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Friends of the Koala Hospital: Pioneering Chlamydia Vaccination for Koalas in NSW

Koala chlamydia and Wildlife Hospital funding boost for Northern Rivers

Friends of the Koala’s Northern Rivers Koala Hospital, the cornerstone of koala treatment in the Northern Rivers, has made history by becoming the only wildlife hospital in New South Wales to receive a license to vaccinate all koalas coming through our hospital against chlamydia, in partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast and New South Wales government. Chlamydia is the number one cause of death for koalas in the Northern Rivers. This monumental milestone, which took over a decade of tireless work, research, and dedication to achieve, stands to dramatically benefit the koala populations in our region.

“We are immensely proud and honoured to lead the way in koala care in NSW. The licensing to administer the Chlamydia vaccine to koalas treated in our hospital marks a significant leap forward in safeguarding our precious koala population against a major threat to their survival.”

Dr Jodie Wakeman, Veterinary Clinical and Research Director, Friends of the Koala hospital

Friends of the Koala are grateful to the NSW government for allocating $75,000 to kickstart this life-saving project. This grant has enabled Friends of the Koala to purchase vaccines to vaccinate 100 koalas per year over the next three years. In addition, we received $35,000 to professionalise our koala database.

The Friends of the Koala database dates back to 1989 and is the largest koala database in the world. Professionalising this database will help to better inform decision making on koala habitat protection and restoration, car hit mitigation and koala health research. It will significantly improve usability of the data and allow researchers and other interested parties worldwide to access and understand trends and changes to koala populations.

To continue the essential vaccination program and further enhance the hospital’s capability to treat and care for koalas, Friends of the Koala requires significant additional funding. The Friends of the Koala Hospital faces pressing needs for infrastructure expansion, funds to maintain expert veterinary staff, and the ongoing costs of essential medicines and equipment.

“We have recently seen a decline in community and corporate donations. We will continue to meet with the NSW Government to discuss ongoing support, but it will take all levels of government, corporate, community and philanthropic grants and donations to help us save this iconic species.

Our aim is to ensure every koala in the Northern Rivers benefits from this vaccine, but to make this vision a reality, we desperately need sustained funding.”

Silva Everaers, General Manager, Friends of the Koala

Friends of the Koala invites any potential supporters to step forward and be part of this ground-breaking initiative. Your support will not only help protect our koalas from Chlamydia but will also fortify the hospital’s mission to ensure a thriving and healthy koala population in the Northern Rivers for generations to come.

For those who wish to contribute or learn more about the vaccination program and other initiatives, please visit

Together, we can make a lasting difference

Friends of the Koala in the media:

Further reading about the koala vaccination program:

In Australia, scientists begin vaccinating koalas against chlamydia

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