Position Vacant: Arid Recovery Education & Community Assistant

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Education and Community Assistant




Arid Recovery is a not-for-profit research and conservation organisation whose primary purpose is to recover, enhance and sustain Australia’s unique arid zone biodiversity focused on an experimental area near Roxby Downs in South Australia.


The Arid Recovery Education and Community Assistant assists the with the day to day administration tasks for Arid Recovery volunteer, community and education programs. The role includes updating website information, general administrative duties, undertaking Arid Recovery tours and education programs and assisting with other Arid Recovery programs and field work.


This position is required for 3-6 months with some night and weekend work included.

 This is a part time position at a minimum of 20 hours per week. The position is available immediately.


Position Description and Criteria



FRIDAY February 1, 2012

Applications should be sent to: manager@aridrecovery.org.au

Cameling across the outback

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

As the temperatures have slowly been creeping up over the past few months, the numbers of tourists passing through Roxby Downs, heading north up the Oodnadatta Track have dwindled. Camping out in the sweltering 40 plus degree heat in the middle of the desert probably isn’t how most people would like to spend their holidays!

But Greg and Prue of Coward Springs Campground have begun preparations early, and are now taking bookings for their camel safari tours for the next tourist season. The tours leave from the campground and run for six days, trekking across the outback with knowledgeable guides and well trained camels. A range of scenery and rest stops from ancient mound springs of the Great Artesian Basin to the gibber plains that stretch on for as far as the eye can see. For prices, bookings and more information please visit www.cowardsprings.com.au or phone 08 8559 6144

The Coward Springs Campground was originally a station on the old Ghan railway line, built in 1888. It was abandoned though in 1890 before the line closed down, with the area now adapted as a stop over for hot and dusty tourists. Facilities include a camp shower and toilet, restored heritage buildings with a museum and a “hot tub” built into the mound spring nearby.

Snap a photo of the AR Big Four to win!

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Keen to snap a pic of one of our Arid Recovery Big Four? Or maybe you have recently upgraded your camera and looking for a few tips on how to take a good shot. Book in for an evening photography session at the Arid Recovery Reserve!

The Roxby Downs Amateur Arid Photography Competition is on again for 2012, with the special added category of the Arid Recovery Big Four. Photography workshops are being held at the Arid Recovery Reserve with volunteer and local camera man Travis Hague. The evening will consist of an introduction to cameras and a few tips of taking a good shot. Get snap happy if you are already a keen photographer, or this is the prime opportunity to get a few pointers from fellow photographers on how to take your best shot. Once the sun has disappeared you will be able to take part in a nocturnal spotlight tour to a viewing hide where you are guaranteed to see one of the photogenic Burrowing Bettongs. Along the way you might get lucky spotting critters such as the Western Barred Bandicoot, Greater Stick-nest Rat and Greater Bilby.

Running for approximately 3 hours each, the sessions are just $35 and include an Arid Recovery membership for each participant. Bookings are now being taken at the Roxby Downs Visitor and Information Centre, please call 08 8671 2001. Session times are as below:

Friday 21st September 5:30pm

Saturday 22nd September 5:30pm

Saturday 20th October 6:30pm


Photo by Ben Parkhurst, winner in 2011 Amateur Arid Photography Competition

Time to celebrate Australian Biodiversity

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Our 15 year Open Day celebration and Science Alive! expo may have passed, but that doesn’t mean we are slowing down! This weekend sees the start of Biodiversity month across Australia, and has the Arid Recovery team keen to work harder to make sure the arid zone is here for many more generations to enjoy.

Biodiversity can be explained in a number of ways, a simple explanation is all that you see- the birds, animals, plants, bugs, the tiny micro-organisms that you can’t see and the trees, soil and water in an ecosystem is biodiversity.

September is the month for celebrating all things unique and special to Australia and we will be kicking it off on Friday 7th of September with Threatened Species Day by spending a day with the students at the Marree Primary School and exploring the threatened species in their area. What can you do to help celebrate threatened species day you ask? How about head along to your local zoo and find out a bit more about their breeding programs of threatened animals, or research on possible threatened species in your area and see if you can find them, or if you are in the area, book a tour of the Arid Recovery Reserve- you will learn some exciting new facts about the arid zone, and get the chance to spot a few threatened and endangered species yourself!

One of the threatend species that calls the AR Reserve home, the Western Barred Bandicoot.

