Animals Australia CEO named Victoria’s Senior Australian of the Year

The prestigious honour is not only recognition of decades of dedicated service to animals but an important acknowledgment of the growing status animals have in our society.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated November 15, 2023

From rural beginnings growing up on a dairy farm to leading one of Australia’s most effective animal advocacy groups, Glenys Oogjes has been a tireless advocate for animals for over four decades.

As CEO of Animals Australia, Glenys has spent much of her career getting animal welfare on government agendas, and providing a much needed voice for animals during reviews of industry standards. 

When Glenys commenced in the 1980s, she was the only employee – and now oversees an organisation renowned globally for its investigations and strategic public awareness campaigns.

Collectively, these efforts that have lifted the lid on ‘live baiting’ in the greyhound racing industry, given an unprecedented voice to the suffering of animals in factory farms, influenced a phase out of the battery hen cage, and sees Australia on the precipice of ending the live export of sheep.

“I am so honoured to accept this award on behalf of all those who work tirelessly for animals in this state.

During the past four decades working in this field there has been an exponential shift in the importance that our society places on animals and their welfare, and this award reflects that shift.

While we still have a long way to go to see all animals receive legislative protection, I have no doubt that this is what the majority of Australians now want.

So many practices that cause harm to animals, especially those caught in industrialised food systems such as caged hens and the factory farming of pigs, commenced in a very different time in human history.

While there are still differing views around the use of animals, we can agree that our standards of care should reflect what we know about animal sentience and at the very least, ensure that all animals are provided with a life worth living.” – Glenys Oogjes, CEO Animals Australia and 2024 Victorian Senior Australian of the Year.

Glenys Oogjes CEO Animals Australia and dog Oscar
Glenys Oogjes CEO Animals Australia with a chicken

Glenys has been a quiet force behind historic changes in Australian animal policy, including some of our current animal protection laws. She was one of the instigators behind the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy – first endorsed in 2004 – and the more recent Australian Animal Welfare Standards for Poultry, which will see battery cages for egg-laying hens phased out across the country.