  Darwin International Airport is just 15 minutes' drive away.

Book your transport from the airport using Darwin Charters & Shuttle and receive a 20% discount using the code AMRRIC21.

Conference Partner                                Silver Sponsor

IFAW                                    Animals

International Fund for Animal Welfare                 the voice for animals


Animal Management in Rural and
Remote Indigenous Communities 

Thursday, April 17, 2014



1                   Please tell us a little bit about your background; 

         A :        I was the youngest in my family, born in Victoria in 1986 into a Christian home.  My parents worked hard to instil good values and principles into my sisters and myself.  Throughout my teenage years, I struggled with following what they had taught me (as many young people do) but I eventually got back on track.

            These days I am a wife and mother of two beautiful boys, Noah and Elijah.  Even on dark days my husband and sons help keep me focussed on the beauty of the world.

            We are blessed to call Perth, Western Australia our home.

2                   Have you always wanted to be an entertainer or did you aspire to be something else when you were younger?

         A:       I have always had a fond interest in the arts professions and aspired to write and record my own music. However, I have studied youth work and community work as I also wish to work in one of those fields one day.

3                   Are any of your family and/or relations in the entertainment industry? 

         A:        While I am the only one in my family who likes to compose and perform Christian adult contemporary music, I am not the only musician. Many of my cousins on both sides of my family play an instrument or two and/or sing.

4                   What and/or who are your inspirations?

          A:         I am inspired by wholesome artists who deliver a positive and uplifting message through their art without compromising good moral standing. I am a fan of Christian artists, Brit Nicole, Natalie Grant, Toby Mac and 21 Pilots.

I am also inspired by my wonderful husband and children and I often write songs inspired by our journey through life and the personal experiences of those closest to me.

Sometimes I’ll find inspiration in the beauty or confusion of the world around me, or a favourite passage of Scripture.

5                  Are you professionally managed or do you represent yourself? 

                    A:           I represent myself…

6                  What musical instrument/s do you play? 

                     A:             Piano and vocals.  I hope to be able to play many more                 instruments one day - violin, saxophone, ukelele - the list goes on.

7                  Do you have any CDs out?

                     A:             I am in the process of tweaking my first EP titled, “Phoenix”. There are a few more additions and changes to be made before mastering and then it’ll be ready to share with the world at last!

            In the meantime, live recordings of some of my originals and cover songs can be found online.

8                  What do you enjoy doing in your ‘spare’ time? 

                     A:                I am generally kept quite busy by being a stay at home mum and home educator, but when I do get a spare moment I  like to play music, write, draw, paint, read a book, cook, do a puzzle or something quiet.

9                   Have you been bullied?

                      A:               I have been bullied as a child/teen because of my appearance. I have glasses, red hair and freckles and somehow that combination that gave peers ammunition and cause to taunt me.

10             Whether you have been bullied or not, do you feel that the governments and schools around the world are doing enough to try to combat this problem?

                       A:                 I don’t think all the responsibility of stopping bullying children can fall on those in the education system. Education starts at home. 

            Parents/guardians need to teach their children to respect themselves and those around them before they head off to school. Of course, there will still be bullies, but if we have instilled a healthy sense of self in our young people, they will be better equipped to deal with bullying, and more comfortable talking about it. Then, rather than repeatedly reprimanding bullies when they act out, provide them with specialised one on one meetings with a counsellor to try to uncover the cause for them bullying.

11              What more do you feel the above could do to either decrease this problem hugely, or eliminate it altogether?

                   A:                 Sadly, I don’t think bullying will ever be eliminated entirely. But as I said, if kids are comfortable in their own skin and on their own unique journey, then the words of bullies will not hurt as much.

12              On a personal level, is there anything you would like to do to help in the fight against bullying?

                   A:                 I have written a song about bullying, called 'Haunt You'.  It talks about the extreme one young person goes to in taking their own life after having felt ignored, rejected and misunderstood by their peers. Each of us has a responsibility to speak out when we see bullying. We cannot allow it to take care of itself because the damage it can cause could be irreversible.

