Our wildlife hospital is a truly unique experience, and is situated about two hours from Cairns on the Atherton Tablelands, at Millstream. We are run by a voluntary committee as an Incorporated Association. This means we rely entirely on voluntary help and donations.
Volunteers have the opportunity to learn from Harry, one of Australia’s most recognised authorities on raptor rehabilitation, and work with a variety of wildlife that is forever coming and going throughout the year. We cannot guarantee what animals will be in care at any given time, but it is never a dull moment.
It is important that volunteers have a good understanding of English and must be willing to work and show initiative. The working day starts early, at 7am. (Keep in mind, just like us, animals need to have food and water seven days a week.) Volunteers begin by feeding and watering all the animals and have a morning break at 9am. After the break, volunteers go out with a job list and work through ‘projects’, such as cleaning enclosures, DIY/maintenance, general garden work, planting and tidying in the veggie garden, tree planting and a variety of things. There is an endless list of work needing to be done on a day-to-day basis.
We operate on a small budget, so you could find yourself gardening or painting, and if you are handy with tools, you could help us build or repair nesting boxes, feeders and other vital things around the hospital.
Lunch is at 12 noon for an hour, then we clean up and put all the tools away and have the afternoon off to take it easy. Volunteers have the afternoons to go and see the falls, take photos, read books or just relax.
We prefer a minimum stay of three weeks, but long-term volunteers or veterinary/animal studies have the opportunity to help with orphan feeding and medicating animals. There is not much actual hands-on with the animals, we have to ensure that the animals are not humanised and so handling of the animals to administer medication, first aid, give health checks or feed, is kept to a minimum.
In the afternoon, about 4pm, volunteers feed the night animals. As it is an ever-changing environment, we cannot guarantee that volunteers will get to go out on rescues; it is dependent on what calls we get!
Volunteers live in caravan accommodation, with a communal kitchen (available for volunteers to prepare their own meals), bathroom and outdoor dining area. Excessive consumption of alcohol is not permitted; illegal drugs are strictly prohibited. Out of respect for the night animals, and any volunteers who want to sleep, there is a 9pm curfew on noise.
Volunteers are expected to keep the volunteer areas clean and tidy and be respectful of one another. If they require anything, they can ask Harry or, if one is present, the volunteer supervisor.
We currently need volunteers more than ever.
Please email Harry on firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to volunteer and put in the subject line the month you wish to volunteer, for example,
if you can volunteer in December put “VOLUNTEER DECEMBER” in the subject line. Alternatively, please phone Harry direct between 7:30am and 4:00pm (at the latest.)