Volunteer to save Port Stephens Koalas
Do you live within 30 minutes’ drive of Anna Bay? We are on the lookout for more volunteers to help us to help koalas.
Port Stephens Koalas has four new rehabilitation yards now in operation, so there are new opportunities for you to volunteer a few hours on a regular rostered basis, as well as working bees or helping us to raise funds, or you might prefer to work on the computer at home?
Could you help with cleaning out the koala yards or the site shed, collecting leaf for koala food, doing odd jobs such as planting or weeding or washing the rescue vehicles? Would you help us raise funds at a local fete or festival selling raffle tickets or barbeque sausages to sell? We are also looking for people with marketing, admin and computer skills. Whatever your skills, we will be able to find a way for you to help.
If you have some time to spare and want to help save koalas and their habitat, please follow these steps:
- Apply to become a Member on our website: Click here. Membership costs just $10 per year and entitles you to volunteer insurance coverage.
- Complete the Volunteer Application Form available to download Here:
- Please send your completed form to:
Mail: Port Stephens Koalas
PO Box 60, ANNA BAY NSW 2316, Australia
- We’ll phone or email you to arrange a group induction session.
If you’re interested in becoming a Koala Carer and want to find out more before you take the first step, here is some information that might help you decide.
Being a home-based Senior Carer is quite a commitment and undertaking. It is immensely rewarding but also has its challenges. Our success rate is very high from treatment to release. Treatments vary for victims of dog attacks and chlamydia to broken bones and burns.
Training can vary from just a few weeks or months for Support Carers depending on your personal availability and commitment (and what koalas we have in care at the time). After qualifying as a Support Carer, the next step is Carer. This training takes at least 6 months culminating with the treatment and care of a koala from start to finish under the supervision of a Senior Carer (who have years of experience).
“No carer is an island” – we operate as a team, constantly supporting each other, so good communication is essential. Koalas don’t make appointments so you also need to be flexible, understanding and be willing to put yourself out during any intensive training period.
We are fortunate that all our Senior Carers currently live within a 5km radius of Anna Bay so for logistical and practical purposes it would be ideal for prospective carers to live close to Anna Bay. Our NPWS licensed area is the Tomaree and Tilligerry Peninsulas within the Port Stephens LGA.
The first stage of caring is to work under the supervision and direction of another Carer. Support Carers may replace leaf (without having to pick it), collect pellets and clean up cages or rehabilitation yards at a Senior Carer’s home or the Treescape facility. All these facilities are currently near Anna Bay.
Koalas that have been hand-raised because they are orphaned or diseased, or adult koalas that have been in care for some time, need to weather their coat and have climbing practice in a rehabilitation yard before being released. There is little direct contact with these koalas, but no wound care or medicating is necessary so it is less confronting. The reward is that you are helping to return a healthy koala to the wild. Support carers are rostered as required.
All Carers must be able to perform the required activities to a competent level and observe health and safety practices, follow instructions and implement any feedback provided by the Hospital Coordinator, Care Coordinator and Senior Carers, and apply the OEH Codes of Practice and Port Stephens Koalas policies and procedures learned during training.
Carers are volunteers and so are not paid, but expenses may be reimbursed after you have finished your initial training. Port Stephens Koalas is a charity recognised by Centrelink so over 55 year-olds may volunteer for us instead of seeking work to receive means-tested benefits.
Senior Carers who have facilities based at their own home, have a 2 metre by 2 metre enclosure erected on a concrete slab. It may take 2 years of training and experience to reach this stage and you would start in a Support Carer capacity and see how you go before committing to this very demanding role that affects your whole life, as well as your family who must support you.
- No dogs are allowed on the property at all.
- Provide a reasonably quiet and suitable location with easy access to water for the enclosure.
- Be willing to drive to locate and cut fresh leaf every couple of days.
- Provide a suitable area of shade for storing leaf.
- Have some internal storage set aside for baskets, towels, medicines etc., usually requiring 2 or 3 cupboards.
- For critically injured koalas, we use a modified human baby cot, so a suitable location will be required, usually inside the house.
- Have a driver’s licence and vehicle suitable for transporting koalas to and from vet visits.