UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH WILD DOLPHINS! Contribute to the well-being of dolphins in an idyllic setting at a non-profit Centre committed to dolphin research, education, conservation and tourism. You’ll learn a great deal through the training course you’ll receive which covers a wide range of issues and skills and includes presentations from a selection of guest speakers relevant to the operation of the Centre.
There are up to 100 dolphins living in the Bay and groups of them regularly visit the shallow waters in front of the Centre. The Centre enables people to interact with Bottlenose dolphins in a variety of ways. This is the first Centre in Australia dedicated entirely to dolphin research and is a rewarding conservation volunteering abroad experience!
Being a volunteer at the Centre can be a wonderful experience, you meet people from all around the world, not to mention the dolphins! However, your time as a volunteer will involve a lot more than being in the water with the dolphins. Talking and answering questions is a very important part of your role. Eighty percent of your day will involve talking to people who come down to the beach to see the dolphins, thus educating them about their characteristics and making them aware of how crucial it is to conserve these wonderful animals.
Here are some of the tasks you may be involved with:
- Talking to visitors on the beach – explaining what the Dolphin Centre does.
- Assisting to coordinate the Interaction Zone when dolphins visit.
- Managing the front entrance and Dolphin Room area.
- Participating in ’’Coastcare” activities and assist with current research projects.
- Assisting with the research program, recording observations in the bay and monitoring dolphin visits to the zone.
- Inputting the research data into databases for analysis
- General maintenance and cleaning.
- Tour guiding through the Interpretive Centre for the general public, tour groups and school students.
- The work that you’ll be involved in depends on what is available at the time of your placement.
You’ll learn a great deal through the training course which covers a wide range of issues and skills and includes presentations from a selection of guest speakers relevant to the operation of the Centre. Regular volunteer meetings are held to ensure you are kept up-to-date with the latest issues regarding marine mammal management and the operations of the Centre.
After having completed a minimum of 20 hours training, you’ll receive an official Volunteer T-Shirt which will identify you to the public as a trained representative of the Centre. The Centre relies on the assistance of volunteers to advise visitors on the operations and ethos of the Centre, help manage the dolphin interaction program, actively participate in their research program and act as a guide.
This project is a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks. You’ll work between 20-40 hours a week, with weekends off. This placement is definitely for animal loving enthusiasts who are willing to work hard and aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty – the rewards are well worth it! Whilst volunteering is rewarding in itself, time spent at a project such as this is an excellent springboard for traveling around Australia. Meeting other volunteers from around the world, and listening to their stories and recommendations can give you the confidence to travel and experience more.
You’ll live in a backpackers conveniently located in the heart of the city. We team up with two different hostels that are very similar in the facilities they provide and in their excellent location that is close to everything! You’ll have the beach, the City Centre and lots of other attractions all within two minutes walk and you’ll be able to explore the nearby forests, national parks, beautiful waterways, historic towns, many vineyards and the incredibly beautiful coast-line on your days off.
You’ll stay in a dorm room with access to many facilities in the Backpackers. There is a kitchen where you can cook and an excellent BBQ and outdoor area that is very popular. Other facilities that you’ll have free use of include a pool table, table tennis, board games, sporting equipment and off-street parking. you’ll also be given a unique City Visitor’s Guide and you’ll have free access to tea and coffee.
Wi-Fi / Internet: There are fast-speed internet facilities at the Backpackers which you can use for a nominal charge, so you’ll be able to keep up with emails with friends and family back home.
Food is not included in this project so you should budget for meals. We feel that a good guide would be a weekly budget of around AUD$70-90.
WHAT YOU’LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT
- An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
- New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
- The enormous satisfaction of helping marine conservation and knowing that you made a difference.
- An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
- An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
- Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
- Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
- And best of all … an unforgettable experience!