It was time to give something back. Be thankful for the beautiful and neat nature which Australia has to offer.
During my planning of my trip I wanted to spent a week volunteering. Since I will first arrive in Perth, the biggest organisation were the Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) which offers various projects from one day to several weeks in the Perth area. Already back in Germany I signed in for a week working with them. For foreign volunteers they offer also a package of accommodation (hostel) and food for the price of staying in a hostel in Perth for a week.
The location of the office is in Fremantle and after I spent already one day exploring this little town just 30min away from Perth I was really happy about that. Fremantle (or how aussis call it “Freo”) is a cute and a bit touristy coast town with a lovely beach promenade and which is also known for their Café’s (one street is called the “Cappuccino Strip”). Since I love to explore new places and their local Café’s I spent every time after I got back from volunteering drinking coffee and relax :).
During my time in Freo, I was placed in the “Old Fire House Backpackers” which is a bit of a party hostel (perfect for volunteers :D) but everybody was really nice, the facility great and the staff obliging.
I arrived there on a Friday and got a short introduction before I would start working and Monday till Friday. Since it was “International Volunteer Day” on the weekend, the staff organised a barbecue for all volunteers of the year and I could also come. It was a great chance to meet the whole staff and some other volunteers which I would also work with next week.
The goal of conservation is “to increase resilience through the protection, maintenance and restoration of the environment – landscapes, habitats, species and heritage” (CVA website). Since non-native plants came into the country, the main work is weeding so the native plants have space to grow. Other projects are planting new native bushes/trees but also collection seeds and clean beaches/areas.
So on the first day, we went of course weeding 😀 The CVA has some areas they are taking care of themselves but they also help other conservation organisations in the area.
The second day for example we helped Daniel, who is know a friend of mine. He works for Sercul (a committee of people which works for the natural rehabilitation in the south Region of Perth) and is responsible for a part of the Canning River. We helped him planting native bushes and trees, which was after the first day of weeding a nice change. He is a real nature/forrest guy and loves working in this area. Since he might travel next year truth Europe we exchanged our contacts and definitely stay in touch.
We (another volunteer and I) were very lucky this week because on Wednesday we helped another organisation with collected seeds from native plants. It was really easy work but the area was also really beautiful.
On the last two following day we went back to weeding which as I said is the major part of a volunteers work in this area.
I highly recommend to work a couple days or even a week with the CVA. You get the chance to learn about the environment in this region, go to places which you won’t find in any travel guide, do of course something good and give something back to the nature which offers you a lot in Australia and of course meet local people who have great stories to tell and make new friendships.