A number of SPCA centres run education programs within their local communities. These programs aim to raise awareness of the SPCA's role in the community, and to develop the public's understanding of animal welfare.
SPCA education programs can be tailored to suit a range of ages, and have been presented to kindergartens, schools and community groups. Please visit our Regional Education page to see information on programs in your region.
One of the Family was launched in 2007 and is run in schools nationwide. The program, spearheaded by Norm Hewitt and SPCA National Education Coordinator Shelley Ryan, is aimed at intermediate-school-aged children, and raises awareness of the link between animal cruelty and human violence.
Research has shown that family violence often starts with, and involves, animals, and that most animal abusers are adolescent or young males. Research also suggests that families are losing – or have lost – the values of nurturing and respect, with many children not being taught to care for others. We believe that teaching children to empathise with animals is an effective way to teach children to empathise with each other.
One of the Family focuses on crucial life-skills and behaviours, such as caring, nurturing, communication, respect for life, cooperation, socialisation, self-esteem, a sense of achievement and building empathy for others.
By teaching our children about kindness and compassion, we hope to bring about a kinder, safer society for people and animals alike.