Volunteer with Australian Forest Wildlife

Albury, Australia Wildlife & Environmental Conservation



The Australian Forest Wildlife program places you at a shelter in Stanley State Forest that treats and releases innumerable injured and orphaned animals each year. You’ll work at the shelter, one of the largest, unsupported, privately owned in Australia, helping to feed orphaned babies, clean enclosures, make emergency rescues, and provide medical treatment for injured animals.

Volunteers work and live at the shelter in Stanley State Forest, a natural bush land that’s rich in history and natural resources. The area is known as Bungambrawatha, or “Homeland,” by the Wiradjuri. The sites and rock carvings of the Aboriginal people who lived along the Murray River have been preserved as a living museum, and make excellent side trips after the project is completed. Volunteers will stay busy as they operate a 24/7 rescue hotline.


Every day, hundreds of thousands of Australia’s native animals are injured, orphaned, or become ill. Most of these are a result of human interaction. You play a key role in wildlife rescue and care, but you need to be prepared for the fact that not all animals survive their injuries.

Your help is needed despite the fact that the number of animals in need is rising, but volunteers are few and far between. Your contribution has enormous impact at the shelter, from helping with the busy feeding schedule, to keeping the facility clean and safe.

Field conditions

You’ll need to be at least 18 to volunteer at O2E’s sanctuary for injured wildlife and birds, what we call the Australian Forest Wildlife project, and stay for a minimum of two weeks. Operating for more than 30 years, the shelter rescues and rehabilitates sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife with the goal to return them to their natural habitat.

As a volunteer, your fees support the shelter, and you will be tasked with helping to feed the baby animals. Typical duties include: Bottle feeding all young animals, exercising animals, cleaning enclosures, assisting in rescue calls and in emergency medical treatment, browsing for foliage as food, and keeping the grounds tidy.

Excellent English comprehension is required to follow instructions, and you need to be willing to work in all weather conditions, including the hot summer months and cold of winter.

Arrival and orientation

Plan to arrive in either Melbourne or Sydney on a Wednesday so you can take an early train on Thursday. If Melbourne, take a train and bus to Beechworth and local staff will pick you up and transfer you to the wildlife shelter. If you arrive in Sydney, hop onto a regional airline to Albury, then take a bus to Yackandandah. O2E will organize your pick up from there.

Volunteers are oriented to the project upon arrival by the on-site owner and other volunteers, and trained on the job to maintain the standard of care the wildlife shelter requires for its animals.

Your stay


  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

Accommodations are in a cabin on site, shared with three other people. All meals are provided, but volunteers all help with preparation, cooking, and cleaning.


Volunteers will stay in a cabin onsite.


from $615 USDper week

from $615 USDper week


What’s included

  • Return transfers from the local town to the project

  • Project orientation, information pack, and safety briefing

  • Accommodation as specified above

  • Food and meals as specified above

  • 24/7 local support network

  • Project placement, onsite supervision, and training

  • Dedicated pre-departure support

  • Certificate of participation (on request)

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance

  • Travel insurance

  • In-country trips and excursions

  • Return transfers from the airport to the local town

  • Airfare

  • Visas

  • Personal spending money

  • Travel insurance

Start dates

Available year-round, this project starts every Thursday and requires a minimum duration of two weeks. Additional projects can be combined during your trip, subject to availability and individual visa conditions.

Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers sends volunteers on adventure trips that focus on animals, wildlife, and conservation. Founded in Melbourne, Australia by Tracy Leske and Cassie Smith, animal lovers and committed volunteers, O2E facilitates quality travel experiences that are meaningful, safe, and low-cost. O2E promotes the ethical treatment of all animals and living ecology by connecting volunteers wanting a hands-on experience with partner NGOs that offer sustainable projects in Australia, Asia, South America, and Africa. O2E raises funds for animal welfare and habitat protection by providing purposeful experiences for its volunteers.

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