My passion, along with all its peripheral necessary visions, is to create, improve and disseminate best practice methods for the successful rehabilitation of the thousands of injured and orphaned Australian raptors that come into care each year.
I was the kid who always had to save animals. My dad and I used to go around on weekends buying injured lizards from other kids, getting them better and putting them back in the bush again. A long time ago! I went on to study vet medical technology, and then worked in the vet clinic at Sydney Uni for 15 years. During this time I started voluntary work with the NPWS rehabilitating orphaned and injured kangaroos, reptiles, wombats and possums. I went away with the Australian Volunteers Abroad for two years to Sabah (Borneo), and as well as working with cattle projects I had two wonderful but hard months working with the Orang Utangs in Sandakan. I came home and decided to have a career change, but never lost my passion for helping Australian wildlife, and never stopped doing the rehab work. I have been a masseuse on weekends, worked in plant nurseries and baby sat on weekends to help pay for my wildlife work. I also love photography and for 12 months worked voluntarily as the photographer’s assistant when Phil Jarret was the Tracks editor. Yes, I just love nature, the ocean, the bush and the creatures we share our planet with.
My dream involves seeing a much better deal happening for the birds of prey that come into care each year Australia wide. This involves studying, sharing, engaging raptor carers, researchers, vets, institutions, raptor advocates, organisations, getting people talking, learning from those far more experienced than us overseas. I want to finish my studies at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.
After completing my first basic raptor care course in 1992 I have individually helped over 2000 birds of prey return to the wild. The first internship I completed at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital showed me just how much more we need to advance our care practices in Australia. I learnt more there in 4 weeks than I had in 22 years at home. I have since been back twice more and am desperate to complete my studies, including the laboratory internship.
I want to continue learning, and helping these amazing birds. My grant will help pay Abu Dhabi return airfares, and internship fee at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. The falcon hospital will cover accommodation and food costs. I have already completed stages of the internship but there is just so much more to learn and to pass on back home. The internships are taken very seriously at the Falcon Hospital, at the same time the knowledge that they have accrued over the years is willingly passed on to the serious student. This knowledge will be able to be incorporated into the Australian Raptor Care and Conservation Inc and passed on through talks, presentations and papers. Being able to apply is a way of continuing this dream.