Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy

The Department held a workshop on 22 March 2021 to start discussions with the sector about working together to develop a Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy.
A number of key stakeholders attended the workshop, including:
  • Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
  • The Tasmanian Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (TWRC) 
  • Tasmanian Emergency Animal Management (TEAM)
  • Volunteering Tasmania
  • Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc. (WIRES)
  • The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA)  
  • Wildcare Tasmania
Workshop participants agreed to:
  • Guiding Principles for the sector (see below)
  • Begin developing a Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy, including organising a Coordinating Body to oversee its development
  • The Focus Areas for the Strategy (see below)
  • Five Working Groups to gather input from the sector about what should be included in the Strategy

Agreed Guiding Principles for the Rehabilitation Sector 

The sector agreed to adopt the following Guiding Principles which will help with the development of the Strategy: 

Positive Culture 
  • We value diversity in the sector and provide a safe, respectful and supportive environment that fosters learning and cooperation. 
Collaboration and Knowledge-Sharing 
  • We understand outcomes for injured and orphaned wildlife are enhanced through collaboration and knowledge-sharing between all participants in the sector. 
Best Practice and Continuous Improvement 
  • We recognise best practice rehabilitation is not static and will continually evolve with experience, new scientific research and community expectations. 
  • We are open to and strive for continuous improvement in wildlife rehabilitation, from day to-day rescue and care to wildlife emergency management. 
Community Education and Awareness 
  • We play a pivotal role in helping the community to better understand the complexities of wildlife safety and rehabilitation. 
Strategy and Governance 
  • We recognise the importance of effective sector-wide governance that defines clear roles and responsibilities and that can deliver the agreed strategic outcomes.​

Agreed Focus Areas of the Strategy

The sector has chosen five specific topics where there are challenges that need to be considered in the Strategy: 
  • Community engagement
  • Standards of wildlife care and training
  • Recruitment, retention and succession planning
  • Wildlife rehabilitation coordination and
  • Volunteer support and culture

The Coordinating Body

Information from the workshops will be given to the Coordinating Body for consideration. The Coordinating Body will be making decisions on what the Strategy looks like and what will be included, based on the feedback from the sector. 

Members of the Coordinating Body are:
  • Lisa Schimanski, Volunteering Tasmania (Chair)
  • Greg Irons, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Leanne Taylor, WIRES
  • Sharon Smith, Wildcare
  • Sally-Anne Richter, Australian Veterinary Association
  • Lyndell Whyte, Tasmanian Wildlife Rehabilitation Council
  • Carolyn Avery, Tasmanian Emergency Animal Management
  • Tering Davies, lutruwita Thylacine Wildlife Hospital
  • Honey McClay, independent wildlife rehabilitator/educator
  • The Natural and Cultural Heritage Division (DPIPWE)
The first Coordinating Body meeting was held on 23 June 2021 and is scheduled to meet again in September. 

The Coordinating Body will provide updates in the form of a communique after each meeting:

Strategy Consultation – Have Your Say

There will be opportunities to have your say on the Strategy.

1. An anonymous online survey. 
2. Come along to a workshop. 
3. Provide comments on a draft of the Strategy. When the draft is ready more information will be provided here. 
4. Provide your comments to the Coordinating Body by email (see contact details below). 

Sector Survey
A survey on the focus areas is now available hereThe survey closes at 11.45 pm on Monday 2 August. 


Coordinating Body
Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy
Email: CoordinatingBody@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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