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.
ABOUT THE WILDLIFE CENTRE:
The Centre we work with is a volunteer non-profit organisation set up in 1989 and
is run by a registered CALM wildlife carer. In November 1998, land adjacent to the
Cockburn Wetland Education Centre was leased and developed to provide a natural
setting for the treatment and rehabilitation of all types of animals, birds and
reptiles, either brought to the centre or collected by a Centre volunteer. It is
also an ideal location to release many of the animals when fully recovered. Many
of the animals are injured while others are sick, distressed or exhausted (particularly
big sea birds such as giant petrels blown off course by storms).
The aim of the Centre is to rehabilitate sick, injured or orphaned wild life
back into their natural environment as soon as possible. Unfortunately some of the
animals cannot be returned to the wild because of their injuries. In these cases,
they are retained for educational purposes and for breeding. Some of these animals
also become foster parents to young injured animals.
The Centre is unfunded and relies on donations and a small core of dedicated volunteers.
There is little funding available for the care of wildlife, but food and medication
still has to be supplied. The Centre works in conjunction with local vets, rangers,
CALM, RSPCA, and Murdoch University Vet School. The adjacent Cockburn Wetlands Education
Centre and Yonga Aboriginal Education Centre, together with school groups and young
adults on work experience provide the centre with a steady source of students. The
project aims are all based on achieving real conservation results around Perth.
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. Teaching
Guide, Sports Manuals, 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!
I absolutely loved my project!
Annette was wonderful!! She really made me feel like I had a support system from
the second I met her at the airport.