Every year over 300 people take time out of their busy lives to volunteer at Australia Zoo. They come from all walks of life – from high school to retirement; as well as from all over the world – from Brisbane, remote areas of Queensland, interstate and overseas. All are motivated individuals who share the common goal and desire to help Australia Zoo stay strong to the commitment of conserving and protecting all things wild.
Our volunteers play a pivotal role within the zoo environment, providing valuable support to our keepers and guests. Their dedication ensures Australia Zoo delivers the greatest level of care to the 1200+ animals that call Australia Zoo home and assists in delivering the high standards of customer service Australia Zoo is renowned for.
Not only is volunteering a fun and exciting way to spend your free time, you’ll also learn new skills and gain a thorough understanding into what it’s really like to be a zoo keeper, working alongside our experienced zoo keepers as they care for an array of amazing animals.
If you are enthusiastic, passionate, reliable, friendly, out-going, interested in conservation, and you enjoy working outdoors, you may be just what we are looking for!
At Australia Zoo we have volunteer positions which encompass both our Animal Keeping Departments and our Customer Relations sections.
Our Keeping Volunteers assist with a variety of different husbandry and customer service tasks, including, but not limited to:
- Enclosure cleaning and maintenance e.g. raking, scrubbing, sweeping, mulching, weeding, cob webbing, cleaning ponds, gardening, etc.
- Assisting with food preparation for a variety of species
- Preparing and assisting with animal enrichments for a variety of species
- Animal observations and monitoring
- Interacting with Zoo guests, including assisting visitors during our daily Wildlife Warriors Crocoseum Show
- Assisting keepers and gaining an understanding of a zoo keeper’s role
Our Customer Relations Volunteers look after the two-legged population at the Zoo. As a CRV, you may find yourself:
- Welcoming our visitors at the front entrance and assisting them with planning their day
- Getting our guests into the Australia Zoo spirit and answering any questions they may have
- Helping visitors locate our shows and facilities
- Assisting with guided tours
- Being on hand in some of our walk through enclosures to help guests when needed
- Providing assistance at our regular promotional events and children’s activities
Australia Zoo’s Structured and Standard Work Experience Program
With the minimum age of volunteering being lowered to 14 years old, Australia Zoo’s new Structured Work Experience Program will cater to 14-16 year olds. This new program aims to introduce younger participants to the animal care/tourism industry within a supported and structured environment. It will incorporate educational components, as well as keeping related group tasks and individual keeper department attachments to assist in consolidating and applying relevant skills and knowledge in a practical environment. If young applicants display the necessary maturity and confidence required, we may also have availability within our Standard Work Experience Program.
These programs will generally be available over a 3 week period just prior to and during April/Easter School Holidays, June/July School Holidays and September School Holidays, as well as the end of November/early December (before School Holidays).
In summary our two Work Experience Programs are as follows:
Structured Work Experience Program - This program has been designed to cater to 14-16 year olds who may not have the readiness levels which are required for our standard work experience program, or for those who may have additional support requirements.
Standard Work Experience Program - If applicants demonstrate the necessary readiness levels during the interview process, opportunities may exist for them to be considered for placement within our standard volunteer program. This program requires increased levels of independent work capacity and placement on this program will be at the discretion of Australia Zoo.
If you would like more information on these work experience programs, including available dates, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and will send you an information pack and application form.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital is the largest and busiest of its kind in the world and has treated over 65,000 animals since it first opened its doors in 2004.
Volunteers are an important part of our AZWH team and work alongside our experienced keepers to assist them with their daily cleaning, maintenance and food preparation duties. Everything our volunteers do helps our hospital operate to the highest standard possible and ensures every animal admitted to the hospital receives the care they deserve.
Similar to our zoo’s volunteer program, volunteer tasks at the AZWH may include, enclosure cleans (sweeping, raking, cleaning up after animals), environmental enrichment, assisting with food preparation, hospital and enclosure maintenance, gardening and weeding, wildlife laundry, customer service and group tasks.
