Faces of FOK: Q&A with Saskia
What is your FOK story? When did you join and why?
I have been volunteering at FOK for nearly 2 years now. I started in December of 2019 after I saw how the koala population along with many other animals were devastated by the bush fires. Since joining I have become more aware of the threats they face such as chlamydia, dog attacks, and car hits.
What roles have you been in during your time at FOK?
I started out on afternoon care shifts, which involves providing leaf for koalas, observing them, and handling them so they can be weighed. I then also moved onto morning shifts which mainly involve making up treatments and administering them, which I think is my favorite aspect of volunteering as it is so special being able to be so close to them and a part of helping them make it back into the wild.
I have also been involved in collecting fresh leaf for the koalas, which has helped me identify different species of leaf which comes in handy when observing koalas in care and getting to
know individual koalas’ favourite type of leaf.
I have just recently joined the rescue team which I have found challenging at times, but rewarding and a special connection when the koala you helped rescue is being cared for in the centre and you get to treat it, and release it back into the wild.
What has been your biggest achievement/special memory during your time
I am fortunate enough to have been part of many special moments at FOK, but one that stands out in particular is getting to care for Dimples who was an orphaned joey and watching her grow, then being released and seeing her have a joey of her own, and contributing to the wild population. There’s nothing better than healthy koalas in the wild.
How has volunteering impacted you?
It is very fulfilling getting to be part of the whole process of rescuing, treating them and getting to release them. It has become an important part of my life and I always look forward to doing the care shifts every week. It has made me even more passionate about koalas and wanting to work to help save them and other wildlife for the rest of my life. I always mention to others that I volunteer at FOK and I think it is important to educate the public about them, especially signs of illness so that they can be rescued and receive treatment.
I would recommend being part of FOK, in the many different areas whether it’s doing a care shift, being a rescuer, collecting leaf, helping in the nursery, being a hotliner or donating would help out greatly.