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Helmeted Honeyeater Volunteer Field Assistant

  • Location: Yellingbo VIC
  • Commitment: Regular - more than 6 months
  • Category: Environment & Conservation
  • Time Required

    A regular shift will be determined with you within a 4 day p/week roster, year round. Morning availability is required. Volunteer teams coordinate their start time, but it is typically between 8-9am (no later than 9.30am start). Time commitment is approximately 4 hours per rostered day. The program is ongoing, and a commitment of 12 months is required.

  • Suitable for
    • Skilled Volunteers
    • Work Experience
    • Younger volunteers, aged 14-18
  • Type of work
    • Working with Animals
  • Training

    Three field-based induction sessions will see you fledge as a fully inducted volunteer. Note: prior bookings are required, to ensure we can dedicate our attention to a maximum of 2 people in each induction session. Ongoing support provided.

  • Requirements

    There is no public transport available to Yellingbo. We are half an hour drive away from the nearest railway station (Lilydale).
    Unfortunately, we are not able to arrange transport, so you must have your own reliable vehicle.

Expressions of Interest are being sought for volunteers to assist in the recovery of Victoria's bird emblem, the Helmeted Honeyeater.

Sadly, the Yarra Valley area is the only place in the world where Victoria’s bird emblem, the Helmeted Honeyeater, still exists. Just five years ago, there were only 50 birds remaining in the wild, a perilously low number for any species – and now there are over 200. We are cautiously optimistic of reaching the species recovery goal of a population of 500 Helmeted Honeyeaters, in different but inter-connected locations to allow their long-term survival as a species. Volunteers are the key.

Helmeted Honeyeater Volunteer Field Assistants dedicate one morning each month in a team of 2-3 like-minded people in the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve to closely monitor the bird’s well-being and report any concerns for follow up management. To survive, the birds need to forage for the bulk of their daily food needs, however, to reverse the threat of extinction, mere survival is not enough. For some breeding colonies, we supplement their diet to keep the birds in peak reproductive health and support young birds, so they reach breeding age. This strategy has made the difference between 50 birds surviving, and there being over 200 birds today.

Pre-arranged rosters operate 5 days per week throughout the year.

The role requires volunteers to walk up to 7 kilometres carrying some light equipment. You will get wet and/or cold or hot at times, but you will expect this in a year-round role where you’re out in the bush. It’s part of the joy!

NB. Families are welcome to apply, provided children under 18 years of age are actively participating alongside their parent/s or a guardian. This role is not suitable for children under 8 years of age. Limited vacancies are available (NB. this role requires a minimum of once a month commitment).

The program operates under the direction of the Helmeted Honeyeater Recovery Team. This Team makes management decisions about the bird and its habitat. Volunteer Field Assistants come under the auspices of the Dept of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), with DELWPs Senior Scientist Ornithology leading the field-based team. A Coordinator of Volunteers is employed by the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater, funded by DELWP. We also work closely with Parks Victoria, as the manager of the reserve in which we operate. It sounds complex, but the strength of the partnerships make it work!