So if you’re over 18 years and older, passionate, confident and hardworking, volunteering with us at the Australia Zoo wildlife Hospital may be for you!
For more information or if you would like to contribute to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, visit www.wildlifewarriors.org.au
Who can apply to be a volunteer?
Anyone can apply to be a volunteer, however as of 2017, you must be 14 years of age (if an Australian resident or citizen) or 18 years of age if you’re an international visitor. There is no need for qualifications of industry specific experience – what we look for is motivation, confidence, a strong work ethic and a genuine desire to care for our guests and animals.
We welcome high school and university work experience placements and provide a structured environment for students to both learn and engage in real-world practise. With applications opening for our newly improved work experience program in January 2016, remember to watch this space!
International visitors can also become involved within our volunteer program – you will just need to ensure you are currently traveling in the country and have a sufficient working/student component to your visa.
How do I become a volunteer?
Becoming a volunteer at Australia Zoo begins with an expression of interest! Simply email email@example.com or fill in an enquiry on our ‘Contact’ page and we’ll send you an application form and information pack. Once we receive your completed application and supporting information including a resume and current picture, an interview will be organized. Interviews are conducted face to face, however if you are located interstate or in a remote Queensland location, Skype interviews are also available.
It is important to note a volunteer position cannot be guaranteed until after an interview is conducted.
When can I volunteer?
Australia Zoo provides volunteer opportunities throughout the year. All new volunteers are required to participate in a 5-day (consecutive) probationary period. This gives you the best possible opportunity to immerse yourself in the experience, as well as gain valuable feedback from our experienced team members.
The Australia Zoo volunteer program is always in high demand and we recommend applying at least 1-2 months in advance of your preferred probationary volunteer start date. Some times of the year are especially popular (e.g. school holidays) and we recommend you allow a longer expression of interest lead time for those periods.
How long can I volunteer for?
The minimum commitment to volunteer is five consecutive days. The maximum amount of time you can complete initially, is a block of up to 4 weeks, however this is generally offered to interstate and international travellers. After you have completed your initial block there is no guarantee that your volunteer position will be extended, as this will depend on your suitability to the program, roster availability and a variety of other factors.
Where will I be volunteering?
During your 5-day probationary period with keeping departments, you will assist five of our key departments, including Mammals, Birds, Exotics, Kid Zoo and Koalas. If an ongoing weekly commitment to volunteering is something you’re interested in, you’ll be welcomed to apply to be a regular volunteer at the end of your initial probation period. If you are successful in obtaining an ongoing position, there may be opportunities to volunteer with other departments, such as Big Cats and Africa.
We also offer volunteer opportunities in other areas, including Customer Service, Photography, Education, Grounds and Construction to name a few.
What will I do as a volunteer?
No day at the zoo is ever the same, especially when you’re a volunteer. Every department is different and you’ll get to work with a variety of different keepers and animals almost every day. Daily duties you’ll be involved with will relate to animal husbandry, which may include enclosure cleaning and maintenance, food and dietary preparation and making enrichment items for animals, as well as guiding and assisting Australia Zoo guests.
Will joining the Volunteer Program lead to employment?
Joining the volunteer program will unfortunately not guarantee you employment at Australia Zoo.
Does it cost anything to join the Volunteer Program?
On your first day you are required to supply a security deposit of $50 for your volunteer shirt. This will be returned to you on your last day when you return the shirt.
Does Australia Zoo provide accommodation for volunteers?
No, Australia Zoo is not able to offer accommodation to volunteers. The Australia Zoo Volunteer Information Pack contains details of accommodation found within the local area. Please note that volunteers are responsible for their own transport to and from the zoo and that due to Australia Zoo’s rural location, public transportation is limited.
Have any further questions?
Once we receive your enquiry, we’ll forward an Australia Zoo Volunteer Information Pack, which will answer many of the questions you may have. If have more, don’t hesitate to ask our friendly and experience volunteer team, as we’re here to help!