Be a volunteer for the Wildlife & Penguin Rescue Program in Tasmania and experience the goodness of living amidst nature, while protecting and nurturing the adorable animals. If you've always wanted to spend some time close to nature and actively get engaged with wildlife conservation, then now is the best time for that.
You'll be working at the Pademelon Park which is a non-profit organization in coastal Tasmania. Working with the founders, Vicki and Geoff, you'll be engaged in rescuing and rehabilitating the sick, injured and orphaned native Australian wildlife and nurture them back to health so that they may be returned to the natural environment.
This would be a great opportunity for Veterinary students who are looking for meaningful international work experience. Your contribution is enormous as the feeding schedule of the animals is a busy one, and the shelter needs surrogate mums (volunteers) to provide food for the babies and care for them. Animals need exercising every day so they may become strong and resilient and
grounds require constant attention.
Previously, volunteers have had the satisfaction of helping to make a positive difference to the lives of the animals, and in the process, gain new skills, knowledge, and confidence. So what are you waiting for? No matter whether you are looking for a meaningful gap year program or just keen to serve the animals on your next solo trip - we'll be happy to have you on board.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project. You need to have an open mind and a flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Participants must be fit and healthy at the time of joining the program. Every volunteer is required to show proof of Tetanus vaccination prior to joining the program. The program is suitable for those with a keen interest in animal and wildlife conservation. However, the program is open to all and you do not need the necessary qualifications to join the program. Participants should be prepared to work outdoors and should be fit and healthy.
Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities
As a volunteer for this program, your daily activities may consist of:
- Bottle feeding all young animals
- Toileting young animals after feeds (please see the shelter owner if you are uncomfortable with this task as it must be done properly)
- Exercising young animals
- Assisting in rescue calls
- Cleaning animal enclosures
- Building / repairing animal enclosures
- Keeping the grounds clean and tidy
- Keeping the volunteer accommodation clean and tidy
- Caring for the chickens
- Food shopping etc
Other activities include capturing injured wildlife, cleaning cages & enclosures, providing enrichment, harvesting/collecting food for the animals, environment re-establishment (after wombats are released), holding an animal during a medical examination (training given), helping catch a wombat or a wallaby (training given), laundry duties and tree planting.
Volunteers usually compost and garden to provide food for the animals in care as well as care for the vegetable garden, which the volunteers can eat from. Chooks are fed, watered and eggs collected and there is the unloading of bulk pellet deliveries (20 kg sacks every 6 weeks).
Volunteer Work Schedule
The tentative daily work schedule for the volunteers is as follows. This can vary as well.
6 AM - Your day would start early and you'll have to bottle feed the younger animals and complete tasks until approximately 8 AM.
8 AM - Time for breakfast, and then, volunteers complete more bottle rounds, enjoy a coffee break and work until lunch.
3 PM - you can wrap up work and be free to chill & relax.
The Project is located in Bicheno, Tasmania, 185 km north-east of Hobart. Volunteers need to arrive in Hobart and then take a bus to Bicheno.
Volunteers are picked up by a staff member and transferred to the project. Once you arrive, you are introduced to the staff, other volunteers, shown to your room and given some time to settle in, relax and acclimatize.
Volunteers will be oriented and guided about the work to do. The first week involves lots of on the job training as each volunteer learns the different tasks involved in caring for the animals and the different jobs that need to be carried out to support the animals and the maintenance of the project.
Accommodation is in a shared cabin with a kitchenette and bathroom. There is a place for your personal belongings and space for your bags.
Volunteers are provided with all the supplies for the meals but they prepare and cook their meals in their private kitchenette. The project has its own chooks onsite, therefore volunteers are welcome to fresh organic eggs. Volunteers can go into town to purchase snacks and drinks for themselves, whenever they want to.
Please Note: -An application fee of $199 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of £179 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of $299 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of €199 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment)
What are you Paying for?
