IZE is excited to launch the Job Experience Program (JEP) in 2017 where IZE members can apply for a job experience at another IZE Institution.
Hello! I’m Emilia, Community Engagement Coordinator at Wellington Zoo in New Zealand. I took part in the International Zoo Educator’s Association Job Experience Programme (IZE JEP) from 13 until 24 November at Zoos Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.
Ben (Senior Manager, Conservation Campaigns) and Lian (General Manager, Community Conservation & Learning) created an itinerary that enabled me to gain an understanding of the various approaches the three Zoos (Melbourne, Healesville and Werribee) use to engage visitors and the community in conservation campaigns. The itinerary involved: shadowing learning sessions at Melbourne Zoo; participating in a conservation campaign workshop run by Lian with Werribee Zoo staff; meeting the Community Engagement/Visitor Experience Teams at all three Zoos; and attending meetings relating to current and future conservation campaigns.
A couple of the many highlights of my trip include witnessing the Fighting Extinction showcase at Melbourne Zoo, which recognises the contributions 16 schools have made to encourage their communities to take part in a Zoos Victoria conservation campaign.
At Healesville Zoo I was given the opportunity to feed one of Zoos Victoria’s 21 priority native threatened species, a Helmeted Honeyeater. The Helmeted Honeyeater is at risk of becoming extinct so learning about the measures Zoos Victoria has put in place to help the species recovery was inspiring.
The safari around Werribee Zoo was a unique experience as visitors are able to see animals like the White Rhino and Giraffe in close proximity whilst they eat, browse and relax by the water hole. The Safari Rangers did a great job of communicating how visitors can take action to support these species in the wild.
I am very grateful for the opportunity IZE JEP has given me to work with the incredible Zoos Victoria Team and for the support that Wellington Zoo has provided. Ben and Lian were amazing hosts and I appreciate the time they put into ensuring that I had an unforgettable experience.