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Posted on 09/05/2019 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Nature Parks celebrates Volunteers


Phillip Island Nature Parks is celebrating National Volunteer Week and the generous and substantial contributions of our Volunteers with a celebratory lunch at the Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club and a day trip to Healesville Sanctuary.

“We want to acknowledge and thank our dedicated band of volunteers for all of their hard work, commitment, and passion for conservation on Phillip Island. We’re really looking forward to celebrating their achievements over lunch, as well as giving them the chance to ‘be the visitor’ on our day trip,” said Rachael Ferguson, Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Volunteer Coordinator.

“This year’s theme for National Volunteer Week is a ‘World of Difference’ which indeed seems very appropriate for so many of our volunteers. Through our range of diverse volunteering opportunities, they help us protect nature for wildlife and inspire people to act.”

Volunteers at the Barb Martin Bushbank collect and propagate seeds for revegetation across Phillip Island, continuing Barb’s legacy to establish, preserve and defend Phillip Island’s indigenous flora and wildlife habitats. These activities in turn support the many volunteers who help by putting plants in the ground and removing weeds to improve the biodiversity of habitat used by wildlife.

Research and monitoring are vital components in understanding some of the challenges faced by Phillip Island’s wildlife, as well as some of the challenges faced by the island’s visitors and local community in sharing this special place and successfully living with wildlife. Volunteers play a significant role in assisting the Nature Parks’ Conservation team through monitoring of threatened species such as the hooded plover, and the Eastern barred bandicoot which is considered extinct in the wild on mainland Victoria.

Churchill Island’s unique charm, visitor appeal and heritage values are all enhanced by the ongoing support of volunteers through general maintenance, gardening, assisting with the museum collection and farm assistance.

Marine debris has undoubtedly become a global issue, and volunteers are really making a difference on our local beaches by collecting, sorting and analysing marine debris monthly. This helps to monitor the prevalence of marine debris and its effects on wildlife and habitat, leading to local solutions to a global problem.

Volunteers are also engaging with visitors at the Koala Reserve, Churchill Island and Nobbies to ensure they have a memorable and authentic experience. Hopefully visitors will take home a greater understanding of the island’s beautiful environment and the importance of protecting our special wildlife and this special place. They will not only learn about the fur seals or penguins or koalas, but also find out what we can all do to help our wildlife, like blowing bubbles instead of releasing balloons, ensuring their rubbish ends up in a bin, using items such as keep cups or planting native vegetation at home.

“One of the many benefits of volunteering in a regional community is the opportunity to make a difference to the place in which we live. Last year the Nature Parks, and Phillip Island as a whole, benefitted from the contributions of 283 volunteers, who provided over 15,000 hours to these programs.”

“In addition to saying a big thank you to our volunteers, I’d like to extend our thanks to the Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club for generously offering their venue for us to use for our celebration. I’d also like to thank Zoos Victoria and the many organisations in the Victorian cultural and tourism industry who are affiliated with the Cultural Volunteers Managers Network who are generously providing opportunities for volunteers to obtain free entry and tours as part of the National Volunteer Week activities.”

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