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Faces of FOK: Q&A with Paul

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What is your FOK story? When did you join and why?
I joined Friends of the Koala just over 3 years ago. I was coaxed into koala care by close friends who had gone to an information day. One of them joined and so did I after hearing about FOKs rescue, rehabilitation and release work. I saw it as an opportunity to do some good on this planet, caring for our native animals.

What roles have you been in during your time at FOK?
Volunteering with koalas was so rewarding I found myself getting more and more involved. I started by doing shifts in the afternoon cleaning out runs and getting fresh leaf for koalas in care. It suited my poor health as I suffer from almost daily migraines and can only function on short shifts.

I volunteer in a couple of different roles now – my favourite being a koala rescuer. Being a rescuer is so rewarding – that first touch between a wild koala and myself is the magic of life.

I also supervise the Sunday shift, a role that I find both challenging and satisfying but I work with a great team of volunteers who never let me down. I also fill in shifts on the Rescue Hotline, am a Committee Member and a home carer. When you care so much for nature it is easy to do more!

What has been your biggest achievement/special memory during your time volunteering?
There have been so many! But I think I would have to say it is the team spirit that I have encountered with my fellow volunteers. Some have become my close friends and trusted allies when rescuing as it takes a good reliable team to catch a wild koala. To be surrounded by such committed people is very rewarding. Anytime I deal with koalas in any way is always my biggest achievement. I love koalas.

How has volunteering impacted you?
Volunteering at Friends of the Koala has been life changing! I have been extremely sick for years with severe migraines and my life folded in on itself, now I’ve found a new reason to push through the pain and constantly feel rewarded by my efforts. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for our precious koalas. They are rightly so a national treasure.

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