Commemorating 110 years of care and compassionSubscribe Now

Staff & Volunteers

1975 - Feeding time for the puppies at the HomeFrom hosing down a pen, to writing to donors, to calling an anxious owner with some happy news; over the past 100 years, every staff member and volunteer who has set foot in the Home has played an important part in our success.

The Home was led by eight managers (nee keepers) throughout our first century, all of whom have steered The Lost Dogs’ Home with the best interests of dogs and cats at the forefront of their mind.

1913 Mr Whitbourne
1913 – 1915 Mr PJ Cassidy
1916 – 1944 Mr John Fraser
1946 – 1949 Mr Michael J Busst
1950 – 1964 Mr James T Walker
1964 – 1974 Mr Les L Anderson
1974 – 1986 Mr Harold McKenzie
1986 – 2015 Dr Graeme Smith
2015 – 2016 Ms Kerry Thompson
2016 – 2018 Mr Andrew Israel

Pictured right: Feeding time at the Home in 1975


Mr John Fraser
Mr John Fraser was initially appointed keeper in 1916 and remained superintendant of the Home until 1944. He was known as being “conscientious and reliable, who showed unlimited kindness to the animals in his care”. Instrumental in the development of the Home inits infancy, John travelled all the way to England and Scotland to gain invaluable insights on animal welfare developments previously unheard of in Australia. During the Great Depression when the Home was facing extreme financial hardship, John, along with five members of his staff, generously offered to lower their rate of pay. Such was their dedication to the Home and its work.

Mr MJ Busst

Mr Michael Busst
One of Australia’s best known dog judges, Mr Michael J Busst was appointed manager of the Home in early 1946. He had recently returned from training dogs for war work in England.

Arthur - 50 years

Mr Arthur Cachia
In 2012, our longest-serving staff member Arthur Cachia celebrated fifty years working at The Lost Dogs’ Home. Arthur was just a teenager when he first starting working at the Home as an ambulance driver and dog collector. Before he retired in 2015, Arthur was in charge of facilities and operations at the shelter and is a much-loved figure around the Home.


Dr Graeme Smith OAM
Veterinarian and Managing Director Dr Graeme Smith was appointed in 1986 to reinvigorate the organisation. Under Dr Smith’s leadership, both the face and the focus of the Home changed dramatically over his 29 years at the helm. From an organisation facing closure to one of Australia’s leading animal welfare voices, Dr Smith’s passion for innovation has seen the Home develop services and pro-active initiatives our founders could only ever dream of.


Mrs Sue Conroy
More than 25 years ago, Sue Conroy arrived for her first day at the Home, and was shown an empty room, containing just a single tap and a bench and was instructed to develop the Home’s cattery. Facing many challenges along the way in her role of General Manager of Operations, Sue contributed significantly to animal welfare over these years, and was instrumental in campaigning for the rights of dogs and cats, and educating the community about responsible pet ownership.

Copyright The Lost Dogs' Home 2013