Wildlife Victoria is able to respond to thousands of emergency calls each year because of the amazing volunteer network supporting our service. Sadly the need for our services never diminishes and we constantly need new volunteers to respond to our sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.
Am I eligible for a volunteering role?
The minimum requirements for Wildlife Victoria volunteers are:
• At least 18 years of age
• A valid email address and ability to access email communications
• Availability to give at least eight hours per week
• A commitment to volunteer for a minimum of 12 months
• Good oral and written English language
• A good level of general fitness
• A mobile phone, current Victorian driver’s licence and access to a reliable vehicle (requirements for Rescuer & Transporter roles ONLY)
• Willing to undergo a National Police Check.
Here is some information about the volunteering roles available through Wildlife Victoria:
Wildlife Rescue/Transport Volunteer
Rescuers respond to calls from our Emergency Response Service to attend to the rescue of a sick, injured or orphaned native animal. The rescuer assesses the situation and depending on their experience will undertake the rescue or consult with a fellow rescuer or advisor about the case.
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.
“On all occasions I was fully briefed on the situation as best as possible. I feel I have enough training, and the support from the Emergency Response Operator’s (ERO) has always been fantastic. Most of the training I feel would be “on the job” with support from the ERO…….My only other feedback is on how good the ERO’s are and how well the organisation is run. I am proud to be a volunteer for Wildlife Victoria”. - Steve, volunteer rescuer.
"I'm really pleased that I spent my birthday learning how to become a wildlife rescuer. It's most certainly a very good gift that I've given myself that will keep on giving". - Rebecca, new recruit volunteer rescuer.
“Thank goodness for the raptor training course! I wouldn't have known what to do otherwise. ‘Choc Wedge’ the wedge-tailed eagle is still going well and I am hoping for a release the first windy day after this weekend.” Stacy, volunteer rescue and foster carer who recently attended our raptor training course.
FAQs About Wildlife Rescue and Transport Volunteering
What is the commitment from you?
You nominate your hours of availability and may be called on at any time during those times. You may vary these hours at any time for any reason. All we ask is that you inform us of any change so we don’t unnecessarily contact you when you’re not available.
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. You need 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.
Wildlife Foster Carer
As a volunteer foster carer you 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.
Click on this link to see Adriana, one of Wildlife Victoria’s network of dedicated carers, show you how her shelter is set up and the stages she moves her charges through in the successful rehabilitation and release of possums and gliders.
Wildlife Shelter Helper
Some wildlife shelters rely on the help of volunteers with cleaning, food preparation and other tasks. If you are interested in helping at a wildlife shelter you will need to contact DELWP directly to enquire whether there is a shelter in your area where you can offer assistance. Click here to be redirected to the DELWP website for more information or call them on 136 186.
Wildlife Administration Volunteers
This role is best suited to those with basic administration experience that might want to help out in our office. The work could include a wide variety of tasks requiring both computer literacy and analytical skills.
It’s a great way to give you an insight into Wildlife Victoria and our Emergency Response Service. You can nominate when you are available to come in and help, ideally on a regular basis (once a week or fortnight). There are also opportunities for short or long term project -based administration volunteering as well. You will be provided with all of the training required for the position.
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 13 000 94535, 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.
Wildlife Victoria's Primary 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.