This year, we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Perth Zoo Docent Association.
For four decades, our wonderful volunteers have been at the heart of all we do – whether that’s hosting guided tours, creating animal enrichment, or simply helping visitors have a zoo-per day out.
Last year alone, our community of 300-strong Docents volunteered more than 43,400 hours of their time to our community.
Docents come from all walks of life, and each dedicated person has their own special reason for getting involved.
For Jo Robinson, the call to volunteer came from her desire to share a passion for wildlife.
“I have to say my favourite part of being a Docent is the privilege of being able to meet with people and share my passion for animals, and share stories about the wonderful animals we have here,” Jo said.
“We are also very fortunate to have access to lots of educational events arranged by other Docents which always broadens our knowledge.
“Importantly, we are here to assist with helping make the visitor experience at the Zoo as memorable as possible – it’s a privilege and an honour to be a Docent and I’m very proud to be one.”
Meanwhile, for Docent Shaun Gledhill, volunteering gave him the opportunity to reignite an old spark for conservation.
“I’ve always had a love and affinity for animals; it was a driver for me completing a Bachelor of Science in conservation,” Shaun said.
“But having never had the opportunity to utilise my degree, I knew volunteering at the Zoo would provide a way to rekindle my passion for the preservation and conservation of our planet’s wildlife – and I’d be given a means to spread that passion to others.
“As a Docent, I spend most of my time observing the animals at the Zoo and assist in conducting an animal watch, and host mini talks and tours for any visitors who wish to learn more about the marvellous animals cared for here.
“Maintaining a strong connection to nature is important to me, and I enjoy providing the same opportunity to visitors at Perth Zoo.”
Everyone has their special reason for volunteering. What’s yours? Sign up to our upcoming training session on April 2 to learn more about becoming a Perth Zoo Docent.