26, from USA
What made you decide to work in Australia?
I wanted to travel to places I’ve never been before. Volunteering with CVA provides good physical work and the opportunity to give something back to a country that is so hospitable.
How did you get the post?
I booked through an agent in America.
What do you do?
Over the past five weeks I have helped plant trees in a nature reserve in Geelong, removed old fencing on a property near Warrnambool, visited Phillip Island and helped remove woody weeds. Last week I was at Mt Buffalo helping with track maintenance in the national park. I would never have seen all these places if I had travelled on my own. It has been awesome!
How does it compare to what you did back home?
I work in customer service back home, so this is a nice break and something completely different. I enjoy being outdoors and working in the environment, plus I feel like I’m contributing to the protection of the environment.
Had you done any volunteer work before?
No, but I’d like to get more involved when I get home.
I’m travelling with my dad to Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef, and then Sydney.
Any favourite moments?
The most memorable moment so far was seeing the penguin parade at Phillip Island.
What are the good points about your new job?
Travelling to places you wouldn’t see as a normal tourist, meeting new people from different countries and Australian locals, being physical and being outdoors.
How do you cope not earning any money?
I had saved money before I came. The programme fees cover housing and food.
Be open to do lots of different activities, be pro-active in meeting new people, and be willing to get your hands dirty!
Why would you recommend volunteering to others?
It’s a great adventure.
Ph: (03) 5155 0218
Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA)
Ph: 1800 032 501
Ph: (07) 4168 6185