What is your name?
Where do you live?
Belrose in Sydney (Northern Beaches Branch)
How Long have you been doing this?
Ever since I was a child in NZ …Sydney Wildlife 18 years
How did you get into this?
· Genuine love for all animals and the environment.
· Making a difference to animals affected by humans.
· My first rescue was a brush tail possum with a Milo tin stuck on its head.
20 years ago I was at an underground rave party where I saw an emaciated terrified cockatoo kept in horrific conditions. The party host boasted of capturing her from a nest and raising her a few months back. When no one was looking or too trashed to care my husband and I snuck her out the back door and made her a promise to help her.
12 months of rehab at our flat and teaching her how to fly we worked with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare ) to finally drive her to a soft release sanctuary in Dubbo where she was released another 4 months later. This experience uncovered so many cruel truths and we signed up with Sydney Wildlife not long after.
What is the best thing?
· Expecting the unexpected!
· Getting Dirty!
· Working with other dedicated volunteers and knowing there is heaps of support when I need a hand.
· Educating the public especially children and of course helping animals!
Georgie and Miss Daisy
What is the worst thing?
Sad outcomes in particular relating to cat attacks… far too common and mostly preventable
It’s a shame that more education isn’t taught in schools about the unique flora and fauna Australia has and how to care for and protect it. Even with common species identification most people don’t have a clue. I believe this should be a mandatory subject. It's crazy that some people believe a possum is a koala.
What are you never without?
· Sense of humour and tea tree oil!
· Torch , snake bags hooks, towels,....all the usual stuff
You have a pretty busy lifestyle, does it ever get hard to balance?
Sure is working full time in our own Addiction Food Brownie Business having a special horse with many needs and daughter Gracie.
This means I am travelling all over Sydney everyday so get to pick up animals in need in all areas as I may be passing through suburbs.
It's organized chaos!
Mostly first thing in the morning sorting animals out and again in the evening after work and putting horse to bed there is enclosures to clean housework etc, needless to say we don’t have a conventional family dinner!
Summer is way busier with so many reptiles in my area especially calls that don’t come through Sydney wildlife , horse ajistment places and social media tags.
You have a daughter, what does your wildlife work mean to you as a mother?
My daughter Grace has grown up with wildlife rescue she is now 13 years old. She also did hundreds of rescues while I was pregnant with her:-). She is the go to kid at school with anything wildlife related and she is always called up by the teachers with all sorts of animals in the school grounds.
As a mother I am super proud passing on this knowledge and responsibility to Gracie. She is a very grounded kid with a huge love for all animals and demonstrates this every day with her own rescues.
Compassion and kindness to animals starts with the kids as they are our future wildlife guardians so I involve her as much as possible.
Do you have any "favourites" that have been in care?
They are all unique and I fall in love with them all!
· I must admit I adore the echidna's and bandicoots their little nozzles so divine!
· Bob the cockatoo we had in care for months and soft released from our place still visits us.
· Miss Daisy a diamond python only just released after 9 weeks in care with a 50% chance of survival after being run over by a car. Her daily improvements bought me to tears she was such an extraordinary fighter!
· My first twin baby ringtails 18 years ago have a very special place in my heart!
What would you say to anyone who was thinking about joining Sydney Wildlife?
It’s the most rewarding work I have ever done and will always continue to do. It is quite possibly the biggest part of my life full of love and laughs along with sadness. It keeps you real and knowing you are making a difference in what actually matters in life.