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From Prep to Seasonal Ranger at Serendip Sanctuary

Tuesday 31 January, 2017


Every year, classes from Lara Primary School spend a week at the nearby Serendip Sanctuary as part of a partnership program with Parks Victoria. The program gives children close up experiences with nature and native creatures. For one of these youngsters, Joy Thorup, this adventure revealed her passion for parks and native animals.

“What I love about Serendip is that I discover something new every time I’m there,” says Joy.  

“I couldn’t wait to do the Junior Ranger programs during the holidays. Mum took me to my first one when I was eleven; now I’m helping run them.”

Joy started volunteering at the Sanctuary when she was sixteen and progressed from helping out with Parks Victoria’s Junior Ranger programs, to now running the Behind the Scenes tours. These involve taking groups around to watch and help with feeding the resident animals.

“There was so much to know about the different creatures. It took me a while to get a hang of things at first, but Matt Wills and the staff there really looked after me.”

This summer Joy had the chance to be a Seasonal Ranger for a few days. She stepped in and ran the program with great success. “It felt great to be called Ranger Joy!  I’m doing year 12 this year and definitely going to apply for a Seasonal Ranger role next summer.”

In recognition of her dedicated volunteering Joy recently won a Kookaburra Award in the youth category. Parks Victoria Ranger Vanessa Wiggenraad says Joy’s award was well deserved.

“Joy is a great example of someone who really engages with nature and gets so much enjoyment from that in return,” said Ms. Wiggenraad.

“Our partnership with Lara Primary is one that offers that special experience to young children, and it’s so rewarding to see how it helps them develop love and respect for nature and its creatures.”


Media enquiries
Sally Nowlan
0417391175

Parks Victoria media centre