February 2012 Introductory Training Course
(2nd year, Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture & Technology)
By participating in this training course, I was able to gain basic knowledge regarding Australian wildlife, their current circumstances, and the respo Bynse to those circumstances. In Australia, wildlife is regarded as belonging to the nation, with protection activities conducted under a policy of considering the entire ecological perspective. Australia is much more active in this area than Japan whether you look at the facilities, systems or even the number of people involved in protection, and the people seemed to have a greater awareness of the issues. Having said that, not all the activities are necessarily helpful, and there was much food for thought.
And I didn’t learn just about wildlife; learning to interact with people was also a significant plus that I gained from this training course. Everyone involved in the course - from other participants, to AJWCEF staff members, the vets at the training facilities and the rangers – were all very friendly and made it a very enjoyable two weeks. Although I was feeling less than confident about my English conversation skills given that the training was conducted overseas, I was really happy that I somehow managed to communicate with my broken English! Not only did this give me confidence, but it also drove home the importance of English language skills.
This training course strongly stimulated both my interest in wildlife and my approach to going overseas. If I have the chance, I would also like to take part in the advanced training course. It would be wonderful if future participants in the course are also able to enjoy the same experience that I did.
Even though there are efforts to raise awareness in Japan through school education and the media that wildlife numbers are dwindling and that we should be protecting them, there is a vast distance between humans and wildlife that is not seen elsewhere. While I previously had a vague interest myself in wildlife conservation, I had neither sought a deeper understanding of the actual circumstances they were in nor made any effort to protect them.
The best aspect of this practical training was that it showed me, no matter how limited, something of the actual situation regarding wildlife protection in Australia, and allowed me to speak with those involved in it. It was the first time that I was prompted to give any real thought to how the phenomenon of declining wildlife numbers has arisen; what we as humans have to do; that, although wildlife must be protected, it is no easy feat to do so (every country faces the dilemma of having to strike a balance between development to sustain its citizens while protecting the environment, and considering the overall balance of the ecosystem in the process); and just what is protection and what is its purpose. I believe that I need to continue to learn about such matters, discuss them with others and put into action whatever it is that I can do as a citizen of this planet. I am most grateful to Dr. Mizuno and the AJWCEF staff for providing me with such an opportunity, and to the people at DFWP and the Moggill Koala Hospital who made the training so meaningful.