IFAW 2007
Animal Welfare and Education Award

Linda's Acceptance Speech

CLICK HERE FOR WILDLIFE RESOURCES

Left to right: Mick McIntyre (IFAW's Asia Pacific Director), my dad Tony, me, Todd and my mum Elizabeth

 

Me at the gate of Fourth Crossing Wildlife, a wildlife refuge

 

Mick McIntyre and Pebblie, a very wiggly wombat!

 

Me and Spike, a Bearded Dragon

I have been a wildlife carer and conservationist for eight years. It has been challenging, there have been many highs and a lot of lows, but wildlife conservation has been far from a chore. For me wildlife conservation is a labour of love, it is my ultimate passion.

Around three years ago, I added education to my wildlife conservation work. In a nut shell, what I do is knowledge sharing. It is what I do with my knowledge that has earned me this recognition, and I am exceptionally proud to be standing here today.

Some time ago I recognised that wildlife care information is not easily available to all who need it and so I created my website, Fourth Crossing Wildlife and the Fauna First Aid wildlife education program. My program recognises the fact that any person who picks up a distressed or injured animal is a carer.

Many wildlife carers, for many different reasons, do not have access to networks, care information or training. These carers, with the very best intentions at heart, often struggle and appropriate care may not always be offered to an native animal and for this reason many animals fail to thrive, many even die.

It is my mission to educate these carers so that all native animals - no matter where they are - are receiving optimum care.

I am also dedicated to supporting these carers so they don't feel alone when facing the huge challenge of wildlife care.

The Fauna First Aid program has several levels: I teach wildlife awareness, rescue, handling and care to community groups; there is a fun and informative session for school children, with a program especially written for pre-schoolers; and I teach an in-depth lecture on the care of native animals to veterinary nurse students studying at TAFE, which is the core mission of Fauna First Aid.

Through Fourth Crossing Wildlife and Fauna First Aid I present free quality wildlife resources to all wildlife carers, without prejudice or discrimination. Many others share my dream and resource contributions have been submitted from all corners of the wildlife community, including veterinarians, specialist carers and zoo keepers.

Although my belief in "knowledge sharing" has brought frowns from some, I believe that our native animals can only benefit if knowledge is shared with all who seek it - and I am committed to this belief.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare is such an important animal conservation group, not only within Australia, but the world.

I am so proud and honoured to have been acknowledged for my work by IFAW - the blood, sweat and tears have definitely been worth it.

Just a few thank you's. Huge thanks to Therese Black for nominating me for this very prestigious award.

Thanks to my little helper Grace Garretty, always eager to help and willing to learn about the care of native animals.

Particular thanks to my husband Todd, who has dealt admirably with my wildlife obsession! Todd has been my rock, he's been my greatest supporter and number one lackey! And without his help I wouldn't be here today.

Of course, enormous thanks to The International Fund for Animal Welfare for seeing the value in my contribution to wildlife conservation.

And last but definitely not least, massive thanks to those who have helped and supported me along my journey, and to those who share my dream of knowledge sharing and have helped me make Fourth Crossing Wildlife and Fauna First Aid into what they have become today - the wildlife carers best friend.

Thank you.

IFAW Animal Welfare and Action Award

IFAW's Media Release

Article in Linda's local paper - the Central Western Daily