Port Stephens Koalas
Port Stephens Koalas was established in 2016. This organisation is the new embodiment of the Hunter Koala Preservation Society (HKPS) formed in June 1987.
The name change of our organisation became necessary as technology advanced and people outside the Hunter Valley interested in our koalas, misinterpreted “Hunter” as meaning that we are “hunting” koalas, when our intentions are about “saving” koalas. Statutory obligations had also progressed so greatly that a new constitution was necessary. Further, to raise more funds to support our work, the Society needed to gain Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status through the Register of Environmental Organisations (REO). The Society is now a company limited by guarantee and well placed for the future.
The main impetus for our formation was the continual threat to koalas from impending development and the resultant loss of their habitat. The Society maintains a comprehensive data base of sick and injured koalas’ statistics going back to 1995 which assists in identifying accurately where this unique Australian marsupial lives.
Port Stephens Koalas aims to provide the world best practice standards of care to sick, injured and orphaned koalas to give them the best opportunity to be returned to the wild, while supporting research and collaboration to preserve their habitat to ensure that future generations may continue to enjoy seeing wildlife in their natural setting.
These people all volunteer their time and skills to help Port Stephens Koalas:
PRESIDENT, CARER AND RESCUER
President (2016), Carer and Rescuer since 2010, with broad understanding of Habitat, Care and Rescue, Hospital, Promotions and Committee operations.
SECRETARY & PUBLIC OFFICER, KOALA HOSPITAL PROJECT MANAGER, PUBLIC FUND DIRECTOR
Major project manager in Australia & internationally. Past Chairman/Director Auscoal, Joint Coal Board, Westpac Rescue Helicopter service. Cert 4 Trainer Assessor. Level 4 Mine Safety Competent.
Karen runs a successful accounting and bookkeeping business. Living in Mallabula, Karen recognises the dwindling number of koalas visiting her property and wants to help reverse that trend.
TAFE teacher and Workcover High Risk Assessor, Michael is focusing on the Hospital project - policies, training and risk analysis, and becoming aware of koala care needs.
DIRECTOR AND PROMOTIONS OFFICER
Volunteer (2016) assisting with Administration and Promotions.
Carmel is Group Manager of Corporate Services at Port Stephens Council, having held senior management positions in Local Government for past 12 years. A Registered Valuer with degrees in Urban Estate Management as well as Planning and Property Development. Carmel has a focus on business development, financial management, risk and governance.
Section Manager for Port Stephens Council Holiday Parks and Treescape (Koala Sanctuary). Past Director of Destination Port Stephens with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Kim is a qualified trainer and assessor with a 30 year career in tourism.
Dr Don Hudson
Veterinarian and principal of Noahs Ark Veterinary Services in Nelson Bay and Medowie has been providing koala care for over 20 years. Don has a Master's Degree in Epidemiology and Disease in Koalas.
Dr Rod Starr
Public Fund Chair
OAM for service to veterinary science and community
Click on the link below to find out more about Dr Rod Starr
DIRECTOR, CARER AND RESCUE
Sue has been a carer and rescuer since 2004 and was President for 4 years. Sue is the Joey Care Coordinator, provides backup to Simone and supports all the carers.
CARER AND RESCUER
“I want to continue seeing koalas in my garden.” This simple phrase motivated Julie to become a carer. Julie is also SLSC lifeguard at Fingal Beach.
CARER & RESCUER
Coordinator for several years, since training in 2012. Simone passionately supports scientific research to help save our koalas and their habitat.
CARER & RESCUER
Marion’s carer training is so she can support home carers as well as the Hospital. Her background is in TAFE teaching Communications and Administration.
Having a wealth of experience in koala care and rescue, Murray’s most important role now is to keep accurate data to prove where koalas live due to the constant threat of clearing habitat for development.
SUPPORT CARER AND RESCUER, ADOPT A KOALA PROGRAM OFFICER
With international experience in marketing, Lynda is a member of the Promotions Sub-Committee.
MEMBERSHIP OFFICER AND SUPPORT CARER
I have loved koalas since I was a little girl but never thought I would get the opportunity to actively work with them. I am so happy learning about these complex creatures and now appreciate their delicate situation in our area and Australia. I know they desperately need our help.
RESCUE CORDINATOR, CARER
“I want to continue seeing Koalas around the Tilligerry and Port Stephens area, and want to help in any way I can.
TRAINING CO-ORDINATOR, CARER
After moving to Port Stephens I wanted to get involved with the local community I love what PSK offers and it is a privilege to work with such precious animals.
Since the day I saw an injured koala rescued near my own house, I’ve wanted to help in some way.
An experienced former carer, Julie and her husband Murray provide rescue support by transporting koalas. Julie plans to volunteer at the Hospital in the future.
