This year, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) is very proud to have sponsored the annual Australian Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference (AWRC) held from August 13 – 15. The conference, which is held in different locations around Australia every two years, provides a platform for wildlife rehabilitators, vets, vet nurses, students and conservationists to come together and share knowledge about Australia’s precious wildlife. Its purpose is to help raise the standard of wildlife care in Australia through education and collaboration.
As well as sponsoring the conference, FNPW provided Wildlife Heroes Conference Scholarships for 10 wildlife carers in NSW to attend the conference.
Originally planned to be held in Darwin last year, the conference was re-scheduled as a virtual event due to the pandemic, with attendees able to interact with each other, and immerse themselves in the conference experience.
The theme of the conference this year was:
“Self-care is a priority and necessity – not a luxury – in the work that we do – Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you.”
In line with this theme, FNPW supported a conference talk by Psychologist and Director of The Conscious Project, Sharon Draper. In the talk, Sharon provided a psychological guide to living an eco-friendly life, discussing practices that help to deal with and recover from the mental stresses of wildlife rehabilitation.
Other notable talks included Vanessa Barratt (previous Project Manager at FNPW)) presenting Communicating with humans: a guide for animal people, a communication guide developed for wildlife rehabilitators as part of FNPW’s Wildlife Heroes project. Suzy Nethercott-Watson from Two Green Threads also presented on wildlife rehabilitation and mental health, sharing several self-care resources developed with the support of FNPW.
The conference was a great success, and a huge thank you goes to the wonderful volunteers from AWRC who overcame so many challenges to coordinate and deliver this wonderful event.