Development & Committee


At present, West Australia has plenty of well qualified veterinarians and veterinary hospitals capable of dealing with animals in disasters such as bushfires. However, WA does not have an organised frontline veterinary response group that is officially recognised by, nor that could be activated by, the Emergency Services in the event of a disaster.

Early in 2016 development of West Australian Veterinary Emergency Response Incorporated (WAVER) was initiated. WAVER is composed of volunteer veterinarians, vet nurses and participating vet hospitals who can provide frontline veterinary emergency services, in the event of emergencies, large accidents and disasters, such as bushfires, in Western Australia.

The purpose of WAVER will be to set up field stations as directed by Emergency Services, triage, treat and coordinate dispersal of animals to participating veterinary hospitals and peripheral carers as required. All animals will be cared for including domestic pets, horses, livestock and wildlife.

Development of WAVER was modelled on and initiated after observations of events from the South Australian Pinery fires in 2015, the work of the South Australian Veterinary Emergency Response (SAVEM) group and the Victorian Veterinary Emergency taskforce developed after the Black Saturday fires in 2009.

Communication is current with the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) with respect to the SEMC’s Animals in Emergencies Working Group, established in 2016. The goal of WAVER is become formalised and embedded within the Emergency Services structure in WA. In the event of emergencies, large accidents or disasters, WAVER could then be activated, by the controlling Emergency Agency, alongside peripheral agencies such as the RSPCA and Rangers. WAVER volunteers are being organised within sectors around WA mirroring the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) framework.


 During the 2016 Waroona fires, a massive public response provided support for WAVER. Volunteers’ registered from all over WA with industry support from the Australian Veterinary Association, over 70 volunteer vets, vet nurses and numerous vet hospitals around Perth including Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital and the Perth Zoo. Large public donations provided material goods and consumables used to treat affected animals.

Click the photo to view the:

Waroona Fires 2016 Album

Vet Hospitals willing to support WAVER during & after the fires included:

  • Silverson Vet Clinic
  • Waroona Vet Hospital
  • Murray Vet Services
  • Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital
  • Perth Zoo
  • Kalamunda Vet Hospital
  • Mandurah & Coastal Vet Hospital
  • Malibu Vet Hospital
  • Baldivis Vet Hospital

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WAVER has the support of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Murdoch University Animal Hospital, is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) and in March 2017 has commenced fundraising to aid further development, volunteer insurance and operation of the organisation. Essential equipment, infrastructure and resources necessary for our purpose will be sought via donations and via purchase through funds raised and funding applications. 

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Future training and development of volunteers includes:

• Participation and presentation of WAVER at the Treating Burns Workshop at the AVA State Conference in Perth October 2016. 

• WAVER registrants are invited to the WA Horse Council TLAER workshop in May 2017.

• WAVER will seek to organise Basic Fire Ground Training for our volunteers.

• Develop a WAVER Operational Recourse based on AIIMS foundations.

• Website development including links to training, including AIIMS resources.

• WAVER is interested in the development of training workshops for Large Animal Handling directed towards non-veterinary Emergency Personnel. We are aware that many Emergency Personnel may have little or nil knowledge of large animal handling.

Communication has been established with the Australian Veterinary Emergency Response Team (AVERT) recently established by Vets Beyond Borders. We consider it would be sensible to ensure WAVER and AVERT combine forces if, or when, activation is required.




All registered WA vets and vet nurses are encouraged to register with WAVER. Vet hospitals who can receive affected animals are encouraged to register as a Participating Vet Hospital. In addition, wildlife carers and peripheral personnel who can contribute in any way, are welcome to register with WAVER. Personnel interested in sitting on the WAVER committee are very welcome.

All Volunteer members of WAVER are welcome to apply to become part of our committee - either as an Office Bearer or Sub-committee member. You do not have to be a veterinary professional to be on the member. If you have interests in the vet profession, emergency services, charity organisations, wildlife or any other area you feel will help develop WAVER - please email us with your interest.



Sub-committee Members may choose an individual small task or area they wish to develop. Current areas to develop include:

*   Volunteer recruitment & collation

*   Facility collations for Evacuations

*   Donation and Funding avenues

*   Advertising & Promotion

*   Medical supply collation

*   Large Animal Rescue equipment collation              CONTACT US NOW

*   Field triage equipment collation

*  Training development - Basic Fire Ground training; Burns Treatments; Wildlife Treatments; Large      Animal Rescue training; Flood and High water animal rescue.



   Being  a committee member is easy - with the majority of communications and tasks being able to be performed from home on your computer. Meetings are held four times a year. 

Current members:

Dr Joan Deetman - Veterinarian - WAVER Chairperson

Marcia Johnson - Treasurer

VACANT            - Secretary

Dr Ron Schneider - Veterinarian - President Australian Veterinary Association WA Division

Mikaela Deetman - RVN - Committee

Current WAVER Registrations:                                           ARE YOU REGISTERED?

Veterinarians:   45                                                                     REGISTER NOW !

Vet Nurses:       38

Vet Hospitals:   10

More information:    

  Dr Joan Deetman   M: 0407 774 595    E:  W:



© Joan Deetman 2016