Incorporation statement

As Australians, we care about our environment and its indigenous fauna. Our primary aim is to have a positive impact on raptor rehabilitation and release techniques utilised by wildlife carers. The ultimate aim is to maximise survival rates post release.

This is a unique organisation that has identified a gap currently existing in Australian Raptor rehabilitation practices. Through collaborative engagement with raptor rehabilitators we aim to demonstrate and develop best care practices and how flying strength and endurance can be regained in a facility such as ours.

Members of the founding committee of ARCC Inc. have relevant and essential experience to implement this project including veterinarians, raptor carers who have studied at Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, ornithologists and those with a passion to see Australia move towards the forefront of raptor care.


Founding Members

Peg McDonald

Peg-171-white-broderPeggy has always had a love of Australian wildlife and began caring for reptiles as a young girl under the tuition of both her father and Eric Worrell, founder of the Australian Reptile Park at Gosford. Her passion and commitment has never wavered, but in the early 1990’s two things happened that saw her love of birds and understanding of just how  specific their rehabilitation requirements are unfold. Her first Gang Gang cockatoo came into care and he was to go on to show her just what remarkable, intelligent, emotional and very special creatures birds are.

Completing a course with Jerry Olsen in 1992, opened up the world of bird of prey rehabilitation, and a determination to seek and share knowledge with regard to their precise needs in the rehabilitation sector in Australia, began.

Her first internship at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital in 2011, under Dr Margit Muller, lit the spark that has now become the reality of ARCC Inc. and the dream to witness and help facilitate Australia move towards the forefront of world raptor care and release practices has taken wings.


Melanie Barsony

mel3-borderMelanie’s love of all creatures began as a young child.

Her father was George Barsony, well known creator of Barsony lamps and whose statue of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, stands in his hometown in Hungary. Melanie’s mother’s maiden name was Bird, which perhaps had some influence on her life direction!

Melanie has been caring for wildlife since 2004 and specialises in avian and raptor care. She completed two internships at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, travelling and studying with Peg.  The knowledge of the latest in treatments and rehabilitation techniques gained at the hospital is invaluable and can directly assist Australia’s amazing birds of prey. ARCC Inc. will be the conduit to connect all those passionate about raptors.

Melanie is also an accomplished artist whose work includes detailed raptor portraits and environmental themes.




Charlie Carter

Charlie-BorderCharlie graduated from the University of Sydney in 2000. He then spent time working in a large animal practice in the Central west before spending 2 years overseas working in the UK and travelling through Europe, Africa and Central America.

During his travels he saw some of the amazing wildlife around the world. Wild creatures and their conservation is a passion Charlie has held since he was a small boy growing up on a farm near Young.

He has been part of the Southern Highlands Vet Centre team for the past 9 years and enjoys the wide variety of species he encounters during his work day including wildlife.

Seeing the dedication and passion of Peg and her many volunteers convinced Charlie of the need to become involved in ARCC Inc, and as they say – the rest is history!





Mike Harrop

Mike-Harrop-300pxMike has a long held admiration of, and fascination with birds of prey.

He has completed a Wildlife and Environmental Management course and has previously worked on a voluntary basis with NPWS endangered species unit.

Mike is inspired by the total dedication and commitment displayed by Peggy in the care and conservation of Australian raptors and believes the formation of ARCC Inc is an important step toward continued advancements in this area by bringing like minded people together who share a common goal.





Ellen Rasidi

ERasidi-bio-pic-200pxEllen began nursing at an avian specialty veterinary practice in Melbourne in 2002 and since then has been a passionate carer and supporter of all things with wings. After getting a few degrees, dabbling in research and international conservation projects, she finally decided to take the plunge and become an avian vet herself – and is due to graduate from the University of Sydney in December 2015.

She met Peggy and Melanie during an externship at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital and immediately clicked with the cause and ethos of ARCC Inc. Ellen is keen to contribute to the pool of veterinary and scientific knowledge of Australian raptors through clinical research, and to continually improve the veterinary care available to these birds. She and Charlie have been awarded funding from the Association of Avian Veterinarians (Australasian Committee) to support this research, with ethics approval from the NSW Department of Primary Industries.




Mark Kelly

Ned_Karijini-300px-borderMark is a relative late-comer to ARCC Inc. He first met Peg at a design course at Mossvale TAFE in 2012.

As a child he was fascinated by reptiles & had a large collection of lizards in his parents backyard. Later he was banned by the local librarian for constantly borrowing any more books on bushcraft & reptiles & was told to “go & read a story book”.

He is based in the Southern Highlands. Mark has won many accolades for his work including National & International awards.

Mark became ARCC Inc’s photographer after recognising the need to publicise the great work Peg & the ARCC Inc team do to help injured birds get back into the wild.