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Ode to the Volunteer

Standing in front of the lockers
Anticipation in the air
A sea of yellow ‘Vollies’
Beneath the coordinator’s stare

What adventures await you?
What will today’s tale be?
The Vollies’ tasks are endless
As you will shortly see

Cleaning cobwebs off the fence
Fallen leaves from the grass
Wiping the poop from the paths
Or fingerprints off the glass

Controlling the crowds at the shows
And the lambs as they mow
Cleaning dishes so they shine
And cutting food for the next mealtime

Yes, the Vollie is a valuable member
And the patrons will all remember
That the zoo looked so clean and smart
Really a work of art

So when friends and family ask you
What you do at Australia Zoo
Just tell them that you’re the keenest
Park and animal hygienist!

David Gilmour - Australia Zoo Volunteer

Volunteers come from all walks of life to join the Australia Zoo crew.  Here you can work with dynamic people, from whom you can gain knowledge, developing your own professional and personal skills. Volunteers are an important part of the team, and we welcome their involvement and enthusiasm.

People volunteer for many different reasons: work experience for school or uni, to learn what it’s like to be a zoo keeper, to gain experience to further their careers, or just for the personal satisfaction of their efforts.

There are many benefits to volunteer work. It’s a great way to show potential employers that you are hard-working, dedicated to giving back to the community, and to make a contribution to conservation. You will also learn more about the animals themselves. On top of all these reasons, it’s a fun and rewarding way to spend your free time in the best office in town, surrounded by amazing animals.

If you are enthusiastic, dependable, friendly, out-going, interested in conservation, and you enjoy working outdoors, you may be just what we are looking for.  Remember, while you may not be jumping crocs or lounging with tigers, you will get to hang out with some of our other interesting animals.

At Australia Zoo we have volunteers helping out with both our Animal and Customer Relations sections.

Our Animal Volunteers help out with lots of different tasks, including, but not limited to:

  • Making sure our enclosures are in tip top condition by Sweeping, hosing, raking, cleaning windows, and of course, poop patrol!
  • Preparing the gourmet meals that our animals enjoy
  • Making toys for some of our more inquisitive residents
  • Helping guests to find the best seat in the house, in our 5000 seat Crocoseum stadium
  • Taking our cute farm animals for their daily exercise

Our Customer Relations Volunteers look after the two-legged population at the Zoo. As such a volunteer, you may find yourself:

  • Welcoming our visitors, and setting them on the right path
  • Providing assistance to anybody looking a little lost, and suggesting how to get maximum enjoyment out of their day
  • Getting our guests into the Australia Zoo spirit
  • Helping visitors locate our shows and facilities
  • Assisting with our disabled guests and occasionally helping with guided tours and VIPs
  • Being on hand in some of our walk through enclosures to answer questions, and assisting some of our younger guests with feeding and patting some of our furry friends
  • Providing assistance at our regular promotional events and children’s activities

RonName: Ron
Started volunteering: November 2004 in Customer Relations

I was born and grew up in the Herbert River Valley at the small sugar milling town of Macknade. I spent most of my working life in various sections of the sugar industry, with the last 32 years at Lucinda Bulk Sugar Terminal. The last 16 years of this I operated the offshore gantry ship loader, loading overseas ships with raw sugar.

My favourite animal at the zoo is Acco, the largest Crocodile. I feel proud of Acco as we both are past residents of the Herbert River district. I grew up with an older generation who advocated shooting these creatures, and after volunteering here now I realize how unique they are and how important it is for them to be protected. I decided to join the volunteer program after hearing a guest speaker from the Zoo talk at our Probus Club meeting.






ShaneName: Shane
Started volunteering: November 2004 in Customer Relations

When not volunteering at Australia Zoo, Shane is a full-time early childhood teacher in Brisbane. This would explain why he has a knack with helping both our little and big visitors enjoy their day at the Zoo. He makes everyone feel welcome and is only too willing to give some helpful advice to make your day heaps of fun. Throughout his teaching career, Shane has taught overseas and in many of the indigenous communities of far north Queensland, Cape York and Torres Strait - in the heart of true 'croc country'! Shane is also an experienced aviculturist and through his ongoing involvement with the Parrot Society of Australia, assists the Zoo wherever possible with his bird knowledge. He is a native wildlife carer and has kept a menagerie of animal species all his life, from turtles to llamas - no wonder he loves all the animals at Australia Zoo!


TianaName: Tiana
Started volunteering: January 2010

At a young age I became interested in horses and after many years of annoying my parents, at age 9 they finally gave in and bought me my first horse. I consider myself lucky to have grown up with horses, I especially loved spending my weekends training and showing them.
Volunteering at Australia zoo has been the best experience for me and I would encourage anyone to get involved. I appreciate being around all of the beautiful animals at the zoo, but I do have a favourite; the six gorgeous Echidnas! The Zoo Staff are great to work with and very helpful, I’ve learnt so much already from their knowledge and dedication to the animals. At the moment I volunteer at the Zoo one day a week, but one day I hope to be employed and work fulltime with the Native Mammals Department.






How do I apply for the Australia Zoo Volunteer Program?

Please contact us for a volunteer pack, which contains information about the program and an application. You can contact us on 07 5436 2038 or use our contact form. Please complete the application and return it to us with a copy of your resume. Australia Zoo does not have an international volunteer program therefore applications can only be received from within Australia.

How long can I volunteer for?

The minimum commitment is five consecutive days. The maximum amount of time you can complete initially is a block of up to 4 weeks. After you have completed your initial block there is no guarantee that your volunteer position will be extended. This will depend on your suitability to the program, roster availability and other factors.

How old do I need to be to volunteer?

Volunteers must be at least 15 years old.

Do you have to volunteer to get a job at Australia Zoo?

No. However volunteer work is a great way to show potential employers that you are hardworking, dedicated and committed to conservation.

Will joining the Volunteer Program lead to employment?

Not necessarily. Joining the volunteer program will not guarantee you employment at Australia Zoo.

Does it cost anything to join the Volunteer Program?

On your first day you are required to hand over a security deposit of $50 for your volunteer shirt. This will be returned to you on your last day when you return the shirt.

Does Australia Zoo provide accommodation for volunteers?

No, Australia Zoo is not able to offer accommodation to volunteers. The volunteer pack contains details of accommodation in the local area. Please note that volunteers are also responsible for their own transport to and from Australia Zoo.

Does Australia Zoo have an International Volunteer program?

Unfortunately Australia Zoo does not have an international volunteer program. Applications can only be received from within Australia.

Does Australia Zoo have a school Work Experience program?

Australia Zoo does not have a separate work experience program for high school students, however students are welcome to apply to complete their work experience through the Volunteer Program. The same conditions apply, the student must be 15 years or over and able to complete an initial five day block. Please contact us on 07 5436 2038 for more details.