The wombat protection society of Australia
The Wombat Protection Society of Australia (WPSA) is a national not-for-profit organisation created to raise awareness and money in order to provide wombats with immediate protection from harm. We enhance quality of life, fund projects that develop and protect suitable habitat and provide sanctuaries for Australian wombats. We continue to fund research projects with the help from our generous supporters.
The WPSA aims to bring together people involved in the conservation and protection of wombats. We maintain a data base of up-to-date research and information and serve as a conduit for further research.
Educating government departments, the public and carers on the welfare and continued care of wombats, we assist people to take action in the prevention of harm to wombats and their environments.
We consider mange, caused by the parasitic mite sarcoptes scabiei, as the major health issue impacting wombat welfare. Since our inception, we have successfully brought attention and action to this issue by encouraging and supporting research and collaboration in the treatment and prevention of mange in both free living and in-care wombats.
Amanda holds a degree in Science, an honours degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Administration. She is a consulting psychologist and has been the Public Officer of and member of the board since the Wombat Protection Society formed.
Amanda’s vision for the Society is to bring individuals and groups concerned about wombats together, to share knowledge and to understand differing ideologies in care and management and to develop welfare advocacy. Her interests include understanding wombats from both the behavioural and psychological perspective, the interface between humans and wombats and animal welfare issues for wombats.
Amanda regularly speaks to groups about wombats and presents Society information at conferences and education/ training days. She has raised wombats and lives on a release site. She once stated she is either going to be or was a wombat in a former life and has a vested interest in their welfare either way. She sees them as one of the most fascinating animals to study, “because, they humble you; as soon as you think you know something about them, along comes one and does the complete opposite. Sitting for hours and nights on end in the bush, observing wombats has not only been a privilege but it has taught me to slow down, observe and ‘be part’ of an amazing experience. Unlike domesticated animals, wombats won’t be ‘trained’, rather, they train you. It takes a certain type of person to cope with being trained by a wombat.”
David has a degree in geology. He has also completed a post-graduate certificate in Ecotourism.
David has authored some 16 science papers, The Layers of Time (popular geology of the Blue Mountains), as well as assisting with the Blue Mountains World Heritage Application and Aus.Geo’s editorial staff with the Blue Mountains book.
The Alder family has been caring for orphaned wombats for 20 years. David and his partner Suzanne are foster parents to a growing family of wombats, soft releasing on their 120-acre forest property at Hampton. They have assisted in collecting samples for university wombat research projects and provided support in managing wombats on properties.
David and Suzanne also have four children and two grandchildren who fit in around the wombats.
Marie is a proud mum of two adult sons and has been married for 29 years to Raymond Wynan. Marie and her husband have been wildlife carers since the first kangaroo joey made his way to them one week before their first son was born 26 years ago. Together they run Jarake Wildlife Sanctuary, a 130-acre conservation area next to Glenbog State Forest in South East NSW. She is a qualified Veterinary Nurse at Southern Cross Wildlife Care and Referral Centre and also has a certificate III in Animal Studies, both attained under Dr Howard Ralph.
Marie says, “My heart belongs to wombats and I have raised and released far too many over the years. My passion is to interact and study the adults’ social structure and behaviour, spending many hours in the bush.”
Marie sees the devastating effect mange is having on wombats and has been actively treating mange since 2005. She also knows only too well the impact roadkill is having on the wombat population having pulled mangled bodies off the roads to check pouches for joeys that can be rehabilitated.
With habitat destruction playing a major role in population loss, Marie and her husband have campaigned, since 2014, and actively educated NSW Forestry Corporation, especially in Glenbog State Forest, to better protect wombats and their burrows during logging. This resulted in the Glenbog Guidelines.
Marie believes her fighting spirit and determination for wombats comes from her background of six years in the Swedish National Cycling Team, competing all over Scandinavia, Europe and the USA.
Jenny has operated a busy wildlife shelter in West Gippsland, Victoria since 1987 where she cared for a variety of wildlife.
It was 1992 that her first orphaned wombat joey came into care. “They are naughty, playful and at times destructive, each one has its own personality (a bit like children)”, says Jenny. “I learnt so much from the first wombat”.
Her compassion for wombats led her to dedicating time to helping other carers.
Jenny has presented various workshops to assist new wildlife carers on raising and releasing wildlife along with the development of a website, Wombat Welfare, to assist carers on how to raise and release wombats.
