August 2012 Introductory Training Course
(4th year, Division of Nature & Culture-based Tourism, Faculty of Urban Environmental Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University)
I’m so glad I joined this course! It was so evident that so many different people – facility volunteers and staff, researchers, vets, rangers and AJWCEF staff are all working as hard as they can to conserve wildlife and the environment, all the while facing their own dilemmas, thoughts and distress. Being able to gain this sort of information first-hand also provided me with a good opportunity to think more deeply about myself and nature conservation. Also, although it was only two weeks, it was really useful to sample ‘communal living,’ cooperating with companions I had only met for the first time upon arriving in Australia, and sharing the cooking duties. While there may have been the occasional disagreement or annoyance when sharing a room, I believe that learning to overcome such issues is important in becoming a working member of society.
Now, to those of you who can’t quite decide whether to take part in the course or not: just take the plunge and give it a go. You won’t know until you try. There is a reason for my enthusiasm in recommending this course; it is because I feel that by participating I have gained ‘the courage to take the first step.’ I hesitated at first because, being a student of tourism, I was concerned that I would feel out of place since I am not a vet or involved in life sciences or even agriculture. However, I love animals and nature and decided to just have a try regardless of what I was studying, and it was the right choice. So, use all your five senses to see what it is that you will feel and gain from the experience.