There are countless people (and animals) that make Perth Zoo special, but this National Volunteer Week, we want to highlight the contribution of the Perth Zoo Docents. 

The Perth Zoo Docent Association is comprised of 300 active members that have been volunteering their time over the past 38 years in a range of duties across the Zoo.

One of the main duties of a docent is to provide information and tours for Zoo members and visitors, with other duties seen as perks, rather than tasks. Some of the luckier docents get to assist with kids programs, manage close encounters and even walk the resident dingos! 

Another specialist area of the Docent Association is maintaining the archives at Perth Zoo, which is no mean feat given the Zoo’s nearly 122-year history! These archives are preserved by Eveline Read, who started as a Perth Zoo Docent during the first intake in 1982. 

She has appreciated seeing the Zoo’s focus change from a place purely for entertainment to one of conservation, and one of her proudest achievements is organising the photographic history of the Zoo.

“There are many important stories and highlights captured over the years that would be lost if we didn’t have the archives,” said Ms Read. 

This National Volunteer Week, we wish to acknowledge the generous contribution of the Perth Zoo Docents. We’re also putting our hand up and thanking all of the volunteers around Australia by waving a special smile of appreciation!