Proof that UNE is an all-inclusive institution, the Booloominbah lawn has lately been host to Pixie the wallaroo, who finds the lawn a handy dual-purpose venue for a grass lunch and exercise.
An orphan, Pixie is being raised by Libby Kettlestring, UNE’s Secretariat Officer (pictured above with Pixie), who thought she had finished child-rearing but then got involved with Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers Inc.
Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers Inc is a network of trained volunteers who are licensed by NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service to rescue, rehabilitate and release all kinds of native animals. Our group covers a huge area and we work alongside other wildlife caring groups and help each other in times of need with rescuing and caring for many different Australian native animals. Check out our covered area.
At this time of year, macropods needing care (mainly kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos) are in abundance. We get 3 to 4, sometimes more, calls per week with reports of roos being hit by cars, hanging in fences or, sadly, being shot. A lot of the females have joeys in their pouch, who, without intervention, would die a slow and very stressful death. We also have plenty of birds, flying foxes, bats, gliders, possums and reptiles in care at any given time.
We never have enough carers, we are often stretched to capacity and, as with any volunteer organisation, fundraising is our biggest concern. Our carers are not paid and it’s definitely a job done out of love (or madness?), not financial gain.
NTWC holds 3 or 4 raffles during the year and we try and do a couple of Bunnings BBQs, as well. These are good fundraisers, along with an annual calendar and some greeting cards, but we are always open to new ideas and sponsorship opportunities. Fuji Xerox and Telstra Sponsored Freecall are our major sponsors. Their continued support with our communications is greatly valued. Our local vets are enormously supportive with their advice and care when needed (which is a lot).
There are several UNE staff involved in the group and we appreciate the Vice-Chancellor’s support by way of the Animals At UNE Sites policy in allowing us to bring animals in care onto campus. They often need feeding during work hours (and during the night) and it’s great to have understanding Supervisors who appreciate we’re doing our bit.
Why did I join Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers? My husband and I have a menagerie of pets at home and now that our kids are old enough to help out, a roo, a possum and/or a magpie who needs our help is a natural progression. I love animals (but not snakes – I don’t love snakes). But luckily a lot of other people do, so we’re all good.
Lots of people ask how to get involved. It’s really simple: head on over to our website and have a look at what we do. Email the Secretary (who just happens to be me!) and we can provide information about membership and/or financial sponsorship.