Sum Wing Ng 24, from Hong Kong What made you decide to come to Australia? I am a student at the Hong Kong Institute of Education and our university offers summer placements in Australia with Conservation Volunteers. I choose to come to Australia because of it’s beautiful environment, plus I wanted to meet new people and practice my English. Why did you choose volunteering? I wanted to volunteer with CVA for two years! It’s a meaningful way to travel, you get to visit places people don’t normally get to see and meet fantastic people. And what exactly is it that you do now? I was in Adelaide for three weeks. During this time I assisted with bush regeneration, tree planting, sand dune stabilisation and fencing at Leigh Creek, Hindmarsh Island, Torrens, and Tampoo Beach. This week I am tree planting at Bacchus Marsh near Melbourne, helping to create a carbon forest. Volunteers in the last 12 months have helped to plant over 50,000 trees. It’s a great feeling to contribute to something very worthwhile. How does it compare to what you did back home? In Hong Kong I am a student studying languages. I also tutor young children learning English. The projects with CVA are very different to what I am used to back home, it’s more relaxed over here and I can enjoy the beautiful scenery. Had you done any other volunteer work before? In Hong Kong many students do community work, in the past I have volunteered at elderly homes and other various things, it’s a good way to meet people and get life experience. Where have you travelled so far, and where are you heading next? So far I have travelled to Adelaide and Melbourne. Next week we are volunteering at Phillip Island Nature Park and then I am going to the Gold Coast and Sydney for a holiday. At the end of my holiday I have planned to do another week of volunteering in Orange. Any memorable moments at your new job? One evening our team leader asked me to prepare the evening meal. I had never cooked for seven people before! I made coconut rice with vegetables. The end result was “interesting” but everyone seemed to enjoy it! What are the good points about your new job? You get to meet fantastic people, learn new things especially in relation to the environment and ecology. I also get to practice my English. And are there any bad points? It’s very cold in Melbourne at the moment. How do you cope not earning any money? I saved for 12 months to do this programme by getting a part time job. What advice can you give to other travellers considering volunteering? CVA projects are a good way to get fit – be prepared to get your hands dirty and get involved. Why would you recommend volunteering to others? It’s fantastic! You get to see places you can’t see on a normal tour.
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