How do I even write this? Since I’ve been here my jobs have changed week by week and day by day – you get one job done and move onto whatever is next. And here I’m going to say that my start time is 8-8.30am…ha! Not if you’re trapping! But, here goes, this is an average day where no trapping is going on (if it is, get ready for very early starts and very busy days…)
8 – 8.30am
Rock up to the office and start getting ready for whatever it is that your day holds. If it is going out to the reserve, you get your call-in forms organised, water bottles filled up and gear into the 4WD. If you have a school group or community day, you get your activities ready and put a big smile on your face.
9am – 3pm
Do your thang, whatever that is.
For the first few weeks of the internship this will mean going around with AR staff, familiarising yourself with the reserve and how things work around here. After a month or so, myself and my fellow intern Emily were given projects to work on, so this was the time to do that. Mine was looking at the potential for reintroducing kowaris to the reserve (they’re cool animals, look them up) and Emily was monitoring the effectiveness of our one way gates. Together we also trialled the use of false-floors in pitfall traps, as a way to protect small reptiles from mice.
Just because we had our own projects does not mean we were limited to this – you are often sidetracked helping out other people with their projects, office duties and all the small things that keep an NGO like Arid Recovery rolling.
You will also find yourself helping out with school groups and activities. There are school camps and daytrips, where you will run workshops on anything from plant surveys to cage trapping and radio-tracking. There are also community events, especially around Easter, when all the kids are excited to meet the Easter Bilby. At these events, and the monthly Saturday community market days, arts and crafts abound. We have also done an incursion to the local area school to teach the kids about who eats who in the animal world.
Have lunch and plenty of snacks in your bag and eat whenever you want.
3 – 7 / 8.30pm
Back to the office, finish up whatever you were working on and get ready for the next day. Then you can go out and run a sunset and spotlighting tour of the reserve, there’s probably some eager grey nomads coming through town.
After you’re done: Go home. Eat, sleep, whatever.
Cos you’re a good little intern who wants to make the most of your time here, why don’t you volunteer for other things on top of what you already do? I’m sure someone would love some help with spotlighting surveys or bilby chasing as the moonlight shines…
So, what’s the moral to this story? This internship is busy, but that’s what you want when you’re living in a remote town. You get to dabble in lots of things and also have the responsibility of your own project, which I really liked. The people are nice and happy to help and the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out.
Photos by Nathan Beerkens