WILVOS are proud of the fact that they have been operating as an incorporated body for 25 years on the 15th December 2018. Prior to this they were operating under the umbrella of the Queensland National Parks department. It is overwhelming to think of the numbers of wildlife that have been rehabilitated and saved from unnecessary pain over those years.
Wildlife carers come and go across Australia. There is a huge ‘drop off’ rate due to the time and commitment needed. WILVOS are extremely fortunate that there are still inaugural members who contribute in many valuable ways to the stability of the organization. Wildlife rehabilitation groups quite often disperse, not because of the commitments of caring, but because of the lack of assistance or expertise on the administrative side.
Chairperson of WILVOS, Sylvia Whiting OAM, has been recognized nationally for her valuable contribution to Australian wildlife for approximately thirty years. Beginning as a rehabilitator of injured and orphaned wildlife, there was then the need for people to man the WILVOS hotline, followed by a need for a membership secretary, followed by a need for someone to train new carers and be on call 24 hours a day to assist carers. The list of jobs is endless! Many years later, this lady has the respect of all who know her. It is people such as this that keeps an organization going, year after year.
Retaining audited financial records is understandably another big demand on time and expertise. Again WILVOS are lucky to have a professional bookkeeper volunteer her services, and I don’t know what we’d do without Annette. Wildlife carers struggle to keep up with their own rehabilitation records. Technology has brought changes and in the past couple of years we have had some wonderful new members who have the expertise in this field and who generously give of their time to keep WILVOS up with the latest technology.
The support of families keeps wildlife carers going, as sometimes they have to suffer neglect! Last week, one of our members offered to assist when we had to take six eastern grey kangaroos out to their release property. He just shook his head at the two cars full of kangaroos, along with other little possums, gliders and birds that would need feeding on arrival at the destination. Being told to keep the airconditioning up high, plus a request to sing in a monotone voice for a couple of hours, did stretch his patience. I was joking about the singing, though I’m sure it helps keep the animals calm! Nevertheless, he was impressed with the secluded release property, asking, “How did you find this place?” No doubt he has since entertained his friends with many funny stories of the day, with slight elaborations I am sure!
WILVOS has a lot to celebrate in 2018, as along with the tragic losses we have to think of the successes.
Donna Brennan Wildlife Volunteers Assoc Inc (WILVOS)
PO Box 4805 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q 4560 PH 5441 6200 www.wilvos.org.au