13              If you have been a victim of bullying or some other form of adversity in your life, what did you do to overcome it?

                 A:                 As a young kid I did a little crying, then as I grew I became stronger and more confident. I would express my feelings in writing or art. It breaks my heart when my almost  four year old son comes home from kindy with reports of having been crying because he was “picked on by big boys”. The cycle is continuing generation after generation. It is the responsibility of my husband and I to teach our sons that they are perfect just as God has made them and not to listen to the bullies.

14              What is on the agenda for 2014?

                   A:               Completion and launch of Phoenix EP and there is always more writing and gigging to do.

15              Do you have a special message you would like to share with the world? 

                   A:                   Be kind! Kindness can change a persons whole day, week, month, even life.

John 13:34a A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you,

Do you have any links you would like to have included with this interview?

Saturday, April 12, 2014



1                     Please tell us a little bit about your background; 

                        A:        On any given summer day back in the 70’s and 80’s, driving down some dusty old back roads of Joshua, Texas, one might hear on old transmitter radio playing some great George Jones tunes to the hum of an old tractor and chain saws. Make no mistake - the sounds were heard not only through the ears of a young country boy named Don Woods but through the heart as the lyrics spoke to his soul.

It was the days of working his grandpa Hammond's farm listening to that old radio hanging in the tree by that rugged old leather strap that Don developed his love for country music from some of the greats such as the George’s (Jones and Straight) along with the stage passion of Garth Brooks.  It was the greats that would later inspire Don to stay true to country music while living his dream.

Don started his musical journey by singing to tracks in reality talent competitions - just to get to the next round and be knocked out by a sweet young teenage girl singing a Swift song. Don didn’t let this stop his passion to deliver a great performance anywhere he was i.e... The guided tour on the Ryman Stage as his hair stood up he knew he just had to sing what was on his heart and - yes, you guessed it - George Jones Grand Tour!! As he finished even the photographer said:  'Did you feel that, son?  The greats were all around you up there'.  After this historical trip to Nashville Don formed a band and began to perform on stages across East Texas and then invited to bigger venues like Mickey Gilley's  of  Dallas and the House of Blues in Dallas Texas. Yes - the House of Blues. You see this proves Don’s theory that music is truly a universal language that speaks to people no matter the era or nationality.  Speaking the universal language of music to large audiences was powered by his love of country singers and song writers such as Chris Young, Eric Church, Luke Bryan and Kenny Chesney, all of which he soon added to the list of covers he would use on stage.

Along the way he met many friends and it was through his friends he was introduced to song writer John Windsor. John Windsor invited Don to come to Nashville and opened the next chapter in Don’s musical endeavor. Inspired and supported by a long time friend Larry Wallace they would make the journey to Nashville several times through the recording of his new album 90 proof and filming of his first music video.  The trips to Nashville were dreams come true and many memories were made with these two old friends that would later be of much worth to Don, for it was just as the album release was about to take place and Larry and Don would celebrate with their friends and family that Larry took ill and was gone the next week.  As Don took this trip to Nashville to step on the stage and present the album to fans and the music industry he felt as though he had yet another angel looking down with both his grandparents that had influenced and stood by him. He learned that night just how to use his sadness to the good as he sang each song with passion.

This passion can be heard with every performance and every song for Don sings with such power and passion one would wonder just where he gains such insight, but for Don he just takes a look to the sky and knows it is through the almighty and the fans above.  After every performance Don says a big thanks to many but his grandfather Hammonds and Memphis recording artists Grandpa Jack Levescy can rest to sure the courage to stand and perform comes from his two greats.

2                     You are an entertainer.  Have you always aspired to be in this industry or did you want to do something else when you were younger? 

