Animal Supports in the Community: Definitions, Benefits and Considerations

Animal Supports in the Community: Definitions, Benefits and Considerations
Start Date
09 December 2020
End Date
09 December 2020
Start Time
4.00pm AEDT
End Time
5.15pm AEDT
Webinar (Zoom) - Via PC or mobile device
Contact Name
ARATA Office
Contact Email

In this webinar, consideration of different types of animal supports for people with disability or health conditions will be offered to attendees, including detail on companion animals, volunteering or interacting with animals, animal assisted therapy, assistance animals and emotional support animals. Presented by Dr Em Bould, Dr Miranda Van Hooff and Dr Janette Young - having backgrounds in psychology and social work, and delivering a range of research programs exploring the impact of animals on social and community participation of people using these supports.

Webinar Outline

By attending this webinar, people will:

  • Gain knowledge regarding the different types of animal supports a person may use within community living, when experiencing disability or health condition/s
  • Consider possible funding options and guidelines for Animal Supports within Australia
  • Hear perspectives and experiences of people using animal supports within community living
  • Understand potential benefits and cautions regarding Animal Supports used

This webinar is suitable for people who may be:

  • Considering animal supports in their own life
  • Advising others on the use of animal support within community living
  • Planning animal supports as part of allied health practice
  • Funding or developing animal support programs through government or other community initiatives


Dr Em Bould

Dr Em Bould

Em is a senior post-doctoral research fellow in the School of Primary and Allied Healthcare at Monash University. She has a strong track record of research generating evidence to guide development of practices, programs and policies enabling participation by people with cognitive disability and promote their social inclusion, to bring about positive change for people living with disability. Most recently this has focused on human and animal supports, and she has developed a program of research to build the evidence base regarding the impact of animal supports used in community living.

Dr Miranda Van Hooff

Miranda is the Executive Director of Military and Emergency Services Health Australia and an experienced research scientist specialising in the mental health impacts of bushfires, adverse childhood adversity and occupational trauma. She was awarded her PhD in 2010 for her research examining the adult mental and physical health outcomes of childhood exposure to the 1983 Ash Wednesday Bushfires. Since 1999 she has held various academic appointments at the University of Adelaide working with renown International trauma specialist Professor Alexander McFarlane. During her career, she has conducted several large-scale longitudinal studies of children hospitalised for a significant burn injury, children exposed to the neurotoxic effects of lead and adults exposed to the 2006 Black Tuesday Bushfires on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Since 2009, her research and passion has been dedicated to enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of current and former serving Australian military and emergency service personnel. She has received over $10M in competitive and commonwealth grant funding having led the 2015 Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme, The 2010 Military Health Outcomes Programme and the 2016 South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service Health and Wellbeing Study. She is currently conducting a two year longitudinal evaluation of two Australian assistance dog programs for veterans and emergency services personnel with PTSD (Operation K9: Royal Society of the Blind: PTSD Assist: Assistance Dogs Australia)

Dr Janette Young

Janette is a researcher at the University of South Australia. Her key research area is pets and people. She lectures in Health Promotion at the University of South Australia but she has had a varied career starting out as a Social Worker in community aged care, then morphing into policy and planning work and then on into academia. People and pets has been a theme across her own life and in her work since her first student placement where she learnt that sometimes the best you can do to support people is look after the animals that they care about. Janette's academic focus on the human-animal intersection has mushroomed over the past decade with a particular focus on the intersection and balancing of both human and animal needs, experiences and rights and the relationships of people over 60 with their pets. She has 2 books, numerous chapters, journal articles, conference presentations and is author or informant for a range of popular media articles. She is regularly invited to speak publicly in relation to human relationships with pets and is co-chair of Animal Therapies Ltd (SA). She lives with two dogs, one husband and numerous foster cats, kittens and bunnies.


Wednesday, 9 December 2020


4.00pm to 5.15pm AEDT  Click here to check your local time


Your computer or mobile device

Connection details

Details will be provided to registrants via email prior to the live broadcast.  Please note to check your junk or spam inbox too.  


A live caption service will be provided during this webinar.  


ARATA Members - $44.00 inc. GST

Concession Holders:  $44.00 inc. GST  (Note: Evidence of eligiblity for this status shall be required.)

Non-Members - $77.00 inc. GST

Not a member of ARATA?  Click here to join now


1.25 hours / points