They work around the clock, sleep where they drop, and spend their days feeding, bathing, and caring for one of Australia’s most precious species. Meet Clare and Brigitte, Australia’s most dedicated wombat-rescue team.
Australia’s Most Dedicated Wombat Rescue Team
Founded in 2006, the Wombat Awareness Organisation was pioneered by Brigitte Stevens after she encountered a southern hairy-nosed wombat in desperate need. Brigitte had been working at a zoo at the time, when she met Barney, an orphaned wombat in need of special care.
Barney became ill at the zoo, and the only advice given by veterinarians was to move him to his natural environment in South Australia. With no other option, Brigitte and little Barney packed up and moved to South Australia, and Wombat Awareness Organisation was born.
However, the situation in South Australia was bleak. Brigitte discovered that the Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat, South Australia’s faunal emblem, was under serious threat due in no small part to poor land management practices, severe mange, the proliferation of weeds, increases in Government issue destruction permits, vehicle related road deaths and reduced habitat. Added to that, wombats in the region had no voice, no advocacy and no genuine protection.
What happened next was a roller coaster ride of massive proportions as Brigitte found the courage to defend the wombats against the Government and the non-sympathetic members of the farming community.
The Wombat Awareness Organisation is now the first line of defence, for these vulnerable and adorable little marsupials. Often mistaken for a well-financed and slick operation of wombat rescuers and wildlife conservationists, Wombat Awareness is in fact run by just two lone dedicated, tireless (and relentless) volunteers: Brigitte Stevens and Clare Jans.
These two women still work for free, ensuring every single dollar goes directly to where it should, to the provision of care, rescue and advocacy of 1800 wombats every year. Giving these wild, willful wonderful little Australians a second chance at life.
This is a real life story of David and Goliath that can only continue with our help.