         A:       When I was kid all I did was sing. I used to get in trouble for singing TV commercials in school. I was also in choir til the 6th grade but I started getting harassed by kids and coaches - “bullied” to quit singing and play football I was almost 6ft tall in 6th grade and the coaches told me I was wasting my time in choir. So I quit choir and never retuned but never quit singing.  And then I found that boy in myself who loved to sing about ten years ago - ignited that fire for singing that couldn’t be put out by anyone this time. 

3                   Is anyone else in your family or relations in entertainment?

       A:       My grand dad Jack Levescy - he was a singer and musician at Sun Records Memphis TN.

4                   Are you professionally managed or do you represent yourself?

          A:       I’m professionally managed by Magenta Records & Red Ridge Entertainment.

5                   What do you enjoy doing in your ‘spare’ time?

                 A:    Bass fishing,classic cars,and hanging out with good friends.

6                   How many CDs have you put out? 

                     A:       This album is my 1st one called (90 PROOF).

7                   You are a songwriter as well as being a singer.  Do you write your own lyrics?

                      A:         Yes ma’am, I’m a singer/songwriter.

8                   Do you write songs for other singers?

                      A:           I  have not written any song for other artist as of yet.

9                   Have you appeared on TV or worked with any really ‘big’ names? 

                     A:            I have been on TV but it was for 'America’s Got Talent' reality show and I haven’t be able to work with any big name acts.

10              Have you done a lot of interviews?

                A:         Yes ma’am I have done a lot of radio interviews here lately. Promoting my new album '90 PROOF'.  

11              Have you ever been bullied?

               A:        Yes ma’am I was bullied a lot from the age of ten to twelve years old on my school bus.  I tell you what I hated - riding that school bus but I had to ride it because my parents only had one vehicle. But I think everyone has experienced some type of bullying in their lives but some more than others. But with today's technology bullying is more then just physical - it's mental with cell phones that have the ability to take photos,video and send them out to the whole world to see.  

12              Whether you have been bullied or not, do you feel that the governments and schools around the world are doing enough to try to combat this problem? 

               A:       No ma’am - I think every school should have a team of parents with phone numbers so when these kids are getting bullied they have someone to call that’s not their parents -sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone that’s not your parents.   

13              What more do you feel the above could do to try to either decrease this problem hugely or eliminate it altogether?

               A:       Awareness - and take action against the problem.

14              On a personal level, is there anything you would like to see being done to help with the fight against bullying?

               A:       I think if every school would put up a facebook under their school to just report bullying so that other kids could see it’s just not happing to them but others and schools could see where the problem lies and use facebook as a tool.

15              Have you done a lot of travelling for your career?  Can you please tell us about that.

                   A:         I have done a lot of travelling but it has only been in Texas & Nashville TN, but 2014 will have me travelling all over the country.

16              What is on the agenda for 2014?

               A:      We are looking forward to 2014 with plans to tour all over the USA,Canada,UK and hoping Australia.

17              Is there anything further you would like to add?

               A:      I really appreciate the opportunity  to share my musical journey and my views on bullying.

18              Do you have a special message you would like to share with the world?

                  A:         Living my dream and touring the country, providing an escape for others through my music. Music (as it has been stated so many times in the past) is the universal language of which one can reach many. My passion comes out through the lyrics of my music and my soul awakens when I am able to share this passion on stage. Success can not be measured in the amount of stage performances or ticket sales but through the energy I gain from the crowds and all my fans.

19              Do you have any links you would like to have included with this?

Friday, April 11, 2014



1                   Please tell us a little bit about your background:

                     A:       I was born in Vietnam and was a refugee in Thailand before my uncle sponsored us to come live in Australia. I was around two years old when I came here. I cannot recall much of my childhood and there are no birth certificates, paperwork or photos. I can only trust what my parents tell me but even their memories are somewhat sketchy. It is very frustrating sometimes not knowing exactly what I had looked like as a baby and small child and when and where I was born however I have learnt to not dwell on the past.

