Wildlife Victoria is powered by a strong network of dedicated volunteers who help our organisation respond to thousands of emergency calls for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife each year.
Wildlife Victoria’s Volunteer Program includes a collection of positions, crucial to our ongoing operation and service including:
Wildlife Rescue & Transportation Volunteers
Rescuers are an incredible important part of Wildlife Victoria’s service. Rescuers respond to calls from our Emergency Response Service to attend to sick, injured or orphaned native animals. The volunteer assesses the situation and depending on their experience level will then undertake the rescue or seek further help or advice from Wildlife Victoria or our Emergency Response Service.
The rescuer then transports the animals to a licensed wildlife shelter, foster carer or veterinarian. You will need to be comfortable both handling the animals and liaising with members of the public. When starting out, there is the opportunity to commence as a 'transport only' volunteer as you become familiar with the species and cases in your area. You will need to have access to a suitable vehicle and be able to afford the ongoing fuel and equipment cost to support yourself in this role.
Wildlife Foster Carer
Volunteer Foster Carers are pivotal to the rehabilitation of injured, sick and orphaned wildlife. Caring for wildlife is very different from caring for domesticated animals and it can be very demanding and expensive. Volunteers first need to gain experience with wildlife and we recommend that you become a rescue and/or transport volunteer first. This is so you gain some experience handling wildlife and understanding the commitment needed. Also this will allow you to build some important networks with other carers and shelters who may be able to mentor you.
You will need a wildlife rehabilitation licence to perform this role. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) issue these licenses to rehabilitate native wildlife. Click here to be redirected to the DELWP website for more information or call them on 136 186.
Night Emergency Response operator Volunteers
Wildlife Victoria’s Emergency Response Service is on call to respond to reports of sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife. Our service provides a vital link between the public and our volunteers in the field. Answering calls to 03 8400 7300, our operators record the information reported by the caller, provide appropriate advice to the public, and put the call out for nearby, appropriately trained volunteers.
After hours (between 7.30pm and 7.00am), our calls are answered by Night Emergency Response Operator volunteers. Click here for more information on this role.
Education / Event Volunteers
Wildlife Victoria's School Education Program is completely run by volunteers. We are always looking for passionate wildlife enthusiasts to represent Wildlife Victoria as part of the Education Program in school as well as other community events, like festivals and expos. Training is provided for this role however you will need to arrange travel to and from the events as well as our office in Abbotsford to collect and drop off promotional material.
Are you eligible to volunteer?
Wildlife Victoria volunteers must meet the following criteria before applying:
- At least 18 years of age
- A valid email address to access frequent Wildlife Victoria communications
- Availability to volunteer a minimum of 8 hours per week
- A commitment to volunteer for at least 12 months
- Good oral and written communication skills
- A good level of physical fitness
- A valid Victorian drivers licence, mobile phone and access to a reliable and insured vehicle (for animal rescue and transport roles only)
- Willing to undergo a National Police Check
To find out more information on our positions, along with upcoming volunteer training dates please contact us or fill out the below form.
Frequently Asked Questions for Volunteers
What is the commitment from you?
Volunteers can nominate their hours of availability and may be called on at any time during those set times. Volunteers may vary these hours at any time, for any reason. Wildlife Victoria encourages all of its volunteers to communicate any changes in availability as soon as possible to ensure the smooth operation of our wildlife emergency service.
Where will I rescue/transport wildlife?
You can nominate how far you are willing to travel from your home. These details are included in our database to ensure you are only called for cases within those parameters.
Will I need to be trained?
Do I need a motor vehicle to be a rescuer/transporter?
Yes. Wildlife Victoria Rescuers and Transport Volunteers are required to hold a current drivers licence and access to a reliable, registered and insured vehicle.
What is the cost to be a volunteer rescuer/transporter?
The cost of fuel to attend a rescue/transport and the maintenance of your vehicle will be at your expense.