“Being able to complete the Certificate II in Animal Studies through the Internship at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary was definitely a life changing experience. I was able to learn what it meant to be a zookeeper whilst getting hands on training in the workplace. The team at Bonorong were incredibly helpful and friendly making the experience very worthwhile. I had always thought about working with animals and the 10 weeks spent learning to care for them just made me want to pursue zoo keeping as a career more than ever!”
– Kate Baker
One of Bonorong’s biggest strengths, and something we are extremely proud of, is our standard of animal husbandry and professionalism. We feel that this is an area that is sometimes lacking in the animal care industry and we desperately wanted to improve the training of potential employees who go on to work in a variety of animal institutions.
In order to do this, Bonorong created two nationally-recognised training programs in partnership with TasTAFE. These programs are offered onsite at Bonorong in the following formats…
Certificate II in Animal Studies
- a full-year, part-time classroom-based course
- a 12-week internship
Certificate III in Animal Studies
- a full-year, part-time classroom-based course
These qualifications provide the basis for employment in the animal care industry and set students on a path for their future careers.
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is the benchmark for native animal husbandry in Tasmania. Our primary role is the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned native animals with the eventual goal of releasing them back into the wild. You will be helping to secure a future for each of the animals in our care.
By studying onsite at Bonorong itself, students have access to real case studies and animals to learn from. Many of the classes are structured so that theoretical training is matched to animals, scenarios, systems and procedures in place at Bonorong that can provide context and practical components to the lesson.
A number of previous students have secured work in the wildlife-keeping industry or gone on to fill various other roles, including in vet clinics, zoos, the RSCPA, animal shelters, journalism, teaching, business management, charitable fundraising and with the government.
2 days a week for the duration of the academic year
- The first day covers the theoretical sections of the course in classroom based learning
- The second day a week is a work placement experience within the sanctuary or another animal-care organisation
- 12 consecutive weeks
- 3 days per week (two weekdays and one weekend day)
During the internship, each student works within the Bonorong team and performs a variety of tasks related to their training as a wildlife keeper. This work is complemented by a workbook of required tasks (both practical and theoretical) which must be completed for the qualification to be awarded.
It will be twelve of the most intense, sweaty, fun-filled and satisfying weeks of your life. DO NOT EXPECT TO BE CUDDLING FURRY ANIMALS ALL DAY!!! Wildlife keeping is a strenuous and diverse job and Bonorong is a hive of activity every day. We work very hard and will expect the same of you. This way we can make sure you get the most out of your time with us. We are going to turn you into a wildlife keeper!
This program is specifically designed for those who are interested in wildlife management or zookeeping as a career. Preference will be given to those candidates who can demonstrate that it is their intention to continue on in the industry.
At this stage we are only offering the internship to those who have completed Year 12. The classroom-based course is open to those in Year 11 and 12.
Please contact us as these may change from year to year.
How to apply
Competition for the internship and classroom based courses is fierce as working with animals is the most popular job in the world!
This means that not all applicants will be successful in securing a place. Both courses have very long waiting lists so it’s a good idea to send an application in early. You will be informed of the waiting period at the time of your application.
To apply for the internship, please send the following to the Bonorong Sanctuary Manager (details below):
- your CV
- a cover letter stating why you would like to do the internship
- a one page essay on the topic ‘What do you see to be the role of wildlife parks in wildlife conservation?’
In order to provide the best training we only take a limited number of interns at a time, so the starting dates are staggered throughout the year.
If your application is successful you will be asked to come in to the Sanctuary for an interview.
If your interview is successful you will be invited to participate in a trial day at the Sanctuary where you will get a taste for the type of work that we do and an understanding of what is involved in the day-to-day running of Bonorong.
As long as both you and the team at Bonorong are happy with how things went on your trial day then you will have successfully earned yourself a placement in our internship program!
Applications and enquiries addressed to:
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
PO Box 59