Featherdale gives thanks to its Volunteers
20th May, 2015
National Volunteer Week was held last week (May 11th to 17th), providing Featherdale Wildlife Park with the opportunity to give thanks to its volunteers for the important work they do on a daily basis.
Featherdale Wildlife Park runs a popular Volunteer program for TAFE or University students undertaking Captive Animal courses. Volunteer Program Coordinator, Danielle Alty said “Students bring with them a fresh approach and often, a different perspective whilst, working at the Park gives the students an opportunity to further their learning and research in a way that no schoolbook or classroom can provide”.
Each year, Featherdale takes on 35-40 volunteers in a variety of roles throughout the Park. Student volunteers are provided with the skills and knowledge required to further their career in the zoological industry. Often, at the completion of their volunteer placement, qualified students who demonstrate a positive work ethic and commitment to their chosen career are offered a role at Featherdale or other zoological institution.
Sophie Lacey, who has volunteered at Featherdale for 18 months, spoke about her decision to become a volunteer at Featherdale. “I wanted to volunteer at Featherdale to assist me with gaining the practical experience needed to complete my TAFE course but also because I love being around animals and learning as much as possible from the keepers who obviously love their job”.
Early morning starts, working outside in rainy weather and picking up animal poo is not everyone’s cup of tea however and the opportunity to volunteer at a Wildlife Park like Featherdale, gives students a taste of what their future career will involve. It’s hard work and takes commitment but at the end of the day, there’s always a fun story to tell. Sophie remembers “I was cleaning out a turtle pond a couple of weeks ago and lost my balance. I fell face first into the water and was soaked from head to foot in front of visitors and other keepers!”
If you are studying a captive animal course and are interested in joining Featherdale’s great team of volunteers, visit http://www.featherdale.com.au/volunteer/ for further information.