Reflections on a conservation traineeship

Guest bloggers
Published 12 Jul 2019 
by Natasha Richards 
about  Carnarvon Reserve  
Conservation trainee, Natasha Richards.<br/> Conservation trainee, Natasha Richards.
Volunteer Will Douglas has his hands full tackling invasive Tiger Pear.<br/> Volunteer Will Douglas has his hands full tackling invasive Tiger Pear.
A massive eagle's nest high in the tree canopy.<br/> A massive eagle's nest high in the tree canopy.
Carnarvon ecologist Bek Diete at the 4WD training course.<br/> Carnarvon ecologist Bek Diete at the 4WD training course.

Today it’s nice to see the big blue Carnarvon sky again after some unexpected rain over the past week (22mls).

The clear weather and sunshine is just the ticket for the work planned for today, including fencing repairs with volunteer Will Douglas. Will has been with us for several weeks and happens to be a very handy gentleman. He is very knowledgeable and good at hunting down invasive weeds as I discovered when we went in search of Tiger Pear (otherwise known as Jointed Prickly Pear, and considered an invasive weed).

This week we've tackled maintenance around the machinery shed, spraying prickly pear, repairing fences and, in the process, came upon an amazing eagle’s nest. I think this might be the best part about my traineeship – days spent outdoors in nature, contributing to the daily operations of the reserve, learning from others and experiencing so many new things along the way.

Needless to say I am pretty excited about experiencing my first spring at Carnarvon Station and I know I might be repeating myself but there really is never a dull moment on Carnarvon, or with Bush Heritage for that matter.

A highlight recently was an adventure to Aramac, Longreach, for a two-day 4WD training course on Edgbaston Reserve.

Colleagues from other north reserves joined me for the training and it was another great learning experience, and a chance to practice the skills needed to safely recover a 4WD from a bog. At the same time I was introduced to some critically endangered Red-finned Blue-eye fish (in real life)! This was very exciting and it was great to see the efforts to save this species and learn more about it from our ecologist, Pippa Kern.

When I start thinking back over the last few months it really is amazing how fast the time has passed. All I can say is that I can highly recommend a conservation traineeship for any young Aboriginal person considering working in conservation, especially if nature and the environment is calling you.

Volunteer Will Douglas has his hands full tackling invasive Tiger Pear.<br/> Volunteer Will Douglas has his hands full tackling invasive Tiger Pear.
A massive eagle's nest high in the tree canopy.<br/> A massive eagle's nest high in the tree canopy.
Carnarvon ecologist Bek Diete at the 4WD training course.<br/> Carnarvon ecologist Bek Diete at the 4WD training course.