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Graduates celebrate new skills in animal conservation

Tuesday 4 September, 2012

Nine volunteers recently graduated from the Green Pathways program at Serendip Sanctuary with new skills in animal conservation.

The volunteer training program for young people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds is a partnership between Conservation Volunteers, Leisure Networks and Parks Victoria.

Parks Victoria Team Leader Michael Smith said the program provided valuable training opportunities for young adults as they worked along-side conservation volunteers on a species recovery program for the critically endangered Eastern Barred Bandicoot.

 “Volunteers in the Green Pathways program learnt practical skills and techniques in maintaining animal closures, rehabilitating grasslands and habitat reconstruction, and pest control programs,” said Michael.

“Protection works include the installation of a floppy top fence around the Eastern Barred Bandicoot enclosure, pruning trees and shrubs, managing rabbit warrens, removal of weeds such as ink weed, scotch thistle and serrated tussock, and monitoring for predators such as foxes and cats.”

Green Pathways program participants Blake Jacobs and Troy Gray really valued the opportunity to gain more experience. Troy likes to help wildlife and enjoyed spending time in the bush. Blake said he enjoyed learning new skills, working outdoors, and learning about the bandicoots.

According to Conservation Volunteers Team Leader Matt Landy, volunteers dedicated one day a week to working at the sanctuary as part of the six month training program. They also completed a nationally accredited Certificate in Conservation Training which demonstrates effectiveness in the workplace.

“As a key outcome, Parks Victoria and Conservation Volunteers will be offering one graduate a long-term volunteer opportunity at Serendip Sanctuary,” said Matt.

“Other participants will be able to get involved in wider conservation efforts across the Geelong region with our Conservation Experience program run by Conservation Volunteers.

The Green Pathways program was funded by the Victorian Government’s Active in Parks program.

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