My parents were hard working individuals and we were always considered ‘poor’ to our peers. While everyone else had new cars, big houses and nice furniture, we always had old rental homes that were infested with rodents and cockroaches, old musty second hand furniture and a car that rattled and blew so much smoke I swear it could be an old locomotive. But I was never embarrassed by my parents. I respected them and learnt at a young age that I despised the Asian traditions and social culture pressures. We were deemed ‘lowly’ to other Vietnamese families and often subjected to ridicule. I didn’t stand for it. I became quite vocal and often spoke my mind. I did the unthinkable in our culture – I spoke back to an adult. That often earned me many face slaps, hair pullings and backside smacks. I became what is known as the 'black sheep' of the family. I had earned the nickname ‘devil child’. All because I was quite outspoken, a tomboy and I was left handed. That last one was a major contribution to my nickname.

I became quite independent at an early age. I looked after my younger siblings while my parents were at work, I was always the one to discipline them and keep them in line.
It didn’t bother me that I was considered a ‘bad’ influence among our culture. I liked it. I didn’t think what I did was at all bad and that they were wrong and simple minded. I never did drugs, I don’t drink alcohol and never smoked in my life. All I did was become an independent young girl who didn’t take crap from anyone and was also left handed. Which probably explains why I never liked playing with dolls and only wanted to draw and write and read. I have heard left handed people were highly creative but I think it is just speculation.

2                   You are an actress, author, screenwriter, filmmaker, business owner.  Anything else to add to that rather impressive list?

          A:       Maybe model as I have done some modelling for photographers. Mainly creative shots. I have worked in the hospitality and retail industries for over fifteen years and I think my best accomplishments so far are raising three beautiful kids who are my universe.

3                   As an actress, have you had any formal training?

               A:           No, I have had no formal training. I have self taught myself. I realized having lack of money should not hold me back from achieving my dreams. I did extremely well in high school in drama and even volunteered at the local theatre company. I did some extra work in a Hollywood film and was cast in a commercial. I guess if you have passion and drive, nothing can get in the way of your dreams. I may not be a Shakespearean trained actor but that’s ok. I don’t need to be.

4                   What things have you acted in – TV, stage and/or big screen?  Please tell us about any.

                           A:              I have done some stage work during high school - was an extra in a Hollywood movie called 'Race the Sun' with Halle Berry, Jim Belushi, Casey Affleck and Eliza Dushku. I was in a local commercial and recently have done a few short films and trailers, working as an actor and as crew. I am currently in pre-production of my first debut short film which is written by me. I will be starring in it as well as co-producing and co-directing. Really excited about that.

5                   Have you always wanted to be in the entertainment industry?  Or was there something else you aspired to be when younger?

                           A:       Yes I was and still am a daydreamer. I used to fantasize about playing characters on screen - to bring my stories and dreams to life. I also wrote every day and drew. I was known amongst my peers as quite the artist. I used to win local competitions for my art and my stories. I was often inspired by my teachers to start publishing my stories but having traditional Asian parents who didn’t understand really hindered my goals for a while. They forbade my creative dreams. Until now.

6                   Are any of your family members or relations in ‘showbiz’?

                           A:         No. To this day I don’t think my parents know I am in this industry (haha).

7                   Have you ever been bullied?

                            A:        Yes. Since I was very little. In varying degrees.

8                   Whether you have been bullied or not, do you feel that the governments and schools around the world are doing enough to combat this problem?

                            A:           No I don’t think they are. But in saying that, even if they do implement something, can you really ever stop bullying?

9                   What more do you feel the above could do to try to either decrease this problem hugely or eliminate it altogether?

