About MAAW

About Mt Alexander Animal Welfare Inc (MAAW)

We are a passionate team of qualified staff and volunteers who run MAAW’s animal shelter and op shop Empawrium. We work with the community to support a range of initiatives that promote the welfare of native wildlife and domestic animals. We are a registered incorporated association governed by an elected committee.


One door closed and another opened

MAAW is Established

When the RSPCA announced the closure of the Castlemaine Animal Shelter, the community united to take on the running of the facility. In a short time, we set up an organisation, opened a fundraising op shop, Rotary donated to us our animal transport van and we were up and running as Mount Alexander Animal Welfare Inc. - Rosey Skinner Senior Shelter Manager


Purchase of the shelter

Money raised by the Op Shop enabled MAAW to purchase the shelter from the RSPCA so we could begin the building of the new cattery; a regulatory requirement as it did not meet current standards.


Pound Contract Awarded

We secured our tender for the operation of the Mt Alexander Shire Council pound for the next three years, guaranteeing income of $180,000 per year to assist with the operation of the shelter.


New Cattery Opens

Our new cattery opened in February 2020, providing a warm, happy and cosy environment for our cats and kittens. The original estimate was $130,000, but the overall cost has exceeded $210,000, with $50,000 of this coming from a state government grant. $40,000 from three generous donors and $120,000 from the MAAW Op Shop. Construction continues in 2021.


Projects Underway

Whilst the cattery build was a fundamental operational improvement to meet regulatory requirements, the shelter still needs significant improvements and essential upgrades to ensure we can provide a safe and healthy environment for our staff and animals. Projects underway: • asset fire protection $145k • drainage upgrades $10k • quarantine/isolation upgrades $20k • better kennels for our sheltered dogs $20k • security gates $15k • improved exercise yard for the dogs $10k • solar installation on roof $10k. Again we will rely heavily on sales at the Op Shop and generous donations to fund these projects.

MAAW Committee

The Role of the Committee

The committee oversees the operation of MAAW, including the op shop, shelter and animal welfare initiatives. They bring a diverse range of wisdom and experience to their role at MAAW, and they are all united by a passion for animal welfare. They ensure everything the organisation does supports its vision, purpose and aims, and on behalf of our members, they establish the fundamental values, the ethical principles and strategic direction of the organisation. Committee members are all volunteers who have a vital role within the community and voluntary sector. Their role is not necessarily about doing, it is about ensuring things are done. The day-to-day management of the organisation is delegated to paid staff or to volunteers. The committee are accountable for the activities of the organisation and the ultimate decision-making forum.

Steven Mann


Shirley Hardy-Rix


Nat Thorpe

Vice President

Steven Mann


Grant Roff

Committee Member

Genda Mann

Committee Member


Our active workers who keep MAAW running

We rely on having “paws on the ground” to keep MAAW running, and we are grateful to our dedicated team of staff and volunteers for all the fantastic work they do. Our team members work at our op shop and shelter; caring for the animals, raising funds, securing donations, maintaining a healthy work environment and making sure everything runs smoothly.

Rosey Skinner

Senior Shelter Manager

Zoe Pocock

Part - time Animal Attendant

Bec Farley

Part-time Animal Attendant

Gretel Quirk

Part-time Animal Attendant

Peter Bottomley

Op Shop Manager

Michelle Holmes

Senior Op Shop Staff Member


Crucial Members of our Teams

Janine Jeffs

Casual Retail Assistant - Op Shop

Glenn McGoldrick

Casual Retail Assistant - Op Shop

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MAAW's Community Contributions

MAAW Helping Paws

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A community based organisation, providing high quality and compassionate animal welfare in the Mount Alexander Shire.

Animal Shelter

Show your support for our network

Castlemaine Veterinary Clinic

(03) 5472 2268

Top Dog Pet Food Supplies

0476 212 349

Pet Stock Castlemaine

(03) 54721016

Mount Alexander Shire Council

(03) 5471 1700
The Castlemaine Mensshed has supported both the shelter and op shop with onsite projects.

Castlemaine Mens Shed


Fair Dinkum Dogs


Victorian Goldfields Railway

(03) 5470 6658

Theatre Royal Castlemaine

(03) 54721196