National Volunteer Week 2015 from Western Australia and South Australia

on 12 May 2015 
Angela Sanders
Mike Chuk

"Volunteers mean many things to me in my role as Executive Manager Western Region and previously as Healthy Landscape Manager, Western Rangelands. Over the past 12 years at Charles Darwin Reserve,  volunteers have worked with managers to build the conservation reserve that now leads the region in conservation work, research and community engagement. Specifically volunteers undertake regular and critical ecological monitoring - sand pad monitoring, ecological outcome monitoring, weed works and erosion control activities. Volunteers also play a critical role in allowing my family and I to have a holiday and leave the reserve in capable hands. This is extremely re-assuring. Volunteers continue to reaffirm to me what can be achieved when we work together and share a common vision."
Luke Bayley, Executive Manager, Western Region.

"Volunteers provide invaluable help with our everyday management activities and specialised conservation projects. They contribute meaningful skills and provide a link to the broader community. Working with volunteers is a rewarding part of my job, as together we can work towards positive environmental change and develop fantastic friendships."
Glen Norris, Healthy Landscape Manager, South Australia

"Volunteers are vital to the scientific monitoring work that I do on our reserves. Some are regular assistants for the flora and fauna monitoring and some take on specific tasks and work independently. I would be very limited in my capacity to carry out all the monitoring we do without their amazing support."
– Angela Sanders, Ecologist, Gondwana Link

"Volunteers are a great resource for Bon Bon Station Reserve, particularly in regards to infrastructure restoration projects (we have lots!). We find our volunteers to be great people to have around who are always enthusiastic, good fun and always great company. They help us achieve many projects and jobs that we wouldn’t be able to achieve on our own on a 200,000 hectare property. They've also been terrific caretakers for us (i.e. they have the skills required to look after a large and remote reserve while the managers are working off reserve or taking a break) We appreciate their dedication and give many thanks." – Mike Chuk and Julia Harris, Reserve Managers, Bon Bon Station Reserve.

"Some volunteers come to know Bush Heritage through proximity, which is how we met our neighbours Bill and Jane. Although registered volunteers, they’re share-farmers and conservationists on their own 1500-hectare property that borders our Monjebup Reserve. We work as closely as we can to manage the landscape as the single habitat patch it is. They help us with all sorts of things including water monitoring, restoration vegetation monitoring, installing pitfall traps for fauna monitoring, planting, botanical survey and weed control. We do our best to return the favours by working with them on similar activities on their own property. Our volunteers have made a huge personal contribution to the Gondwana Link project, through their commitment to conservation, and through all their voluntary hours to support our projects. I would like to thank all of the incredible volunteers who support Bush Heritage."
Simon Smale, Healthy Landscape Manager, Gondwana Link and Kojonup

"I am constantly amazed at the time, skills and expertise our volunteers freely give to Bush Heritage Australia. Volunteers help in so many ways. They contribute to desk-top tasks, day-to-day management issues, caretaking, ecological investigation, infrastructure improvement and land management. It seems to me that there's a place at Bush Heritage to suit volunteers of all backgrounds, as we all share the same conservation goals. Volunteers are an essential part of Bush Heritage Australia."
Joanna Axford, Community Engagement Officer - WEST

Angela Sanders
Mike Chuk