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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 

Volunteers' Stories

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BRIGIDA QUINLAN
Canadian

Volunteering in Animal Care in a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Perth, Australia
         

Working at Native ARC was an entirely positive experience. This is because the work is quite fulfilling. At the end of each day I left feeling happy about the work that was done for the birds and other animals since they were much better off at Native ARC then being left in the wild to fend for themselves.

The amount of time and care that is dedicated to these animals is amazing, the volunteers there are very passionate about their work and make sure that everything is done properly.

I gained experience working with people and certain animals. Learned a lot about Australian culture and wildlife native to Australia (especially certain bird species). The best thing about the placement is the rewarding feeling when an animal that was being treated is releases successfully back into its original habitat.

I would definitely recommend this placement to people who are willing to do some tough and/or dirty work in the heat. This placement is for people who are able to do tough work for the sense of reward they can gain from it. It’s not for anyone who isn't willing to pitch in or for people who have expectations of just playing with animals all day.

The placement itself was a really good experience. The people we worked with were amazing, especially since they were mostly just dedicated volunteers.

Everything was pretty much out in the open and our expectations of the work weren't any different from what it actually was so it all worked out well. Travellers was very good in making sure things went smoothly both before and after departure from Canada.

A typical day:
Wake up at 6:45, get dressed, go downstairs and eat breakfast (usually with other people staying at the Lodge which was a great way to meet people) leave the Lodge around 7:30 and walk to Perth underground station. Catch the train to Murdoch, then a bus at 8:18. Get off near hope road and walk for about 10mins to the project.

Usually our duties included: Feeding the ducks, Cleaning their vivariums, feeding the birds in all the back aviaries, weighing the magpies, feeding the magpies (hourly), changing the newspaper in the magpie cages, doing the ducks lunch time feeds (chopped lots of lettuce while we were there).

Tea break usually around 11:30, where we would get to talk with all the other volunteers and learn about their lives etc. Afternoon duties were the same as the morning ones (prepping and delivering the afternoon feeds, cleaning the duck vivariums etc. Other duties included doing and hanging laundry, cleaning out the back aviaries, sweeping the paths, cleaning around the building, helping in the hospital to clean the cages in there and prep meals. We finished around 3:30 and made our way back to the Lodge.

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 top the induction at Native ARC and we were made to feel quite welcome there.

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