Wildcare

Wildcare

Wildcare

Wildcare is a volunteer organisation whose members undertake practical natural and cultural heritage conservation projects on a voluntary basis – including reserve management activities such as track work, weeding, building maintenance and visitor services, community and school education, whale rescue, volunteer caretaking on off-shore islands, wildlife care and rehabilitation.

In partnership with Parks and Wildlife, the Migrant Rescource Centres, and refugee support agencies, Wildcare created the Get Outside(GO) project to provide new migrants, including refugees, with an opportunity to experience their new environment. This was intended to help create connections to their new home and their new community and to build knowledge, skills and confidence. The program benefits an individual’s mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health and wellbeing, and helps to build a stronger and healthier community. Refugee and migrant participants enjoy exercise, experience peaceful settings, establish friendships with volunteers, practise English and build the skills and knowledge to share these experiences with their communities. GO enables them to better understand their new home and community, and ultimately develop a sense of wellbeing and belonging.

The Tasmanian Community Fund, has supported the leadership development component of the program. Some of them participate in leadership training weekends. The leadership program enables young people to build their group presentation skills, confidence and knowledge. They become voluntary leaders in future years of the program and are able to confidently lead their community members – for example, on walks into Tasmanian National Parks. The leaders ultimately make the program more sustainable.

Two GO leaders were employed by the Parks and Wildlife Service as bi-lingual Discovery Rangers over the last summer, providing information and guidance to Chinese visitors to Mount Field and Freycinet National Parks. Their participation in the program and the leadership training gave them the skills and confidence to provide excellent service to National Park visitors.