“Disaster is response is 90% preparedness and 10% response this is where the lead agency needs to plan from the ground up pre-disaster and then when disaster happens to govern from the top down collaboration and consultation is key. We cannot do it all!"

- Dr Elaine Ong


Dr Elaine Ong, Founder of Vets For Compassion is an experienced wildlife darter and rescuer with over 20 years’ experience. She and her team of vets and nurses have assisted in the fire grounds and floods including the Lake Eppalock floods, fires in Framlingham, Black Saturday, the Grampians and Scotsburn, Ballarat, Mallacoota, and the 2022 NSW floods.

She also assists the Australian Veterinary Association with Bushfire Preparedness Planning and Protocols.

She was one of the AVA Task Force members during Black Saturday fires and worked as a vet and darter in Kinglake, Taggerty, Marysville, Humevale, Whittlesea, and Wallan in Victoria.

All the work that the VFC team has done can be used as a blueprint for natural disaster preparedness by relevant stakeholders and government departments.

She and her VFC team are now working closely with Zoo Victoria and the Local Land Services and the DPI of NSW Government to ensure that future responses are pre-planned well ahead of disaster.