Local heroes protecting the future

WPSQ Policies and Campaigns Manager Des Boyland with Amanda Cooke, Work Integrated Learning Course Administrative Officer for UQ, and Matt Cecil, Projects Manager for Wildlife Queensland, at the ACEN National Conference 2018.

Wildlife Queensland was recently recognised by the Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN) for providing tertiary students with on-the-job learning opportunities through the Society’s student placement program, now a Local Hero Award winner!

WPSQ President Peter Ogilvie said that the win was warmly welcomed, showcasing the Society’s long-term commitment not only to the environment, but to young people passionate about conservation.

“WPSQ has a wonderfully diverse and dedicated team of members, volunteers, supporters and staff united by a deep passion for wildlife and conservation,” he told UQ News.

“We have a proud history of campaigning for the survival of species and ecosystems – which we’ve done for over 55 years – but we also believe in collaborating with leading institutions like UQ, to help foster the next generation of environmental professionals.”

Hosting students since 2014, WPSQ has been a strong supporter in particular of the University of Queensland’s 14-week industry placement, a compulsory course in the Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours) degree program. Over that period, the Society has hosted 22 students, roughly eight per cent of all environmental management students undertaking a placement, demonstrating a significant contribution to the UQ program.

Former UQ student Courtney Peirce participated in the placement program in 2016, and said that her work with WPSQ proved invaluable.

“My industry placement experience with Wildlife Queensland went far beyond my expectations of a small, not for profit, non-governmental organisation,” she said.

“The organisation is made up of an incredibly knowledgeable, hard-working and dedicated team, whose contribution to wildlife conservation in Queensland is remarkable, considering their size and limited funding.

“Working for them fortified my desire to pursue a career in environmental management and their conservation efforts continue to inspire me.”

As a community organisation that relies on the commitment of its volunteers, Wildlife Queensland values the contributions of each of its students and appreciates the outcomes of their placement projects, which have become an important part of the Society’s operations. Many students placed with Wildlife Queensland go on to return as regular volunteers, demonstrating their ongoing commitment not only to their respective projects but to the Society and to conservation as a whole.

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