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WORTHWHILE VOLUNTEERING ABROAD
Organising Voluntary Projects Overseas since 1994.

SUMMARY OVERVIEW

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH WILD DOLPHINS! Contribute to the well-being of dolphins in an idyllic setting at a non-profit Centre committed to dolphin research, education, conservation and tourism. You'll learn a great deal through the training course you'll receive which covers a wide range of issues and skills and includes presentations from a selection of guest speakers relevant to the operation of the Centre.

This is the first Centre in Australia dedicated entirely to dolphin research. This project is a rewarding conservation volunteering abroad experience - and a lot of fun!

Price:
Please see the Prices Page. Prices for all projects are listed and you can choose which currency you'd like to see them in. Prices exclude flights.
Duration:
From 6 weeks to 12 weeks, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates:
Available from beginning October to the end June. You'll need to arrive on the Thursday prior to the project start date.
Requirements:
Minimum age 18. No qualifications needed, just lots of enthusiasm and initiative. You should have reasonable English and enjoy talking to people.
What's included:
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Payment Protection insurance
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Personalised online project portal where you'll access all information your programme, health & safety and country advice.
  • Your own dedicated Project Co-ordinator to help you throughout the pre-departure process
  • Your first night’s accommodation in Perth
  • Coach Ticket from Perth to Bunbury
  • Accommodation in Bunbury
  • Full safety, support and back up from our local in country team.
  • Project orientation & induction on your arrival.
  • 24-hr emergency support.
What's not included: Flights, Travel Insurance, Cost of Visas, Pick-up from and return to the airport (but we can arrange this for you), daily transport to and from your project, food, Return coach to Perth (but we can arrange this for you).
Who can do this Programme?
All projects are open to all nationalities. Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in marine conservation, marine animal welfare and animal care.

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PROJECT CONTENT

Your project is based at a non-profit Centre committed to dolphin research, education, conservation and tourism based in the South West Coast of Australia. The Centre enables people to interact with Bottlenose dolphins in a variety of ways. There are up to 100 dolphins living in the Bay and groups of them regularly visit the shallow waters in front of the Centre.

Being a volunteer at the Centre can be a wonderful experience, you meet people from all around the world, not to mention the dolphins! However, your time as a volunteer will involve a lot more than being in the water with the dolphins. Talking and answering questions is a very important part of your role. Eighty percent of your day will involve educating visitors about the dolphins' characteristics and making them aware of how crucial it is to conserve these wonderful animals. Here are some of the tasks you may be involved with:

  • Talking to visitors on the beach - explaining what the Dolphin Centre does.
  • Assisting to coordinate the Interaction Zone when dolphins visit.
  • Managing the front entrance and Dolphin Room area.
  • Participating in ’’Coastcare” activities and assist with current research projects.
  • Assisting with the research program, recording observations in the bay and monitoring dolphin visits to the zone.
  • Inputting the research data into databases for analysis
  • General maintenance and cleaning.
  • Tour guiding through the Interpretive Centre for the general public, tour groups and school students.
  • The work that you'll be involved in depends on what is available at the time of your placement.

This project is a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks. You’ll work between 20-40 hours a week, with weekends off.

TRAINING:
You'll learn a great deal through the training course which covers a wide range of issues and skills and includes presentations from a selection of guest speakers relevant to the operation of the Centre. Regular volunteer meetings are held to ensure you are kept up-to-date with the latest issues regarding marine mammal management and the operations of the Centre.

After having completed a minimum of 20 hours training, you'll receive an official Volunteer T-Shirt which will identify you to the public as a trained representative of the Centre.

START DATES:
Project start dates are listed below, however you will need to arrive on the Thursday prior to the start date in order to have your induction and transfer down to the project site in time to begin work on the Monday:

2018
February 12, 2018
February 26, 2018
October 23, 2018
November 6, 2018
November 20, 2018
December 4, 2018
December 18, 2018

2019
January 1, 2019
January 15, 2019
January 29, 2019
February 12, 2019
February 26, 2019
March 12, 2019
March 26, 2019
April 9, 2019
April 23, 2019
May 7, 2019
May 21, 2019

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ACCOMMODATION

You'll live in a backpackers conveniently located in the heart of the city. We team up with two different hostels that are very similar in the facilities they provide and in their excellent location that is close to everything! You'll have the beach, the City Centre and lots of other attractions all within two minutes walk and you’ll be able to explore the nearby forests, national parks, beautiful waterways, historic towns, many vineyards and the incredibly beautiful coast-line on your days off.

