On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Helen Cocks as our new Chief Executive Officer of GAWS.

Helen brings strong animal welfare experience, having served as the Executive Manager Animal Services at RSPCA Victoria for six years until 2015. She had direct responsibility for: state wide shelters, management of 18 council pound contracts, two major veterinary clinics providing both private Vet services and care to the shelter and pound animals, and the RSPCA Inspectorate including prosecutions of animal cruelty cases. Helen also represented the RSPCA on several external committees including the Zoos Victoria Peer Review Committee and the Companion Animal Working Group of AWAC.

Prior to the RSPCA Helen had a distinguished career in the Victorian health sector and held the positions of Director Community Services, Director Sub-acute & Rehabilitation Services and Director Greater Dandenong Community Health Services.

Throughout her career, Helen has been responsible for the management of large teams, complex processes and significant budgets.

Helen brings excellent management and animal welfare skills to the CEO role and the Directors look forward to her leading GAWS into the future.

I’m sure you will all join with the Board in welcoming Helen to her new role and give her your full cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Maria Mercurio


Geelong Animal Welfare Society