                            A:             Harsher penalties come to mind. But there are huge legal factors involved which makes it very difficult to work around. The law wants evidentiary proof, but there are quite a number of bullies who are very deceptive and utilise mind games which can be hidden. For example let’s take sociopaths. They are law abiding citizens and people think they are great. On the surface. But behind closed doors they are manipulative, deceptive and narcissistic. I find them more dangerous than psychopaths. They hide their true demeanor well from everyone else but the victim. Let me give an example which is currently happening to my close friend. Her ex husband is a RAAF officer. On the surface he is a charming man who will do what he can to help you out. Behind closed doors he was very controlling, dominant and during their marriage he would beat her. One time he even cracked her jaw. He managed to turn a strong woman who was ex-military, a law student and a nurse into a depressed battered woman with extreme PTSD. She had tried to take her own life to get away from him. When she finally had the courage she left him and had him charged for domestic violence, but it did not stop him. He would pretend he had changed his ways and was all charm again to let him inside her home. He used that opportunity to rape her. However since she couldn’t provide any proof he goes away unscathed. He has told all her friends and family she is mentally unstable, a prostitute and has bipolar etc. Her own mother doesn’t believe her and thinks she is too much trouble. This man has caused everyone to think she is crazy. I saw right through his lies. He has teamed up with her previous ex and they both bully her on a daily basis through texts, emails and phone calls. They had kidnapped her children not once but twice. The second time she tried to kill herself again as she couldn’t face life without her kids. They had almost succeeded in making her kill herself. Almost. She has tried almost everything. She has wrote countless letters, made many phone calls for help. The government and police believe his lies and think she should be locked up in the mental ward. It angers and frustrates me that these men get away with it while she suffers. She has lost her career, her kids and will soon lose her house because of them. 

Louise's story - coming soon

She is desperate to get her story out but everyone think she is just crazy. These are dangerous men who are very smart and dangerous. They will stop at nothing to get rid of her. They find her pain amusing and relish the fact that she is suffering. They have no interest in being full time fathers. Even an ex girlfriend of his came forward and confessed that he was obsessed with making my friend suffer. He hacks into her Facebook account, emails and bank accounts. He has even reported me to the police for something I said about him on Facebook which he shouldn’t have access to. That proves he is hacking illegally into our accounts. This is a dangerous sociopathic bully. One who gets away with it and will continue to do so because of stupid laws and the stigma with mental health. My friend is a dedicated and loving mother and her young boys are suffering without her. It breaks my heart.

10             As an author, what have you written?

                       A:             Mainly stories which are yet to be published and film scripts.

11             What and/or who are your inspirations?

                        A:               Many people and things inspire me. I love film, music and books. I love beautiful things and the way they are depicted.

12             What do you enjoy doing in your ‘spare’ time?

                       A:         I enjoy reading, writing and spending time with loved ones and good friends.

13             Have you acted with any very big names?

                       A:         Yes. Halle Berry, Jim Belushi, Casey Affleck and Eliza Dushku.

14             Have you done many media interviews?

                       A:         No I have not.

15             Are you managed professionally or do you represent yourself?

                       A:        Represent myself.

16             What is on the drawing board for Kim Huynh for 2014?

                       A:          I am currently working on my first short film. It is pre production. I will also begin my documentary later this year about domestic violence, sociopathic behaviour and mental abuse among partners with children. I am also making sure my online retail business will be up and running mid year.

17             Where do you see your career in ten years’ time?

                        A:          Among the big wigs in Hollywood haha. I can dream right? I see it making a big splash slowly and creating a respected name for myself, as a filmmaker, actress, business woman and of course, a mother.

18             Do you do any charity work?

                        A:          I used to sponsor a child years ago. I don’t do any charity work currently as I work each day and when I am not working at my job, I am working on my business and my film career which isn’t making me any money yet but hopefully one day.

19             Do you have a message you would like to impart to the world?

                       A:           Always trust your instincts. Treat others how you like to be treated. Be strong and remain positive. Those are mantras I like to live by.

20             Is there anything you would like to add?

                        A:         Victims of bullying and abuse always think they are alone. But they are not.  Somewhere, in this world, someone will care.  You're not alone.