Volunteer’s, young and old, around Australia are being honoured for International Volunteers Day.
Medowie’s Tiana Binskin deserves recognition as a young volunteer who demonstrates compassion for animals and volunteers so much of her own time to looking after their welfare and well-being.
Tiana spent three years in the YATZ (Youth At The Zoo) volunteer and education program at Taronga zoo where she cleaned cages, learnt about the animals and prepared meals.
Tiana won a scholarship to a new project based high school, and used it to complete a Certificate II in Business and Travel and accommodation to volunteer at Australia Zoo.
Tiana has also completed work experience at Featherdale Wildlife Park and Dubbo Zoo.
Part of Tiana’s schooling meant applying to local companies for internships and she gained a placement at Oakvale Farm, Salt Ash.
She quickly realised that she loved Oakvale the most of all her experiences, due to the way they keep the animals in as natural an environment as possible, so she asked if she could stay on the second term and then third term, and was then accepted as a volunteer there.
Tiana’s ultimate goal is full-time employment with Oakvale farm as a bird keeper.
During her time there, one of the keepers purchased the Shark and Ray Park – now called Irukandji Shark and Ray
Encounters, and being impressed with Tiana’s work ethic, offered Tiana a school-based traineeship at their business.
While studying years 11 and 12, Tiana began employment at Irukandji alongside a TAFE course studying Certificate II in Animal Studies and still volunteering her time to care for animals.
During year 12, Tiana started to study Certificate IV in Captive Animals.
After finishing year 12, Tiana’s life consists of working at Irukandji, studying online, running her two home based businesses – Tiana’s Tender Loving Pet Minding, and a bird breeding business called Binnie’s Birds – and still volunteering her time at Oakvale Farm.
Tiana told News Of The Area, “Volunteering fulfils me because it gives me the opportunity to educate people of the importance of animals and how we can conserve these animals for the future generations to come.”
By Rachael VAUGHAN