I saw many injured Koalas who needed rescuing from power poles when I worked for Ausgrid. A rescue of a mother and baby led me to join Port Stephens Koalas. It’s very satisfying to play a part in helping these highly endangered animals.
RESCUER AND CARER SUPPORT
Supporting his wife Carmel Northwood’s obsession with koalas since 2010
TEAM LEADER LEAFING
Peter joined 2 years ago. Part of the vital effort to provide quality leaf for our ill/injured koalas.
RESCUER AND CARER SUPPORT
Noel provides support to Sue and knows more than he lets on. He is expert at leaf picking, log collection and construction for cages, and repairing leaf cutters.
RESCUER AND CARER
Rescuer and carer since 2010, although her pet dogs and frequent holidays limit her caring capacity. June is an artist and potter.
Rescuer since 2010 with a background in forestry.
Roz is extremely passionate about preserving habitat and the unique wildlife of Port Stephens, so she is doing something practical and enjoyable to support busy carers.
An animal lover who wants to help her community, Naomi was encourage to help her partner John as a rescuer. As Naomi works she can only help after hours, but that’s often when rescues happen.
RESCUER AND SUPPORT CARER
Vanessa has an affinity with all animals, but especially horses and koalas. She’s been rescuing koalas for a few years and has seen us grow from a small group to a much larger one
A semi-retired mechanical engineer with extensive management experience as CEO of two major global companies, Rob’s focus is on the Hospital project.
Old Chinese Proverb: The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is now. As one large tree can be cut down and mulched in an hour, "now" is critical. I've always been passionate about trees, seeing them grow not destroying them. I’m helping to cultivate a plantation of food trees.
We can’t let this iconic creature in the wild disappear without making the best effort we can to save it.
RESCUER, LEAF PICKING, SUPPORT CARER & PLANTATIONS
To help preserve the Koalas habitat in the Port Stephens area to help this highly endangered species from becoming extinct.
I have decided to volunteer after being lucky enough to have koalas in my yard and would like to help keep their survival rates as high as possible so maybe others can share the same experience.
I love living in Port Stephens and I want to help preserve our local wildlife for future generations. It's essential we all share our space, live well and thrive.
I am a retired school teacher and nature lover. I realise how important it is to preserve our native animals' environment for the health of the earth and so our grandchildren will enjoy the beauty of our natural surroundings. The koala's future is in crisis and they need our help to fix this problem, that humans have created.
Heather currently works in aged care and was wanting to do something different for the community, so when she heard about the disappearing koala population in Port Stephens and a call for volunteers, she thought what an excellent cause. And of course, how can you not love koalas!
SUPPORT CARER, LEAF PICKING
"I love Australia’s unique wildlife & want to do what I can to help protect it. I’m passionate about conservation and believe we should do everything we can to reverse the damage humans cause to our environment".
Retired having Managed companies & bringing up grandchildren. Now enjoying working with animals in need and volunteering to help the committee. Its so rewarding and challenging, still learning and training. Thought I had finished. Every day is different. Love it!!
SUPPORT CARER/SOCIAL MEDIA
As humans we take so much and return so little. It feels great to give something back. No matter how big or small, we all should do more to in return for all we take for granted. Working with koalas has been a really rewarding experience, knowing these little guys are getting the help and support they need and deserve.
It’s very rewarding helping what’s now an endangered species that’s been around for over a million years. Koalas are a big part of Australia and we need to keep the species going. Knowing I’m helping in that effort, no matter how small is great to be a part of.
Having visited Port Stephens regularly for over 20 years and now a resident, I am pleased to have the opportunity to volunteer at PSK and contribute to this great cause. Working with a great team and caring for the sick and injured Koala's within the facility, is extremely fulfilling.
TRAINEE SUPPORT CARER
As a volunteer for sporting groups for the Past 40yrs I answered a request for Volunteers from PSK out of a sense of duty.
With over 35 years of experience in adult education, including as Head of Corporate Training at a number of large companies, Richard has had a lifelong interest in wild animals, and a particular interest in the future preservation of all Australian native animals and birdlife.
Kerri runs workshops in Wellbeing, is a keen animal lover and has previously worked and volunteered for well-known animal rescue and preservation organizations. She and her husband love spotting wild koalas around Soldiers Point.
Retired Air Force Electronics Engineer helping Murray with managing the Koala database.
Assisting with koala care, maintenance and leaf picking, I have my certificate 2 in animal studies and certificate 3 in captive animals. I have a passion for animals and love rescuing them.
With an environmental background and a keen interest in nature conservation and the population recovery of native species, Erica was delighted to become a member of the Habitat Group.
Ben van der Wijngaart
On moving to Port Stephens I quickly became aware of the serious impact that development, people and their pets had on local fauna. Our koalas seem to have suffered most and those that remain need all the help they could get to avoid extinction.