Sunday 9th of September is National Bilby Day, in an attempt to raise national awareness about the plight of our endangered bilbies here in Australia. We will be heading down to Port Augusta to take part in SciWorld, where children can learn a bit more about the bilbies at the Arid Recovery Reserve, and even make a sparkly bilby poo to take home. It is on from 10am-3pm at the Augusta Park Primary School.

The releasing of an Arid Recovery bilby.

There is plenty to see and do around the nation to help celebrate Biodiversity month. We encourage you to get out in your own backyard and find out what you have living there- you never know,  you could discover a new species while you are at it!

Happy Birthday Arid Recovery!

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sunday 19th of August saw the Arid Recovery gates thrown open with young and old coming to help the Arid Recovery staff and volunteers celebrate 15 successful years of Arid Recovery.

Visitors were able to take part in a range of activities, including a 4x4 tour of the Reserve which was quite popular. Participants were able to see sections of the Reserve not accessed by the general public, with commentary about the history and unique flora, fauna and landscapes of the arid zone. “The 4x4 tours were a success, a lot of local Roxby families enjoy getting out and exploring their surrounding environment. Having knowledgeable people to answer questions and point out things that most people would often miss makes it great for the whole family,” said Education and Community Officer Hannah Spronk.

Local volunteers who have been around since the inception of Arid Recovery also came out to lend a hand for the day, taking guided nature trails, sharing their stories and experiences over the last 15 years. “Without our volunteers we would not have had such a successful Open Day celebration, or have such a successful Reserve. There has been thousands upon thousands of volunteer hours put in to Arid Recovery, be they feral control, fence building, educational presentations to school groups or assisting with trapping programs. We appreciate each and every person who has contributed to the project, we wouldn’t be where we are today without them!” said Hannah Spronk, Education and Community Officer.

A big hit on the day was Macca tracker, with children assisting in radio tracking Macca the giant bilby around the Reserve. After searching high and low in piles of wood and in each and every burrow, the children eventually found him hiding out at the field station. There they helped to sing happy birthday and blow out the candles on 15 years of Arid Recovery.

Hannah would like to say thank you to all who took part in the day. “A big thank you to all our volunteers that helped out on the day, we couldn’t have done it without you. We hope everyone who came out enjoyed the day, and learnt a little bit more about Arid Recovery. Here is to another 15 years of protecting the arid zone!”


For more photos from the day check out our Facebook page


Top Five things to do for the Environment in Roxby Downs

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Those of us living in Roxby Downs know how beautiful the red sand dunes are and how lucky we are to enjoy the relaxing calm of the Aussie outback.  With all the talk recently about the damage that can be done, we would like to highlight the good that we can all do.  Arid Recovery have compiled a list of our top five things to do in the Roxby Downs region to help our environment.

    1. Keep your pet cat on a leash.  Roxby Downs has some unique by-laws when it comes to being a pet owner, particularly cats.  All pet cats in Roxby Downs must be micro chipped and de-sexed, and proof of this presented before they are registered, just as you would a dog.  Cats must also be kept under control, so either securely in a backyard or on a leash when in public.  For more information check out our blogs from Feral Cat Month.


    2. Find out what plants to have in your garden.  We all know that water is a very precious resource in this country, particularly when you are living in the arid zone!  So rather than trying to replicate a small section of tropical rainforest in your backyard, why not have a chat to those at the local garden centre- a native garden will save you time and money.  Click on the link below to learn a little more about the plants that have devastating effects on the local environment when they escape from local gardens.

Fight the Weed Invaders

    3. Join Arid Recovery and visit the AR Reserve.  Becoming a member of Arid Recovery not only supports us in conserving the arid zone, but also offers you the opportunity to play your part in conservation.  Join a tour of the AR Reserve and learn more about the local flora and fauna, with a spotlight walk to the nocturnal hide afterwards, you have the chance to spot a few of the cute and furry local bettongs and bilbies.



    4. Sign up for the Roxby Downs Environment Forum.  The Environment forum gives Roxby locals the chance to have their say on environmental issues in the town and assists in the development of environmental programs throughout the region. Including the Buffel Busters program, helping keep Roxby free from buffel grass, a weed of national significance that can devastate large tracts of land and decrease the biodiversity of the arid zone. For more information about the Roxby Downs Environment Forum check out the Facebook page (go to www.facebook.com and search for Roxby Downs Environment Forum)

    5. Donate to Arid Recovery.  Not only are we protecting a number of threatened native species, we are undertaking research that is aiding conservation efforts nationwide.  Our feral proof fence has been replicated in reserves across the world and costs us $10,000.00 per kilometre to build.  Help us restore the arid zone by donating today- be that by joining as a member, adopting a little Aussie Digger or volunteering your time with us.




