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Australia is home to some of the world’s most unique wildlife, with many species found only in Australia. This makes wildlife conservation in Australia incredibly important. Sadly, however, Australia is facing an extinction crisis, with more than 30 native mammal species becoming extinct since European settlement only 130 years ago. Today, more than 1,700 species of Australian animals and plants are listed as at risk of extinction.

In this program you will make a real contribution to the conservation of Australia’s weird and wonderful wildlife as you work alongside the rangers at a local sanctuary. Set amongst 170 acres of natural bushland, with 80 acres protected by a state of the art feral-predator proof fence, this is the largest feral-free natural bushland on Australia’s eastern seaboard. The sanctuary provides a safe natural home for over 180 species while also providing a refuge for rehabilitated but un-releasable injured and orphaned animals. Additionally, the site protects an ancient Aboriginal landscape where you can see examples of Aboriginal sites that show evidence of Australia’s original people dating back thousands of years.
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Location of the Project:  Calga, Australia (just 1.5 hours outside of Sydney by train, 1 hour by car)
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Project length:  Min 1 week - Max 4 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (SYD)
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Volunteer Work:  Animal care and sanctuary maintenance
Age:  18 - 82 (This project may accept volunteers who are 17 years old with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.)
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 16 international volunteers
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Important Note:  For most nationalities, a tourist visa is required to get into Australia; it is recommended to apply at least 6 weeks in advance.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared dormitory-style accomodation
Food:  Three meals a day during the week (If volunteers stay on-site on the weekends, self-service food is provided.)
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Airport Transfers:  Volunteers will be collected from Sydney Central Train Station. Daily transport by train between the accommodations and project site is included (approx. 1 hour).
Orientation:  All training provided upon arrival.
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, personal expenses, travel health insurance, round-trip train ticket between the airport and central Sydney ($16 AUD each way), visa (if required)
This volunteer project is located just an hour and a half outside of Australia’s lively, cosmopolitan capital, Sydney - at the beginning of the picturesque NSW Central Coast. The sanctuary is made up of 80 acres of natural Australian bush that is protected by 2 miles of carefully engineered fox-proof fence and is home to a range of indigenous animals, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and dingoes.
By joining this program, volunteers will have an opportunity to make a real contribution to protecting Australian wildlife from extinction. The purpose of this program is to protect indigenous animals and plants, plus care for the dependent and wild animals that live there. Examples of work to be undertaken include planting eucalyptus trees to provide a long term food supply for the koalas and native grasses for kangaroos and wallabies, building and repairing barriers and tracks that control visitor access to environmentally sensitive areas, maintaining the 3 km fox-proof fence that keeps the animals safe, while protecting ancient Aboriginal sites and making sure the bush habitat is protected so animals can live safely and happily in their natural environment.

Some of your tasks may include:
  • Helping to feed the animals 
  • Maintaining the Sanctuary grounds 
  • Cleaning enclosures and their environment 
  • Clearing paths and raking droppings and debris 
  • Building new enclosures and fences
  • Maintaining nature trails
  • Supporting environmental education programs
  • Repairing animal education displays
  • Maintaining the fox-proof fence which protects the animals
  • Assisting in the gift shop and visitor information center
A typical day: After preparing breakfast in the volunteer house, you'll take your packed lunch and be driven by the program coordinator to the sanctuary. Your daily tasks will vary and may include any combination of the sample activities above. There is an hour break in the afternoon, and your day will wrap up around 4pm. Your evenings and weekends are free for you to explore all of the tourist attractions within easy reach of your suburban Sydney accommodations.

Holidays: Please note that the project will be closed in full between Christmas and New Year holidays, therefore all volunteers will need to check out before we leave for the holiday break. Volunteer work does not take place during national holidays, but you are always welcome to join in the local celebration. 

Please note these consecutive holidays, which may impact short-term placements, before registering:
  • December 25, 26 & 27 2018
Internet
Internet:  Free WIFI is available at the volunteer house.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry facilities are available at the volunteer house.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  You will stay in shared, single-gender, dorm-style accommodation, in a residential neighborhood in the Sydney suburbs. Daily transport form accommodations to project site is approximately one hour each way.
Food:  Food will be provided for volunteers to prepare their own breakfast and dinner. A packed lunch will be provided on weekdays. During weekends, all meals are self-served from the pantry and fridge stocks.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Minimum age of 18
  • Basic level of English
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
  • Interest in Australian wildlife and animal rescue
  • Moderate to high level of physical fitness
  • Volunteers need to bring wet weather gear
  • Police clearance 
Your program will take place from Monday to Friday and weekends will be free for you to explore the city on your own. The places of interest and activities which you can visit during your free time include heritage sites, beaches, city centers, museums, walking tours and many more. Some of the interesting sites are as follows:

Hyde Park 
This one's for the nature lover! Take a stroll through Sydney's oldest public park and admire the mixture of fig, palm and othert types of trees that line the beautiful gardens.

Sydney Opera House
Take a visit to one of Australia's most iconic places! Whether you just want to enjoy the architecture or actually want to see one of the theatre's forty shows per week, this landmark is a promising tourist destination.

Bondi Beach
Soak up the sun at one of Australia's most popular beach destinations! This beach is a hot spot for any volunteers who are looking to relax in the sandf or surf the waves in their free time.

 
Volunteer Experiences
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