August 2015 Introductory Training Course
Introductory Training Course
Nippon Veterinary and Life Sciences University
Bachelor of Veterinary Science
2nd Year Narumi Kamitamari
Since I was little I have been interested in wild animals and becoming a veterinarian involved with wildlife conservation. I found out about this training course and participated because I felt it was an experience that I couldn’t get anywhere else.
Over the 15-day course, we split into two groups, with each group spending a week each at David Fleay Wildlife Park on the Gold Coast and at the Moggill Koala Hospital in Brisbane. It was my first time meeting the other members of my group who came from different universities in Tokyo and Hokkaido, etc but since we were here for the same reasons, it wasn’t long before we all became friends. During the course, we primarily cooked for ourselves. After the day’s training finished, we would shop for ingredients, cook together and work out what to pack for the following day’s lunch as a group. I expected to be tired after the training finished but strangely enough I didn’t feel tired at all while we were all living together.
During training at the Moggill Koala Hospital in Brisbane, we cleaned the rooms where koalas were hospitalised and gave them fresh eucalyptus leaves as well as learning about methods of treatment, observing the doctors performing these treatments and giving medicine to each koala. I learned things that I had yet to learn at university and observed surgeries with my own eyes that I hadn’t seen before, which left a lasting impression.
At David Fleay Wildlife Park on the Gold Coast we looked after a different animal every day. It was a valuable experience because I was able to speak directly to the rangers working in the park and interact not just with koalas and kangaroos but also with animals that I normally would never be able to come in contact with such as dingoes, platypuses and bilbies etc.
During the training course, we also visited the University of Queensland and the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital that is run entirely on donations. As a result of learning about environments and ideas different to those in Japan, I feel as if I have become able to see my surroundings in a different way to how I saw them when I was in Japan. On days off, I caught buses and trams with my friends, spoke English and more than anything, I was able to enjoy living in Australia. Thank you so much for the past two weeks.
Nippon Veterinary and Life Sciences University
Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing
Student, Sumine Oikawa
AJWCEF was responsible for overseeing my university’s overseas training course so I decided to participate in the training course because I wanted to visit Australia again before I became too busy due to my university studies. In the first week at David Fleay Wildlife Park, I learned about native Australian animals and how the animals were displayed and handled in a way that was very different to Japanese Zoos. At first I was a bit confused when I was given instructions in English but all of the volunteers and rangers were very kind to me.
In the second week at Moggill Koala Hospital, I found out that there are many volunteers involved in the conservation of wildlife and I was able to experience many things I couldn’t study in Japan such as taking care of hospitalised koalas and observing their morbid anatomy. Also, the wonderful encounters I had with people on this tour were invaluable. I could experience firsthand how vast the world was by interacting with the rangers, volunteers and students from other countries who came to the training facilities and through living with the various participants on the same program who were not only from different universities but also different ages and doing different things. We were able to experience a little bit of everyday life overseas by going shopping, cooking for ourselves and catching the bus, etc, which was a great experience.
I was really happy to be able to participate in this program, as I was able to do many things that I hadn’t been able to do when I previously came to Australia for English language study or sightseeing. I don’t know if I will end up working with wildlife in the future but I will treasure what I learned and felt on this program as well as applying myself to various, new challenges. I am grateful to the staff at AJWCEF who gave me this opportunity as well as the friends who I lived with for 2 weeks and the staff at the training facilities who looked after me. Thank you very much.
I was privileged to participate in AJWCEF ‘s Introductory Wildlife Conservation training course in 2015 over the summer.
I was worried at first because I had never met anyone on the program but by doing the course together, cooking, cleaning and living together, we naturally became friends over time. The participants varied from students to professionals and it was great because I was able to form a wide range of friendships. I was also relieved because the AJWCEF staff members were very courteous and friendly in the way they handled things. All the staff members at the hospital and wildlife park we visited for training were patient and polite when dealing with our awkward English, so we were able to improve our practical English skills too.
The training I received in Australia was a valuable experience because it was full of things I wouldn’t have been able to do in Japan. In particular, being able to interact with native Australian animal species that were close to extinction was the most fun of all. Also, I really felt that the skills and specialist knowledge that I learned would serve me well in the future.
I felt it was incredibly valuable to be able to experience firsthand the differences between Japan and Australia’s institutions and perceptions of wildlife. It is difficult to know about the systems in other countries and the level of awareness of people in those countries if you just stay in Japan. However, socialising with volunteers and people doing work in that field was very exciting and I feel it gave me the chance to think deeply about environmental preservation and wildlife conservation again.
I will endeavour to work harder while studying and reflecting on what I learn so that the knowledge and experience I gained on this study program doesn’t go to waste. I am so happy that I was able to participate in this training course and enjoy it as much as I did. If I have the chance I would like to able to participate in the advanced training course.
I would also like to thank all the staff at AJWCEF for taking care of me. I wish them all the best in their future endeavours.
Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine
Student, Haruka Yamada
My dream is to work with wildlife as a veterinarian. My participation in this course is one step towards making this dream a reality. Actually coming to Australia and seeing wildlife conservation on location, experiencing it and learning about it these past two weeks has had a great influence on my future and me.
In Australia, there are many initiatives that take co-existence with wildlife into account. At the koala hospital, wildlife hospital, wildlife park and research centre, while protecting wild animals they continue to investigate how people should deal with wildlife in their daily lives. It was truly an invaluable experience to be able to interact with, take care of and study the anatomy of wild animals such as koalas in those facilities. I was able to experience many things that I couldn’t do in Japan such as behavioural observations of animal habitats and conditions with my own eyes, taking lectures about the ecology of marsupials and monotremes as well as taking care of endangered species that you can’t even see in Japan. While it is still difficult to be involved in fields of work that involve wildlife in Japan, in Australia I was surprised to see there are a lot of veterinarians and volunteers involved in wildlife conservation and making efforts in other areas such treatment, environmental preservation and social education.
I was also able to meet many great people on this course. The Australian veterinarians, rangers, the AJWCEF and the other participants who worked hard with me no matter what we were doing, they are all irreplaceable to me.
By participating in this training course, I was able to take a big first step towards my dream. Just like the people in Australia put everything into wildlife conservation, I will do everything in my power to become a great veterinarian. In the future I will come back as a veterinarian.