After attending the 2011 Wombat Protection Society’s Wombat Conference in Albury and learning about the ‘burrow flap’ method of treating mange in wombats, Jenny and her husband set about developing a Victorian based program that would enable members of the public to treat wombats with mange on their own properties. In February 2012, Mange Management Inc. was formed with a group of dedicated like-minded volunteers.
Although Jenny no longer runs a busy wildlife shelter, she still believes there is a need for further education especially regarding the Bare Nosed wombat and this is where she is now concentrating her efforts.
Director and Treasurer
Shirley was caretaker at Epping Forest (Northern Hairy nose wombats) in 2007 and again in 2010. She has held many positions in the wildlife sector, including treasurer and committee member for NANA for 10 years, Treasurer and founding member of NSW Wildlife Council and Treasurer and committee member for a great little group in the Braidwood area (NARG). Shirley is also a director and treasurer for the Wombat Protection Society of Australia.
Shirley has been a wildlife carer for 35 years and devoted the first 5 years to caring for Macropods. Five years after starting care, Shirley was presented with a baby wombat to raise. This little wombat (Tilly) changed her life and the life of her family.
“I cannot remember a time when I have not had to feed a baby wombat at least once a night. As some wombats can become very vicious and hard to handle just before release my husband and I both feel that our ‘use by date’ is running out as far as caring is concerned. I say this every year but as babies continue to come into care I seem to always have a full house. I am very passionate about the welfare of wombats especially caring for and raising orphans of all sizes, it has to be done correctly for the safe release and welfare of the animal. Caring for wombats has become my life and I have found like-minded friends among the other directors who are all as passionate as I am. Being a director of WPS is a great privilege that I cherish.”
As a youngster Oma remembers watching the ABC news each night, fixated on the bulge in the newsreader’s jacket. It was a baby flying fox called Archie. The presenter, Richard Morecroft, went on to write a book about Archie’s rehabilitation, Oma was hooked.
From that moment, Oma’s dream was to join WIRES in NSW as soon as she was old enough. Time however intervened and she found herself in Tasmania and WIRES-less. She asked her local vet if she knew anyone who could mentor her in the world of wildlife rehabilitation and 18 years later Oma is still as passionate about wildlife as ever.
“I have seized every opportunity to expand my knowledge, and attended absolutely every workshop on offer, and there is still so much to learn.” Oma joined the Wombat Protection Society of Australia as a board director and began to raise wombats along with many other species including wallaby, possum, bandicoot, devils, quolls and echidna. In 2014, Oma coordinated Tasmania’s first Australian Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference. In between caring for many orphaned and injured wildlife, Oma helped establish the Tasmanian Wildlife Rehabilitation Council as the peak representative body working to support wildlife carers in Tasmania and currently serves as President.
Oma says that, “above all else, it has been my privilege to work with our precious native animals”.
Director membership officer
Lyn has an honours degree in graphic design, working for a publishing company in London. She later changed career direction after the arrival of her four children to become a Registered Nurse.
After emigrating from the UK, Lyn’s passion for wombats came when driving to visit sick patients early in the mornings and stopping to check recent wildlife roadkill along the way. Rescuing pouch young and delivering them to a local wildlife carer, unfortunately, became a regular occurrence. When Lyn decided to retire from nursing, the call to transfer her skills to caring for wildlife, in particular wombats, seemed a natural transition.
Lyn is supported by her husband, who tirelessly assists with building pens, picking grass, caring for little joeys to rescuing adult wombats with injuries and treating wombats with mange in the wild.
Lyn’s daughter is also hooked on wombats and cares for them in between her full time job.
Lyn and husband Paul own and run the Wisdom Wombat Sanctuary in rural Kangaroo Valley NSW, which takes in orphaned wombat joeys, injured and mange affected sub adults and occasionally adult wombats, raising and rehabilitating to release back to the wild.
What we do
We periodically hold National Conferences and Symposiums that address and debate the welfare needs of wombats. They are open to the public and are attended by researchers, carers, government authorities and other wildlife organisations.
The Society provides support and education in wombat rescue and care.
We conduct workshops for anyone wanting to help injured or orphaned wombats or just wanting to learn more about these special animals. We also cater our workshops to those living on land affected by wombats.
The Society lobbies authorities for better wombat conservation including disease control and habitat loss as well as providing education and support to groups working in these areas.