AUSTRALIA - SYDNEY

ANIMAL WELFARE & CONSERVATION: CARE FOR ANIMALS IN A WILDLIFE SANCTUARY IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Play a meaningful and active role in preserving and increasing populations of rare and endangered Australian wildlife and indigenous plant life.

Australia has some of the world’s most unique wildlife, with many species found only in this country. This makes wildlife conservation in Australia incredibly important. Here you'll make a real contribution to the conservation of Australia’s weird and wonderful wildlife as you work alongside the rangers at a local sanctuary.

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Hi, I'm Katie, Project Coordinator for Australia, and I'll be working with you to arrange your ultimate experience here, so if you've any questions, please contact me:
+44 (0)1903 502595,
or email: info@travellers
worldwide.com
Price: £1,995 (approx. US$2,620) for 2 weeks
£2,790 (approx. US$3,650) for 3 weeks
£3,580 (approx. US$4,695) for 4 weeks
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies
Duration: From 2 weeks minimum to 4 weeks maximum, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates: Programmes start twice a month, on a Monday. Please see Start Dates under Work Content below.
Requirements: Minimum age 18, or 16 with parental consent. No qualifications required, but you should be reasonably fit to be able to cope with the requirements of this project. Minimum age 18.
What's included: Arranging your Programme,
Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance,
Accommodation,
Food and some beverages,
Meeting you at the nearest airport,
Transfer to the Project and accommodation
Local in-country team support and backup,
24-hr emergency support,
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Return transfer to airport.
Who can do this Programme? This project is open to all nationalities. Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in animal welfare, conservation and caring for animals and working with wildlife overseas. Good if you want to learn about rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife and care for animals voluntary work, projects abroad or study abroad.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping injured, orphaned and displaced animals who cannot be released and returned to the wild. Helping to give them a safe haven and good quality of life and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN AUSTRALIA info@travellersworldwide.com

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Volunteer with kangaroos
Volunteer with some of the resident kangaroos.
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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

This sanctuary provides a refuge for rehabilitated but un-releasable injured and orphaned animals. It also protects an ancient Aboriginal landscape where you can see Aboriginal sites that show evidence of Australia’s original people, including hand-stenciled caves and sandstone engravings.

You'll assist the park rangers with general animal care. You'll help with crucial maintenance of the fox-proof fence to keep the animals safe from introduced predators.

Bush care and regeneration work to preserve healthy habitat for the animals and to save endangered plant species, are just some of the environmental projects that you'll get involved with. Mending fences and maintaining enclosures takes on a magical aspect when you’re accompanied by free-ranging trusting inquisitive wildlife!

Much of the animal care work involves cleaning, feeding and maintaining the animals’ enclosures and their natural bush habitat, pulling weeds and collecting litter.

SAMPLE SCHEDULE:
After having breakfast at the Center, you'll travel to the park by train to the Sanctuary. You'll engage in your daily tasks at the project. You' have a lunch break and a packed lunch will be provided for you to have at the project.

After completing your day’s work, you will return to the Volunteer Center in Beecroft by train for a well deserved rest.

Your daily tasks will include:

  • assisting the park rangers with general animal care
  • helping with crucial maintenance of the fox-proof fence to keep the animals safe
  • regeneration work to preserve healthy habitat for the animals and to save endangered plant species
  • joining activities such as hand pulling of weeds and collecting litter
  • cleaning, feeding and maintaining the animals’ enclosures and their natural bush habitat

AIMS & OBJECTIVES:
By joining this program you'll have an opportunity to make a real contribution to help saving Australian wildlife from extinction, and to protecting the animals’ natural home. You'll also care for the dependent and wild animals that live in the sanctuary. And you will gain a valuable experience on learning how to operate and manage a national park by working as a mini ranger in the sanctuary.

Requirements:
You'll require a certain level of fitness and must be able to do physical work which will include light construction and other ‘hands on’ duties like hand weeding, clearing debris, rubbish removal, removal of invasive non-native tree species etc.

This program will not suit you if you're afraid of wild fauna and insects or don’t wish to do physical work.

You'll be given training (compulsory) over 1-2 days before starting work on the project. This training will be included during the first week and may be ongoing as new tasks arise.

