Remembering our dear colleague, Audrey Mealia, who fought to protect animals throughout her life
Our much-loved Head of Wildlife Programmes, Audrey Mealia, sadly died of cancer on 14th October 2021. We're remembering her for the hugely positive impact she had on animals and people.
Audrey has been a valued member of the World Animal Protection team since 2014. She started as our Corporate Affairs Manager before moving into the wildlife team as Deputy Director and Head of Programmes, where she played a vital role across our global wildlife work.
Audrey was at the forefront of many achievements for animals. These included:
- Coordinating our very first corporate outreach tactics that put public pressure on big brand travel companies, including Thomas Cook and Trip Advisor, to go wildlife-friendly. Now, more than 250 travel companies around the world have committed to stop selling and promoting wildlife cruelty.
- Transitioning elephant camps offering shows, rides and bathing experiences to become ‘elephant-friendly’ venues where tourists take part in observation-only experiences.
- Engaging with global food companies, including McDonald’s and Nando’s, on our Business Benchmark on Animal Welfare (BBFAW report) to ensure they committed to actions to improve the lives of farmed animals, and keeping the pressure on them to stand by their word.
- Playing a pioneering role with our Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), helping to get this ground-breaking initiative off the ground. She coached our campaigners on engaging seafood companies on the issue of ghost gear - which is now firmly on the global oceans and plastics agenda. The world’s largest seafood companies, including Thai Union, are now active members of the GGGI.
Our CEO, Steve McIvor said:
Audrey was a wonderful colleague - forthright and passionate about animal welfare. She will be remembered by us all as a natural and instinctive campaigner, trusted sounding board, a dedicated leader and supportive manager who always thought of others.
Everyone at World Animal Protection is devastated by Audrey's death and will miss her dearly.
Our Director of Wildlife, Kate Nustedt said:
Audrey was a much loved and admired colleague.
We take inspiration from Audrey as a fearless campaigner for animals. She knew anything could happen if you had belief. More than anything, Audrey believed that we could end the exploitation of animals.
Her tenacity was highlighted during this pandemic. Whilst suffering herself from serious health issues, Audrey made sure that we supported the elephants and bears in sanctuaries across Asia and Romania so they could be fed and cared for, and wouldn’t suffer due to declining revenue from tourism.
Our hearts, support and condolences go out to her loved ones.
We'll miss you, Audrey