Volunteer

Volunteering with the Forever Wild Sanctuary is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our wildlife sanctuary is being developed at our tropical wetlands reserve in far north Queensland, and we offer limited volunteer opportunities to those interested in wildlife health, rehabilitation and development of the Sanctuary.

Volunteers must meet specific criteria:

  • Be comfortable living in a rural bush environment
  • Be willing to volunteer for a 4-week period, arriving and departing on a Wednesday
  • 18 yrs+
  • Be self-sufficient and capable of completing physical tasks in a tropical environment
  • Volunteers must have personal medical insurance. While Forever Wild provides volunteer insurance it is mandatory that volunteers have their own medical insurance
  • All volunteers must abide by the safety rules and regulations of Forever Wild
  • All volunteers who apply as a couple will still be assessed individually, given that places are limited
  • Applicants require a manual driving license valid in Australia
  • Volunteers are expected to work 38 hours per week and complete feeding, care, data collection, vet support, orphan care, maintenance and other tasks as required

Volunteer Information Forms

PDF title here

The Sanctuary will consider all volunteer applications but the process is competitive.
Those with the following skills are particularly needed, however enthusiasm, a positive attitude and lots of energy go a long way:

Veterinary care or nursing / animal care and rehabilitation / building or carpentry / mechanical skills / data entry and management / plumbing

Please see our information PDF for current costs and a full list of inclusions.
All volunteer positions include:

  • Single (or couple) accommodation in a large, ensuite safari tent on the Tropical Wetlands reserve
  • 1 transfer each way to and from Mareeba, the closest town
  • Access to a fully equipped kitchen (self-catering)
  • Access to clothes washing facilities
  • Unlimited tea & coffee
  • Orientation and training, and support from the Volunteer Coordinator
  • An incredible setting in a spectacular landscape, overlooking tropical wetlands and distant mountains

What is not included:

  • Flights or other travel to and from Mareeba, or multiple transfers to Mareeba
  • Travel & medical insurance
  • Visa costs or other entry costs to Australia
  • Personal items, toiletries, alcohol etc

Where does the money go?

All funds from the volunteer program are put use either directly at the Sanctuary or for Forever Wild’s broader programs. Forever Wild is a registered charity in Australia.

Travel and free time

All volunteers get free time to explore the surrounding region. We strongly suggest you have a personal vehicle as the reserve vehicles are not available for personal travel outside the reserve. Forever Wild is engaged with the local Aboriginal people and we encourage all volunteers to visit the local cultural centres to better understand the landscapes they are visiting.

FAQs

1What is a typical day like?
7am-10am: Feeding, tracking, behavioural observations
Break
11am-12.30pm: Maintenance
Lunch
3pm-5.30pm: Feeding, vet support, data entry, behavioural observations, tracking

If you are charged with caring for orphaned animals these hours may vary, and some species may require late night care.
2 Do I get to have close contact with animals?
It depends on the species and the stage of rehabilitation. In many cases we are seeking to distance the animals from human contact, so only limited time around the pens is allowed. However some animals may be very young or require specialist care (under veterinary supervision) and specific training will be given for the care of those animals.
3Does the volunteer program operate year-round?
No. The Sanctuary is not accessible from mid-December to April by conventional vehicle, so only Forever Wild staff operate the Sanctuary over this period.
4How do I get there?
The Sanctuary is located 15km north-west of Mareeba, in far northern Australia. Access by conventional vehicle is fine except in the Wet Season from December to April. For those without a vehicle, buses run between Cairns and Mareeba daily. From Mareeba, Forever Wild can arrange a transfer to the Sanctuary and back again at the end of the rotation. Cairns has an international airport and multiple domestic connections across Australia. For those wishing to do some sightseeing in the region a personal vehicle is essential.
5What is your health and safety policy?
Once a volunteer has been accepted you will be emailed a comprehensive volunteer handbook with all the health & safety and other policies. Mareeba runs a superb hospital and
6Do I need to speak English?
Volunteers must have a working knowledge of English, be able to read and follow instructions in English and communicate effectively.
7Do I need to be fit and able?
Yes. The location is an Outback bush environment with all the inherent challenges of rough terrain, heat, animal dangers and after heavy rains the reserve can be cut off.