Winner of APDT & Black Dog Scholarship

Fiona wins APDT and Black Dog Scholarship, 2014

Fiona De Rosa’s application re dog parks was outstanding, professionally put together with a well thought out and realistic time frame. … She was supported by excellent and qualified references ...” (Karin Bridge, cited in APDT Annual Conference 2014, Program Brochure). “I cannot look past the importance of dog park safety and so would like to award Fiona De Rosa the Black Dog Scholarship for 2104.” (Peta Clarke, cited in APDT Conference 2014, Program Brochure).

It is a big honor to receive the scholarship. It allows me to travel to the United States to attend the APDT Conference, and to see first hand how (i.e. policy and practice) pets are integrated into the urban environment. In receipt of this award, I will be undertaking a project ‘Who let the dogs out and are they safe?” which involves researching and developing a dog park education program for the Australian context. This research builds on my previous work in the planning and design of dogs parks in South Australia.

How my life has changed direction. I first started out as an urban planner, and would never have imagined that my love of animals and planning could be linked. But now, I combine urban planning, companion animals and dog behaviour together in order to better integrate pets into cities, streets and communities.

If you are interested in developing a community education program for dog park users in your local area, please contact Fiona by email at