Sylvana is a staunch, lifelong advocate for animal welfare and has been instrumental in initiating industry leading programs. She founded the National Desexing Network in 2004 and National Desexing Month in 2005. That year she also cofounded the Getting to Zero Summits. These bi-annual events have been great change agents, shifting traditional beliefs about animal sheltering and animal overpopulation towards a more progressive, solution based approach. She is also passionate about the welfare of greyhounds.
While completing her degree in Public Relations (specialising in non profit organisations) at Florida International University, Sylvana worked in a mobile desexing clinic. The hands on experience that this job provided would prove advantageous later in her career. Since moving to Australia in 2001, she has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Animal Welfare League of Queensland and was president for many years.
In recent years, Sylvana has focussed her time setting up and coordinating a veterinary program in the Torres Straights – a region without access to veterinary assistance. As such, she understands the needs of both the VBB volunteers and partner organisations.