START DATES:

REQUIREMENTS

  • You should be a hands-on person who loves the outdoors.
  • You should be in good health and reasonably fit and able to work in a team. You must be prepared for some hard physical work, especially during the summer time when it can get extremely hot.
  • You must be willing to get stuck in and get your hands dirty.
  • Also flexible and be prepared to move around the City and be willing to go wherever you're needed.
  • Very Important - you will need to use your initiative and be very proactive, be patient and determined.
  • Like most conservation work, there are spiders and snakes in some locations, so you should reconsider this project if you have a fear of these.
  • Lastly, self-reliance and independence will help you make the most of this wonderful opportunity!
BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN AUSTRALIA info@travellersworldwide.com
Volunteers prepare bedding for the animal enclosures
Volunteers prepare bedding for the animal enclosures.
Volunteer giving care to a vulnerable baby
Volunteer giving care to a vulnerable tiny baby.
Spiny ant-eater hedgehog porcupines
Three Spiny Ant-Eater Hedgehog Porcupines pigging out!
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ACCOMMODATION

Sydney is Australia’s largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city, with an enviable reputation as one of the world’s most liveable and beautiful cities. Known as the Harbour City, Sydney is brimming with history, nature, culture, art, fashion, cuisine and design. Located on one of the world’s most beautiful harbours, Sydney also has some of Australia’s most famous surf beaches like Coogee and Bondi Beach, beautiful coastline scenery and easy access to Royal National Park, the world’s second national park.

Your accommodation is located in the peaceful suburban city called Beecroft in Northern Suburbs in Sydney 25 km from the Sydney central business district (25 to 30 minutes drive). You will be staying in the residential area where you can easily reach all the services and facilities such as supermarkets, ATMs, banks, shopping malls, and restaurants.

There are many tourist destinations which can be reached within 25 - 45 mins drive from the House Center. Among them there are white sandy beaches where you can spend your free time, such as Bondi Beach, Manly beach, Coogee beach, and places of interest such as Sydney opera house, Darling harbour and many more.

Your Center is located in Beecroft, Greater Sydney, where you will be staying in comfortable dorm-style accommodation for the duration of the project. The center has a well equipped kitchen which you can use to store your food and make your own meals as per your wishes. And there is also cozy living room where you can hang out with the fellow participants, watch movies and spend time.

Wi-Fi / Internet: is available in the public areas.

FOOD:
Food is included in this project: three meals a day during the week. Breakfast and dinner have to be self prepared and packed lunch will be provided during your project days. You can change the breakfast and dinner menu according to your wishes and share with the other participants and cook together.

During weekends, meals will not be provided. However, cold food will be available at the kitchen if you wish you stay at the center during the weekends.

The cooking facility will be available for you to prepare breakfast from 6.30 am to 8.30 am and for dinner from 6 pm to 8 pm. There is a refrigerator which you are welcome to use to store your personal food and beverages.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN AUSTRALIA info@travellersworldwide.com
What an irresistible face!
The iconic Opera House
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THE PROJECT'S ETHICAL IMPACT ON THEIR COMMUNITY

This Project is a working wildlife sanctuary set in an 80-hectare Wildlife Park. The objective “conservation through education” is grounded in the concept that every person who walks in the gates, guests, staff and volunteers, gets to experience the animals’ world. Unlike a zoo where animals are on display, the Sanctuary Park’s animals can choose whether or not to interact with humans.

Hardly surprisingly, however, because of the amazing relationship between the staff and the animals, there are always lots of animals around. The free-ranging kangaroos, emus and wallabies are clearly intrigued by their human visitors, seeing the humans as being there for the animals’ entertainment, rather than the other way around.

Where do the animals come from and how are they rescued?

Many of the animals are, or are the offspring of, unreleasable wild rescues. They have come into care because they have been ill, injured, orphaned, displaced or lost their habitat e.g. due to land clearing for new housing estates. They have recovered and are healthy, but they either have a permanent disability or dependance on humans, or their homes have been destroyed so they have no place to go back to.

They have been assessed and are not stressed by human interaction, and they can look forward to a permanent home at the Sanctuary Park where they can be as wild or as cared for as is appropriate for each individual animal.

Others are part of important breed-for-release programs where animal institutions across Australia are cooperating, under scientific direction, to build up dwindling wild populations, or reestablish locally extinct wild populations, of threatened species. These programs include eradicating introduced predators from natural areas, treating and controlling disease, improving genetic diversity, and rehabilitating habitat, so that the animals from the breeding program can be safe in the wild and their populations can become sustainable.

Are the animals ever released? How are the animals looked after and what is the process with look after them?

The Sanctuary Park acts as a halfway house for some wild rescue animals that have regained their health but need to learn or relearn wild behaviours before they can successfully be released into the ‘big’ wild.

Other rescued wild animals, e.g. with permanent vision deficits, may not be releasable into the ‘big’ wild, but may be able to live happy and free in the relative safety of the Sanctuary Park’s fox-proof 80 acres of bushland.

The third subset of animals do live in natural enclosures because they need a greater level of care.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PROJECT:

The Sanctuary Park and its associated Wildlife Conservation Foundation, were both started by a husband and wife in their pursuit of preserving the natural environment and the Aboriginal cultural landscape where the sanctuary is situated. They immigrated to Australia from South Africa in 1999.

Hyper aware of how Africa has lost so much of its cultural and natural heritage, they recognised the piece of land as being rich in Australian cultural and natural heritage, and in need of preservation.

The sanctuary receives no government funding which, although this presents a huge financial challenge as it is very expensive to run, it does give them the freedom to stick to their ideals of conservation through education. They have stuck to their commitment and avoided the temptation to make business decisions for commercial gain instead of for the animals’ well being.

