ISV Australia Volunteer Project: Wild Mountains Trust

by Narelle Webber on Monday, 22 December 2014

Koalas

Yes, these forests are home to Australia’s best-known native animal, the Koala (c) Wild Mountains

Starting in 2002, ISV and Wild Mountains formed a conservation project partnership that has enabled hundreds of ISV student volunteers from North America, the UK and Ireland, to be part of something life-changing. The project offers a unique opportunity to learn about environmental education and conservation leadership in the sub-tropical rain forests and eucalypt woodlands of Australia. (Check out more photos from this project here). We really value this long-term partnership and think Wild Mountains are pretty special.

“I still think of the Mountain and the experiences we all shared together, every single day. You all have changed my life in such a profound way and I cannot thank you enough for teaching me such valuable lessons in life and about the world. We recycle here all the time and it is a much better feeling knowing even this little part is helping in a significant way.” – Brittany, ISV volunteer.

From our perspective, the project highlights are multifaceted. The people at Wild Mountains are warm and welcoming, passionate, knowledgeable and appreciative of our volunteers’ contributions, with a clear desire to invest in their learning experiences as well. The location is just beautiful. The Wild Mountains property is situated at 625m (2,051 ft) of elevation in a natural bush setting of sub-tropical rainforest and open eucalypt woodland. Wild Mountains adjoins Border Ranges National Park which is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. This is a large area of wilderness that protects untouched rainforest and unique plants and animals linked to the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. The conservation tasks are varied, and volunteers are able to connect with nature while “walking the talk” of sustainable living. Last but not least, the vegetarian food is amazing!

reforestation

Reforestation @ Wild Mountains

We asked Wild Mountains to share some information about their background and how ISV has contributed to their vision, as follows.

“About Wild Mountains: we started with nothing more than just an idea to inspire people to live more lightly on the planet. Now 25 years later, with the help of thousands of volunteers and huge donations from a generous community we have a magnificent centre that has seen young and old from right across the planet learning how they can make a difference. And we really can’t think of a more important need than to look after this beautiful spaceship earth.

Amazing location

The location is a clear highlight of this conservation experience (c) Wild Mountains

For over 13 years the ISV program has been instrumental in our development. Each year ISV volunteers build new infrastructure and maintain buildings, work on landcare projects, make trails and re-forest degraded bushland. They are responsible in helping Wild Mountains to become 2014 Healthy Waterways winners with our Camp Creek Headwaters Renewal project. Nearly all of these students leave empowered from the experience of a lifetime, with many positively changing their lives forever. They learn not only new practical hands-on skills, but also personal skills that helps equip them for the journey ahead.

Fun times

Fun times @ Wild Mountains

So, if you are considering volunteering with ISV in Australia, we’d appreciate your help and love to welcome you here to:

o   Come on up to the top of the world and experience quiet reflective time

o   Get physical on our projects

o   Learn about Australia’s natural wonders on our guided walks and interpretive encounters

o   Be challenged with new concepts and discussions that may blow your mind

o   Expand your horizons and learn concepts around sustainability

o   Climb up inside of giant trees

o   Play in the jungles

o   Get close to our wildlife and even spot a koala

o   Cook great food

o   Walk to the waterfall

o   Or just sit and take it all in as the views go on forever

Richard Zoomers

Richard Zoomers, a founding member from WMT, helping to inform and inspire an ISV group (c) Wild Mountains

2015 promises to be another exciting year. And while you will work on a range of projects mentioned above we hope to focus on the next stage in restoring the Camp Creek catchment building on students’ previous work in these magnificent world heritage rainforests. We can’t wait to get started!” – Richard Zoomers (an original founding member from Wild Mountains)

ISV and Wild Mountains generally collaborate on about three or four teams per season (between May and August each year).

Volunteering at Wild Mountains is much more than a practical conservation experience; it is also an inspiring holistic lesson in sustainability.

 

Wild Mountains building project

Learn new skills @ Wild Mountains!

More Testimonies from ISV alumni about Wild Mountains:

“Thank you for what has to be the most incredible and amazing experience of my life. Wild Mountains has truly changed me as an individual and the way I see things….” – Stephanie.

Another local :) (c) Wild Mountains

Another local :) (c) Wild Mountains

“It is a great learning experience about conservation and sustainability and it is a great way to grow and learn about nature. Wild Mountains Trust in Australia opened my eyes to how much more responsibility I owe this earth, and how much I am able to grow as a person” – Linette.

Learn more about ISV on our website, read some reviews on Gooverseas.com on the Australian program (99% approval rating). You can apply directly for the ISV program in Australia here.

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