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WORTHWHILE VOLUNTEERING ABROAD
Organising Voluntary Projects Overseas since 1994.

AUSTRALIA: ANIMAL WELFARE AND CONSERVATION IN A WILDLIFE PARK IN BUNBURY

SUMMARY OVERVIEW

Work hands-on with some of Australia's unique and diverse native birds and mammal species. You'll help with animals, birds, plants, ecosystems, tourism and more, in an organisation that is dedicated to conserving Australia’s threatened wildlife and ecosystems.

The Wildlife Park is a community-based, volunteer-run organisation offering a Native Animal based experience, grounds keeping experience, retail/tourism experience, or a combination to suit your individual requirements.

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 4 weeks to 12 weeks, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates:
Projects start every Thursday – you choose your start and finish dates.
Requirements:
Minimum age 18. No qualifications needed, but 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 animal care and welfare, wildlife conservation, wildlife tourism.

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PROJECT CONTENT

Work hands-on with some of Australia's unique and diverse native birds and mammal species. The Park also participates in a variety of structured workplace learning programmes including disability services and other community work programmes. Your main responsibility will fall into one or more of the following three areas at the Park:

  • Native animal-based experience
  • Grounds-keeping experience
  • Retail / Tourism experience (optional).

Native Animal-based Experience:
This revolves around the daily care and maintenance of the animals and their enclosures, including cleaning, feeding, feed preparation, enclosure maintenance, behaviour observation and environmental enhancement.

Your role is to assist the Wildlife carers employed by the Park with their daily tasks. On a typical day you could do cleaning and maintenance of the animal enclosures and surrounding grounds of the park in the mornings, then stop for lunch at around midday, In the afternoon you'll prepare the food for the animals by cutting up fruit and vegetables, and then you'll feed the animals.

Grounds-keeping Experience:
This involves the maintenance of the Wildlife Park grounds and facilities, including planting, mulching, repairs and general grounds-keeping duties. Instructions are given to volunteers daily, depending on what is required for that day. This activity is ideal for you if you really like to get stuck into things.

Retail / Tourism Experience (optional):
If you'd like to gain some experience in Retail & Tourism while on your project, you'll get the chance to improve communication skills; meet people and gain skills in retail sales as well as basic food preparation and service.

The Park is very happy when some volunteers choose to get involved in all areas of running the park, because this not only helps them to sustain their work, it also gives you a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge in what it takes to manage the facility. Thus you can also gain experience in dealing with retail sales, customer liaison, restocking of items, maintenance of the shop area, answering customer queries, answering the telephone and helping with a vast multitude of daily functions required to keep the Park functioning efficiently and well.

You'll be a part of the Park team and they are particularly keen to listen to and discuss any ideas you may have, especially if you have specific skills or experience that might help them, such as in marketing or education, for example.

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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

Emily Dwyer (American):
"In the 6 shorts weeks I was in Bunbury, I have learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. Traits I enhanced were a sense of self-reliancy, an understanding of frugality, and how to have cultural empathy.

What I did not expect was how culturally aware this trip has made me; I have encountered all types of people from all parts of the world, all with different reasons as to why they were in WA. It was a beautiful opportunity to be able to have become more internationally aware and connected. Bunbury feels like a second home.

SERIOUSLY, Annette was an absolute dream. She helped me when I decided to make a change in my program and stay in Bunbury, and was very good with making the necessary adjustments.

It was an amazing experience for me. I learned so much and will take so much away from it. All the people involved were amazing to work with. Our first day in Perth we made contact with Annette who was very helpful and gave us lots of good info on Perth and places to check out. She brought us to the induction at the Centre and we were made to feel welcome there.

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!"

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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