National Volunteer Week volunteer profile Kira Vertigan


Kira Vertigan- volunteering with Tasmanian devil research program holding a devil in a hessian bag

Kira Vertigan- volunteering with Tasmanian devil research program

This National Volunteer Week (15-21 May), the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) is celebrating its dedicated and skilled volunteers, like Kira Vertigan who works at the Orange-bellied Parrot breeding facility at Five Mile Beach.

Kira has a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) from the University of Tasmania and is currently undertaking a Certificate III in Wildlife at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, where she works as a wildlife keeper.

She started volunteering at NRE Tas in 2022, joining the Tasmanian devil research program on a 10-day field trip trapping and monitoring devils and then inputting data into the Natural Values Atlas.

Kira has volunteered at the Orange-bellied Parrot breeding facility since December 2022, where she helps with daily tasks such as preparing food and plants for the birds, general gardening, and maintenance activities.

“I work with a wonderful, friendly, and committed team which makes coming to work really enjoyable," she said.

“One of the many rewarding activities here is being involved in renovations of aviaries which can be a big, involved task of clearing old substrate and perching, lots of pressure cleaning and finally furnishing cleaned aviaries with new substrate, perching and branches.

“Being able to help with these projects is very satisfying as the result creates a fresh and welcoming space for its new residents to inhabit."

Volunteering has been an enriching experience for Kira on both a personal and professional level, allowing her to hone the practical, field-based skills required for a career in wildlife management and forging friendships and career networks while connecting with like-minded people.

“Volunteering gives me the opportunity to spend time doing what I most enjoy which is working within the area of native fauna and flora conservation with like-minded people," Kira said.

“I am gaining new knowledge and skills and meeting people who share my interests. I was inspired to volunteer because I wanted to challenge myself and I discovered that it is more rewarding than I could have anticipated. It brings a wonderful sense of purpose."

Find out more about volunteering opportunities at NRE Tas.