I was thrown in the deep end (as is the case with most new AR staff members!) when I started at Arid Recovery, and I’ll admit I was pretty daunted when they told me I was in charge of the kids club for what was probably our biggest open day ever. Pretty exhausted by my first day of work (which involved copious amounts of poo making with numerous small children) I was pretty pleased to realise I would be working with such a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.
My first “real” job out of university, and I have to admit it wasn’t what I had ever expected it to be. When you find yourself completing tasks that range from bleary eyed winter mornings for trapping, opening up a cat for dissection on a warm summers day through to wrestling a giant bilby or explaining to a child how a simple fence protects our threatened animals, you realise you don’t have a normal job. I’ve had some amazing experiences with Arid Recovery, learning things you can’t read in books about the plants and critters of the outback, from people who have such an intricate knowledge of the arid zone.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with our volunteers, and probably one of the best parts of the job is some of the people I have been able to meet. Whilst the days can be long and tiring, hearing some of the different stories about the unique places people come from is always interesting. Sometimes I think we get a bit caught up in the Reserve. A fresh pair of eyes to appreciate AR, and a comment along the lines of how important the work is that we do, always gives you a bit of motivation to try harder again tomorrow.
Now it is on to the next chapter for me, and while I’m sad to be leaving Arid Recovery, I’m keen to tackle something new. I’m sure I’ll be back at some stage. If there is one thing I have learnt since starting here, most AR staff and vols can’t help but come back to visit the beautiful red sand dunes of Arid Recovery. That, and bettongs are bloody good diggers, I probably won’t miss repairing the holes they dig under our fence!
Arid Recovery volunteer and community officer Hannah Spronk during the Roxby Downs Christmas Pageant.