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT HOPE TO ACHIEVE BY HAVING VOLUNTEERS?

The Sanctuary Park does a tremendous amount of formal and informal education, including hosting veterinary schools and their teachers. They can only afford to pay a small dedicated core qualified team of wildlife rangers/ animal keepers. 100% of their income goes to pay for food and medical bills for the animals, electricity to keep the sanctuary’s fox-proof fence operating, and to pay their small team who all work for minimum wages.

No profits have ever been taken out of the business. The financial and resource reality for the sanctuary is that they can only afford to look after the animals in their care. However, they would not be able to afford to run their conservation education programs which are their ‘reason for being’, and they would not be able to maintain the sanctuary in a good state of repair, especially the integrity of the fox proof fence.

This is why the volunteer program is critical. The volunteers expand the team’s ability to get their work done, and to be available to run onsite and offsite education programs. Each year, their “conservation through education” programs reach around 50,000 school and university students from around the world.

Without their volunteers helping to keep the animals safe and their habitat healthy, the team would not be able to continue their work.

WHAT POSITIVE EFFECT IS THE PROJECT'S WORK HAVING ON THE COMMUNITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT?

This Sanctuary Park is absolutely unique. There is nowhere else in Australia, or across the world, where people can step into the natural world of Australia’s weird and wonderful native wildlife, interact with the animals in a way that does not cause the animals any stress, and from this experience learn how to make a difference at an individual level. The lessons from this experience of ‘looking after the natural environment so that animals can look after themselves’ are relevant no matter where you live in the world.

This very special place gives the local community an immersive opportunity to learn how to look after wild wildlife, not just how to look after captive animals in a zoo which is the only learning opportunity available for trainees in other animal institutions in Australia.

PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION OF THE ABORIGINAL HERITAGE ON SITE

Tassin is an anthropologist who spent 10 years fighting to save Calga, the most important place for Aboriginal women in Australia’s state of New South Wales, from destruction through sand quarrying.

The New South Wales government had sold land adjacent to the sanctuary to a big international mining company and given approval for them to dig a 56 hectare wide 30 meter deep crater and remove the aquifer rock to crush it into building sand. This would have not only disrupted the local natural water supply and been devastating for local wildlife and endangered plant and animal species, but would have destroyed the cultural landscape of the Calga Valley.

The Land and Environment Court agreed that this should not be allowed, ruled in favour of the Barnards and against the government and big business, and the land is now safe for the time being. There is work underway to have the Calga Valley listed as a Heritage Site to protect the area in posterity.

Tassin and Gerald and their team, taught by the wonderful friends they have made amongst local Aboriginal elders as they stood together to protect the Aboriginal cultural landscape of Calga, teach visitors about Aboriginal knowledge of Country. They teach about historical and contemporary culture, and how to protect the water, the plants, the animals and people, and how people should live in harmony “on Country” (the Aboriginal term which incorporated everything to do with the world around us).

Workshops include how to find and harvest bush tucker (traditional bush food), how to make tools, how to make shelters, traditional Aboriginal medicines, cultural concepts and the interpretation of Aboriginal teaching sites on the Sanctuary Park property and the adjacent land across the Calga Valley.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSERVATION IN AUSTRALIA:
Australia's geographical isolation has resulted in the evolution of many delicate ecological relationships that are sensitive to foreign invaders and in many instances provided no natural predators for many of the species subsequently introduced.
Australia has seen the loss of 70% of her native vegetation, including 75% of her rainforests. Loss of species goes hand in hand with loss of habitat and 23% of mammals have become extinct - the worst mammal extinction rate in the world. Around 20% of Australia's remaining mammals species are now threatened with extinction. Nine percent of birds and 16% of amphibians are either already extinct or extremely vulnerable.
Australia supports a significant proportion of the world's biodiversity - over 80% of its mammals, flowering plants and reptiles are only found in Australia. The destruction and fragmentation of habitat, particularly as a result of clearance of vegetation for agriculture, and the impact of feral animals and invasive weeds, has had a substantial impact on Australia's biodiversity.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity!

LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:

Try to see some of the country while you're there. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting and very, very beautiful.

Sights & Surroundings:
Your program will take place from Monday to Friday and weekends will be free for you to explore the city on your own. The places of interest and activities which you can visit during your free time include heritage sites, beaches, city centers, museums, walking tours and many more. Some of the interesting sites are as follows:

  • Ferry to Darling Harbour
  • The Mint
  • The Rock
  • Bondi Beach
  • Coogee Beach
  • Manly Beach
  • Sydney opera house
  • Sydney Harbour bridge
  • Town hall
  • Queen Victoria building
  • The strand arcade
  • Hyde park
  • Anzac war memorial
  • Australia museum
  • Library of NSW
  • Botanical garden
  • Old Hospital