Wi-Fi / Internet: There are fast-speed internet facilities at the Backpackers which you can use for a nominal charge, so you'll be able to keep up with emails with friends and family back home.

You'll stay in a dorm room with access to many facilities in the Backpackers. There is a kitchen where you can cook and an excellent BBQ and outdoor area that is very popular. Other facilities that you'll have free use of include a pool table, table tennis, board games, sporting equipment and off-street parking. you'll also be given a unique City Visitor's Guide and you'll have free access to tea and coffee.

In the town there is a colourful street of sidewalk cafes called the "Cappuccino Strip" that buzzes all day. There are lots of sidewalk cafes and a variety of waterside dining options offer numerous opportunities to taste the wonders of the local produce. These cafes and the award-winning restaurants, as well as atmospheric historic pubs, ensure the town hums. The city also offers plenty of Entertainment Centres, Art Galleries and cinemas.

FOOD: Food is not included in this project so you should budget for meals. We feel that a good guide would be a weekly budget of around AUD$80-100.

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REVIEWS

Daniela Gabler (Australian):
"I love that I meet so many different people from so many countries all over the world. It's really interesting to get to know them and find out that even though we are from different cultures we often have the same plans and thoughts about life.

Seeing wild Dolphins so close almost everyday is something completely special and it makes me really happy every time. Also, I just love how nice and caring both staff and the other Volunteers at the Dolphin Centre are. It's a lot of fun and you learn a lot from them about marine animals."

Keira Rowsome (British):
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you for helping me arrange my project in Perth. I had such an amazing time and left with an unforgettable experience ... I'm already planning my return to Australia after I finish University! Thank you again!"

Emma Fletcher (British):
"Working with dolphins was a great experience, once in a life time opportunity and I’m so glad I chose to do it! I have learned so much and created so many memories and friends I will keep forever. You meet really great people who help you to feel right at home. It really helped to boost my confidence and gave me great experience for the future.

I want to become a Marine Biologist and this project helped confirm to myself that this is definitely what I want to do!"

TRAVEL AND ARRIVAL ARRANGEMENTS:
Unless you've made different arrangements, you'll fly into Perth airport (Perth is the capital city of Western Australia) and make your way from the airport to a city backpackers which we have pre-booked for you. There you'll stay for one night to give you time to catch your breath and relax after your flight.

The following day you'll be met by our Australia Manager and given an orientation. After the orientation you will be taken to the Esplanade bus station, located in the Central Business District, where you will be transferred onto a South West coach. The drive down to your project location takes 2-3 hours, mostly along the coastal road and you'll be driving through some beautiful land- and seascapes. When you arrive, a staff member from the Backpackers will meet you at the bus station and take you back to the hostel.

PROJECT LOCATION - SOUTH WEST COAST: This programme is located in the stunning south west coast in Bunbury, the third largest city in Western Australia. The city is small but a major commercial centre in Western Australia and acts as a hub to the local area about 2½ hrs drive south of Perth. Described as the real Australia. It lies on a spectacular peninsular surrounded by blue waters of the Indian Ocean, a bay and an inlet. A vibrant port city with a strong maritime history, the area is renowned for its quality lifestyle and unique blend of nature, and top quality facilities.

The area's other features include mangroves, rare basaltic rock and nearby Tuart Forest. A colourful "cappuccino strip" of sidewalk cafes and a variety of waterside dining options offer numerous opportunities to taste the wonders of the local produce. The award-winning restaurants and historic pubs ensure the atmosphere hums! The city is surrounded by forests, national parks, waterways, historic towns and hundreds of vineyards, not to mention the incredible coast-line.

CLIMATE: The area has a Mediterranean climate with warm to hot summers and cool winters. Rainfall is during winter but the weather is rather pleasant for the rest of the year. In summer (December to February), the average maximum temperature is 28°C with an average minimum temperature of 14°C. In winter (June to August), it's 19°C with an average minimum of 9°C.

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