Molly before release (300x300)Eagles Nest has no paid staff, and runs on the help of volunteers, locally, interstate and from overseas…

Our wildlife hospital is a truly unique experience, and is situated about two hours from Cairns on the Atherton Tablelands, on the Millstream Estate.  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 when, 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 work days start early, at 7am, volunteers begin by feeding and watering all the animals and have morning break at 9am.  After break, volunteers then go out with a job list and work through the ‘projects’, as we call them, like 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 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 12noon for an hour and 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 or take photos, read books or just relax.

We have a minimum stay of 3 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 out with medication, first aid, health checks and feeding, should be kept to a minimum.

In the afternoon, about 3pm, 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 dependant on what calls we get!

Volunteers live in caravan accommodation, with a communal kitchen, bathroom and outdoor dining area.  There is a TV/DVD player available to volunteers but should be turned off by 9pm out of respect for the night animals and any volunteers who want to sleep.  
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.
There is a kitchen available for volunteers to prepare their own meals or meals will be cooked by Harry/Volunteer supervisor.

We currently need volunteers more than ever!

Please email Harry on eaglesnestwidlifehospital.org@gmail.com 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.

Again, we please ask that you please do not phone us as our lines must remain available for wildlife emergencies.

Thank you!




  1. HI, AM interested in volunteering for a few days in February. As I am travelling interstate I would like to know if there is any accomodation available at the animal hospital and if so is it free also food requirements. This place sounds like a wonderful haven and would like to volunteer my time. Love to hear from you.
    Kind regards

    1. Hi Julie, yes there is accommodation and food available for $35 a day. It would be excellent if you could stay a week or so. Usually we ask for a minimum of 3 week stay. This is because it takes nearly a week to learn watering and feeding and how Eagles Nest runs. Feel free to ring and chat to Harry who can give you all the information you need. Look forward to your reply

  2. Hi. I can say: Everybody how miss this amzing chance to make an unbelievable experience, miss another wounderful world too. It´s the best way to learn more about the australians environment and learn how you can save them and love them as well. Iwish I had could stay longer at this place. So Harry thanks for all. I miss it.

  3. Hi Harry I am incredibly interested in volunteering for the care of wildlife always been passionate about helping our furry and feathered friends , constantly bringing home all sorts and releasing when they were ready . Just found out about your place and would relish the chance . I have a lot of experience with reptiles and would like to expand my knowledge . Looking at operating a sanctuary similar to yours in the next few years .
    Look forward to hearing back from you Cheers

  4. Hi,
    I saw that you are looking for someone to take over the sanctuary and I was wondering where can I apply or what are the qualifications needed.
    Thank you.

  5. Hello!
    I am looking to volunteer to help and care for injured Australian wildlife. I am from Melbourne but would be happy to drive up to North Queensland and stay for as long as possible! I am looking to start work with animals as it is what I want to do with my life. I am not experienced although am I quick learner, especially when I am passionate about what I am doing! Let me know if you have any positions to help out around your wildlife hospital and I would be able to come in November. Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

  6. Hello I have just found out that you are looking for someone to take over your sanctuary.

    What are the requirements and qualifications necessary in order for me to be considered?

    I have completed a Certificate 111 in animal care specialising in wild life under Dr Hough at Gilles Plains Tafe SA and have applied for my certificate IV in veterinary nursing for 2017.

    It would be a dream come true for me to be able to utilise my skills (and potentially my vet nurse skills) in a situation in which I would come to know the animals I care for and be able to help them when needed. I’d would love to be able to walk past and think ” hmm George isn’t looking himself today – I’d better keep a closer eye on him and do some obs. or … oh great Jo and Minetta have become friends that’s good .. etc”

    I realise that you must be inundated with offers and must have a lot to sort out. I must also advise you that I currently live in South Australia and would have to relocate which could take some time , money and effort however I would relish the opportunity to discuss this with you further.

    PS I think it’s wonderful what you have achieved and continue to achieve for every little ( or big) critter you care for. We are very lucky to have people such as yourself that are so very dedicated. Thank you for reading this.

    Amethyst DeWilde

  7. A successor hey? mmmm… A purpose to life? Making the world a better place! It sounds good? It must be hard work and I’d imagine it’s hard to fill your boots Harry. 1200 animals taken in each year, that’s amazing! They’ll be lined up at the door after the article in the Gaurdian, including me. How do we prove ourselves to these animals and you? 🙂

  8. Hello!
    My name is Lacey and I am highly interested i volunteering, and possibly some day becoming a successor.
    I sent a note as well with more information. I live in California, US, and I am 100% willing to relocate in order to be a part of this amazing, inspirational sanctuary.
    Thank you. I will contact for the volunteer costs.

  9. Hi my name is Evangeline Strutt I am a enthusiastic 20year old from Innisfail and I am currently a conversation worker for green army in my local area and our aim is to reclaim, re propagate and maintain and control pest weeds, our current aim is to the cassowaries and saving their rapidly disappearing habitats. I would really love to to have a chat and learn some of your wisdom I’m not interested in the land only your wisdom and knowledge ☺️

    Evangeline Strutt

  10. Hello.
    I’m a veterinarian in the US and just read the Guardian article.
    After reading a bit about the organization, I am interested in learning more formal details as well as potentially applying for the position to take over the sanctuary. At that time, I would be happy to relay my qualifications and experience.
    I find this an amazing opportunity, especially with the training you would be providing!
    I like forward to hearing from you.

  11. Hi
    Good day sir Harry 🙂
    I wanted to do volunteering … Someday in the future… I’m inspired by your passion, your dedication in helping and giving hope for this treasured living things…
    I will be praying for your good health and for the continues support you’ve been dedicating your life into.. That is so much love and compassion…
    I’ve had experienced working with wildlife sanctuary before and know that it’s not an easy task, it needs hard work and putting your heart into it… Understanding their behavior and risking your life too…

  12. It would be a dream to get a chance to volunteer at eagles nest and a honor to help harry,since we share the same passion for wildlife and nature. I would love to be picked to come volunteer in the up coming months november,december,January ect..please consider me,I will be on the next jet out of San francisco,ca to eagles nest Australia. I am limitless and when it comes to wildlife and animals,I can move mountains.Thanks for this opportunity to tell u about what makes me a great candidate for volunteering at eagles nest.

  13. Hi I am not sure if I have the correct wildlife hospital that has been advertising for someone to keep the hospital going.
    I would like some more information and would like to visit.
    I know you have said that you like to keep the telephone lines open but I had a theft recently so could you please telephone me instead of email as I have no access to the internet my number is 40456483 / 0427057197. Jennifer

  14. I’m hoping to move to Australia next year I’d love to do some volunteer work till I can get a visa for work or school my partner lives in Queensland but I’ll be attending school in Perth but before I start school I’d love to spend at least 3 weeks as a volunteer possibly in January ?

  15. Hi – I would like to volunteer, sometime in the first 4 months of 2017. I have sent a private message to your Facebook page, detailing my experience with animal care, most of which is with birds. I’m hoping that you will find me a suitable candidate, to assist with this wonderful work you’re doing. I would be delighted to have the opportunity to work with your birds and other animals.

    I had not seen this page at the time I sent my previous message. My questions about food costs and minimum volunteer stay have been answered here. However, I’m wondering about additional volunteer fees such as for lodging or other expenses? I’m trying to work out a total budget for this visit. I live in the USA (California).

    I look forward to hopefully meeting you early next year!

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