A former police officer, Lyn spent much of her early career fighting on behalf of human victims but it is for her work as an animal advocate that she has been honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM); named one of Australia’s most influential women; and a state finalist for Australian of the Year.
After 20 years in the South Australian Police Force, a chance reading of a magazine article about bear bile farming set Lyn on the path to animal advocacy. She worked with the Animals Asia Foundation on animal cruelty issues in South East Asia before joining Animals Australia in 2003.
Lyn’s investigations since then into Australia’s live export trade have provided the Australian public, livestock producers and politicians an insight into the brutal treatment of Australian animals sent overseas for slaughter. Evidence gathered over 11 years in 16 countries has resulted in significant industry reform. Under Lyn’s guidance, Animals Australia investigators continue to provide the only independent oversight of the live trade in importing countries.
As Animals Australia’s Campaign Director, Lyn spearheaded strategic public awareness initiatives to shine a spotlight on the treatment of animals raised for food in factory farms, on dogs abused in the puppy factory trade, and more recently headed investigations exposing shocking cruelty in Australia’s greyhound racing industry.
Lyn is also the Director of Animals International, the global arm of Animals Australia, collaborating with international colleague groups on universal animal cruelty issues from factory farming to live export. Her work has led to unprecedented animal welfare advancements in a number of countries, including in Jordan where she serves as Chief Adviser to the Princess Alia Foundation.
Lyn’s life experiences are unique and provide an insight into the systems of justice in place for humans and animals. She presents a compelling argument that the causes of human and animal suffering are the same — and that we cannot address one without addressing the essence of both. Moreover she deeply challenges the essence of our humanity by advocating that we are not simply here to be human beings, but to become humane beings — and to leave this world a kinder and more compassionate place for those who follow us.
The importance of Lyn's work has received critical international acclaim.
- "To carry out investigations into Australian animals across the globe, each more distressing than the last- to witness and document horrendous events while maintaining her outward cool and doing the only thing which can make a difference — putting the situations to the public with documented proof — and through it all to maintain objectivity, clarity, fair mindedness and humanity ... I am simply in awe of her." HRH Princess Alia al Hussein of Jordan
- "In my 40 years working with various organisations to reduce the needless suffering of both humans and animals, I have never known someone as brave and resolute – or as effective – as Lyn. Lyn's work has already prevented a vast amount of cruelty, and I am sure that in the future it will prevent much more. Lyn seems to me to have exactly the qualities that Australians look for in their heroes: a quiet no nonsense get-the-job done approach, combined with compassion for the weak and an abhorrence of cruelty." Professor Peter Singer, University Centre for Human Values
Lyn is an accomplished public speaker and has undertaken two national tours, speaking to sell-out audiences in capital cities across Australia about how our treatment of animals challenges the finest elements of our humanity.
While as Australia's most recognisable animal advocate, her work keeps her in the headlines, Lyn much prefers life out of the spotlight. In the rare moments of quiet she will be enjoying long walks with her adopted Border Collie, Buddy, on the beaches of Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, where she currently resides.
- An evening with Lyn White – watch the event online
- Animals Australia 2015 Year in Review video
- Good Weekend profiles Lyn White (2015)
- Australian Story: Lyn White (2012)
- Speak for the Animals, Adelaide Advertiser (2011)
- Australian Story: the Animal Justice Fund (2010)
- 60 Minutes factory farming exposé (2009)