The Wildlife Rescue Program
This heart-warming wildlife rescue program’s aim is to rescue some of the thousands of precious Australian indigenous animals who are forced from their natural habitat, injured, orphaned or become sick thanks to increasing interaction with humans or domestic pets. Located in picturesque Stanley State Forest in the state of Victoria, this wildlife shelter’s wonderful staff and volunteers have rescued and rehabilitated thousands of sick, injured and orphaned native Australian wildlife and nursed them back to health so that they could be successfully re-introduced to their natural habitat. As it receives no ongoing government funding, the rescue center relies on donations from the public and the generous contribution of volunteers, both national and international, to keep it operational. Volunteers will find this a challenging and hands-on role, working directly with the shelter team to save and care for the precious animals. Join us on this truly inspirational project in the beauty and serenity of Australia’s native bushland, and help save its iconic natural inhabitants!
Goals of this Project:
- Provide a safe place for mis-treated animals
- Provide rescue and medical attention and rehabilitation to animals who have been injured
- Provide a home for animals without one and who would suffer otherwise
- Provide an opportunity for cross cultural exchange between volunteers and locals
How You Can Help
With the number of native animals needing help increasing every year, resources needed to keep up with this demand are becoming increasingly scarce, making the contribution of volunteers on this project invaluable. Not only will they have the opportunity to be hands-on and directly involved in wildlife rescue and care, volunteers will also be learning new skills and meeting new friends from around the world. Volunteers will be kept busy and engaged on a variety of tasks. The daily schedule of feeding, cleaning, and collecting resources is a busy one so the centre desperately needs volunteers to assist with tasks such as bottle feeding the infant animals every 4 hours, collecting native leaves for their food and assisting with emergency medical treatment for the animals. Care for the rescued animals is required year-round, so the project operates a flexible seven day working week. Despite this, there is a relaxed and casual feel about the shelter and the staff are happy for volunteers to take time off to visit town and see the local sights.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Feeding and exercising the animals
- Assisting in rescue calls and providing emergency medical treatment
- Cleaning and maintenance work in the shelter
- Playing with the animals
- Administration, fundraising and other responsibilities where required
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to give their time and energy to help protect and conserve the native wildlife of Australia. This project is best suited to those who are either pursuing a career in animal conservation/zoological studies, or who simply wish to explore an interest in this field. However, the project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by one of local project leaders. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Vaccination Certificate
This program is located in a remote area of Victoria in South Australia, near to the former gold mining towns of Yackandandah and Beechworth. Rich in history and natural resources this area is now a haven for artists and artisans and offers a glimpse into life in the gold rush era.
The Wildlife Rescue Centre is situated in Stanley State Forest, an area of diverse natural beauty and native wildlife.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every THURSDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Volunteers are met upon arrival into the town of Yackandandah in Victoria, South Australia.
To reach Yackandandah volunteers can fly into either Melbourne or Sydney international airports.
From Melbourne International Airport (MEL) volunteers make their way by SkyTrain to Southern Cross Station in Melbourne City to catch the 12:05pm connection to Albury or the 7:05am connection to Beechworth and take a bus from there to Yackandandah. From Sydney International Airport (SYD) volunteers book a connecting flight or take the 7:42am train to Albury and bus or taxi to Yackandandah.
Due to the early departure of the train it may be necessary to arrive on Wednesday and stay overnight in either Melbourne or Sydney.
Full instructions on both options is provided once a placement has been confirmed.
- Arrival Day: THURSDAY
- Departure Day: FRIDAY
- Arrival Airport: Melbourne International Airport (MEL) or Sydney International Airport (SYD)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers are accommodated on-site at the Shelter in a shared cabin which sleeps up to 3 volunteers in single beds.
The Shelter is in a remote location and electricity is not available during the day. Volunteers are reminded to charge cameras and phones overnight when a electricity is provided by way of generator.
Bathroom facilities are basic but clean with an 'outback' toilet and hot rainwater shower. Please be aware that frequent droughts can mean that water is a scarce commodity at times.
Linen is provided and laundry is done by the project owner, Glenda. Volunteers should bring their own towel and personal toiletries. Volunteers are advised to bring old, sturdy clothing and footwear suitable for the conditions and nature of the work.
The local team will do their best to allow you some downtime, however, they are often very busy. If you need some time off simply ask. Also, the Shelter's remote location means that getting off-site is dependent on local staff providing transport. Again they will do their best but please be patient and do ask if you wish to be taken into Yackandandah.
Wi-Fi is not available on-site and volunteers are advised to take their mobile phone and purchase a local data package which may allow them internet connection from the Shelter.
Three meals per day are provided on site. Volunteers help with meal preparation and clean-up and meals are wholesome and well deserved after a hard days' work!
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.