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 Rehabilitati​​​on 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)
  • 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, Vol​​​unteering 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 Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania

    The Coordinat​​ing Body will provide updates in the form of a communique after each meeting:

    Online​​​ Survey Findings

    ​The Coordinating Body agreed to conduct a survey of people across the whole sector, to ensure that people have as many opportunities as possible to participate in developing the Strategy.

    The survey was emailed to everyone on the contact lists for the sector, and was also circulated by members of the Coordinating Body through their own networks. A contact phone number was included in the survey so that people could get help to complete the survey if needed.

    The survey was open from Thursday 15 July until Monday 2 August inclusive. A total of 150 responses were received. The survey questions are recorded at the back of the summary document below. All questions were optional.​

    The summary of survey results is provided below:​

     ​Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy Survey Findings   (886Kb)​

    ​Wor​​kshop Reports​​

     Workshop 1 - Standards of Care and Training (PDF 2Mb)

     Workshop 2 - Volunteer Support and Culture (PDF 2Mb)

     Workshop 3 - Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordination (PDF 1Mb)

     Workshop 4 - Community Engagement  (PDF 1Mb)

     Workshop 5 - Recruitment, Retention and Succession Planning (PDF 2Mb)

    Draft Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy​​

    ​​​Consultation on the Draft Strategy has now closed. 

    The Coordinating Body sought written submissions on the Draft Strategy between 22 December 2021 and 31 January 2022. 

    The Coordinating Body are now in the process of finalising the Strategy and it will be available here when ready.


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