- Pre-departure support
- Project Information Pack
- Return transfers from the local town to the project
- On the job training
- 24-hour in-country support
- 24-hour emergency phone
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- Return transfers from the airport to the local town
- Travel Insurance
- Personal Spending
FAQ's Application and Program Details
As we have limited spots available in our programs and we facilitate on ‘first come first serve’ basis, it is recommended that potential volunteers book their programs well in advance to get confirmed placements. You can book your slot by filling out the application form online and pay the application fee of $250 + bank charges. You can pay your program fee later and also, in installments, however, the complete payment should be made 45 days prior to the starting date of the program. If you are volunteering in a group, you can also fill a group application form.
Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Australian volunteer programs?
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the Australian volunteer projects :
– The minimum age requirement for the volunteers is 18 years and above.
– Need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
– The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
– Participant must be in good health.
We encourage our participants to volunteer in a group. We take special care in providing you a placement and also customize your itinerary to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for. Also, we can design special group programs for groups of 5 or more. Our programs are designed to be safe, affordable and offer a great group volunteering experience to the volunteers.
In our experience of more than 12+ years, we have enabled and facilitated volunteer program placements for student groups- college groups, university groups, high school groups, group of families, group of couples as well as a group of colleagues.
Visit Group Volunteering page for more information.
Volunteering Solutions provides placement to volunteers in different cities of Australia. The preference of the city should be specified in the application form. The available program locations are:
- Rural Gladstone
Yes – many volunteers choose to make bookings from two or more starting locations. If you choose this option, you’ll need to arrange and pay for your own travel between starting locations. You should either leave a week in between your bookings, or arrange to rejoin at your new starting location on Monday morning as we cannot accommodate volunteers arriving on weekends.
The amount of contact volunteers have with the animals is dependent upon the project. Some are very hands on and others have limited contact.
All volunteers are required to arrive at the nearest airports at their preferred location in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney. The Australian programs are located near Melbourne, Sydney, Gladstone and Cairns Airports.
If you are planning to come for multiple programs in your trip, you will have to pay the application fees just once. Your application fees is valid for a year's time (from the date of application). You will not have to pay the application fees again if you come within the mentioned time frame. If you decide to volunteer in separate programs in multiple countries, you will need to fill separate applications.
Yes, we will provide you with the Certificate after successful completion of your program. The certificate is provided on request.
Flights and Visa
Volunteers traveling to Australia need to have a valid visa. We provide with the necessary supporting documents for your VISA application processing.
More information shall be provided after you become a Volunteering Solutions enrolled participant.
All the major cities in Australia have connectivity with all major airlines around the world. The recommended airlines are :
Health and Safety
Australia is a tourist friendly destination. The country welcomes you with open arms. However, you have to use your prudence to stay out of the harm’s way. For example, stay in a group or with the fellow volunteers, especially when you want to hit the bar or go grab a drink. Inform your coordinator if you have plans to explore the city alone, keep your emergency contact details always with you. Your pre-departure booklet is a good source of information for you and you must read that diligently.
We recommend you consult your physician or travel doctor before travelling to Australia.
Generally the following vaccinations are recommended for travellers going to Australia :
– Yellow Fever (Required if travelling from a YFV infected country)
– Hepatitis A and B
Yes, for all participants it is mandatory to have a travel medical insurance.Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider.
Connect with Past Volunteers
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions Australia program participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to connect with other participants.
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.
Accommodation and Living
Accommodation will vary according to each project location. Typical accommodation includes volunteer houses, caravans, hostels, and bunkhouses. Volunteers are allotted accommodation on a sharing basis.
Yes, however you must inform us in advance and also mention about any dietary requirement in your application form.
Your program fee covers your Accommodation, Food and In country Support. You will need to cover your personal expenses, such as local transport, telephone, internet, shopping, weekend trips etc.
However, you should carry around $70-80 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you go on weekend sightseeing tours.
Plenty of money exchange counters and ATMs are available in Australia. at the airport as well in most Australian cities.
Volunteers work for 3 to 8 hours a day depending on their program. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open-minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.