A new year starts and brings with it, hopes, expectations and desires for the future. Many people also make New Year’s resolutions in anticipation of what is yet to come. Perhaps you have made a resolution to become more involved with your local community by volunteering with a not-for-profit group or charity?

Wildcare Queanbeyan is always looking for new members who are passionate about our local wildlife. Don’t be misled by the name, our area of operation covers 22,000 square kilometres, from Bredbo in the south to Collector in the north, Warri in the east, to Young in the west. This is not only a huge area for our dedicated volunteers to cover, but also showcases a wide variety of wildlife. Wildcare Queanbeyan is an entirely volunteer-run organisation with approximately 300 members. It operates 365 days a year, 24/7.

It is a common misconception that when you join a wildlife rehabilitation group, you must care for sick, injured, or orphaned wildlife. Whilst many of our volunteers get immense satisfaction from doing just that, there are a wide variety of ways you can become involved. If you are creative, you might like to sew, knit, paint, or create artisan products for sale at our fundraising stalls; if you’re great with technology, being involved with our social media or website might be of interest to you. If you have a way with words, you may enjoy writing media releases and articles, and if you love driving, you may want to help with transferring animals from rescuers to carers. You may also contribute by volunteering on our telephone Helpline, which operates 24/7, and is the first step in aiding an animal in distress.

There are also opportunities to become involved with our management committee, which is elected from member nominations at our Annual General Meeting. Sadly, part of our role is the humane euthanising of animals that have suffered irreparable trauma or illness and we gladly accept members who can meet the requirements necessary to undertake this role.

If you do want to rescue or care for animals, Wildcare Queanbeyan runs training courses throughout the year to assist members gain competency in the care and husbandry of native wildlife across a range of species including birds, bats, macropods (kangaroos and wallabies), reptiles and snakes, wombats, small mammals (possums, echidnas, rakali, native rodents, quolls etc).

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with Wildcare Queanbeyan, please go to our website at www.wildcare.com.au, or phone 6299 1966 and help us make a difference in the lives of our precious native fauna.

Pictured is a rakali, or native water rat, which was rehabilitated and successfully released by Wildcare Queanbeyan.

By Bec Quinn