Camp out with the Bettongs!

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Looking for something different to do these school holidays than camping in the backyard or local caravan park?  Why not spend a night camping out at the Arid Recovery Reserve, with the chance of getting up close and personal to our bettongs while you are at it!

Arid Recovery is holding a two week trapping event from the 1st- 12th of July and welcome tourists to stay a night at the Reserve and play a hands-on role in the conservation of a threatened species.  Visitors will be able to assist with every step of the trapping process, from bait making, and trap setting through to processing and the release of the animals.

A regular day would see visitors arrive mid-afternoon to the Arid Recovery Reserve for an introduction to the project and to set up camp.  Then it is off to set traps with a special mix of peanut butter and oats, a smell that bettongs cannot resist!  Before the sun rises everyone bundles into their vehicles to check the traps and remove any captured animals.  Back at base camp animals are processed and visitors are encouraged to take part, learning exactly what we are doing and getting up close and personal to these cute creatures.  A quick stop for coffee and then it is off to release the bettongs into their new burrows within the Reserve.

“There aren’t too many places like this that offer the chance or people to play a hands-on role in conservation,” says Volunteer and Community Coordinator Hannah Spronk.  “If we can give people the opportunity to be involved in our project, we can help to increase awareness about the threats our native wildlife are facing.”

Prices for visitors start from just $70 per night for a family, with powered camping and basic bunk accommodation available.  All visitors will receive a complimentary one year Arid Recovery membership.  Places are limited so get in quick to book your spot. 

Please call (08) 8671 2402 or email volunteer@aridrecovery.org.au

Postie Bash Preparations

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The helmets have been polished and the bikes serviced in the preparation for the 2012 Roxby Downs Community Postie Bash and the Arid Recovery team are in practice! 

Taking place for the first time last year, the Postie Bash was quite a hit and has had all spaces filled with more than 20 teams.  This year the Arid Recovery team have decided to take part, entering their team, the Crash Bandicoots.  With one experienced motorbike rider in the team, general manager Kylie Piper thought it was time to get serious and purchase a postie bike sooner rather than later, to allow the team a little time to practice for the big event.

Running on the weekend of 23rd and 24th of June, the Roxby Downs Community Postie Bash runs from Roxby Downs up the Borefield Road and Oodnadatta Track ending up at William Creek on Saturday evening.  Along the way there are competitions, road blocks and pit stops aplenty to keep the dusty and bumpy ride interesting.  Teams take part in fundraising for the months prior to the weekend with raffles, auctions, sausage sizzles and events spread throughout town.  This Saturday Arid Recovery will be opening the gates at 4:30pm to allow the public through on a sunset tour and nocturnal spotlight, with all funds raised going towards the Postie Bash.  All monies raised by all teams for the Postie Bash goes towards the Roxby Downs youth and health services.

Advertising the Postie Bash and the fundraising efforts of the Crash Bandicoots on local radio, general manager Kylie Piper took part in a live broadcast ride down Richardson Place.  Never having rode a motorbike it was an experience not just for her but those lucky enough to be in Roxby Downs at the time.  “It was so much fun!  I honestly thought I was going to fall off for a minute there when I came around the corner, but I held on,” said Ms Piper.

After fundraising efforts this weekend the Crash Bandicoot team will be getting stuck into practicing their motorbike skills in preparation for the weekend.

Experience the Reserve after dark!

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

You often hear the Arid Recovery staff speaking of their cheeky burrowing bettongs and their elusive bilbies, but have you ever actually seen one?  Arid Recovery is offering Roxby Downs locals the opportunity to see these threatened species and help to raise money for the Roxby Downs Community Postie Bash.


The evening of Saturday April 28th, Arid Recovery is inviting you to take a look at what goes on behind the fence after dark.  Usually receiving tourists on their sunset tours, Volunteer and Community Coordinator, Hannah Spronk, thought it was time that locals had the opportunity to experience some of the native wildlife.

With so many new people coming to town Arid Recovery thought it would be great for them to meet some of the critters we are always talking about.  The staff have decided to enter a team called the Crash Bandicoots into the local Community Postie Bash and thought this event would be something different as a fundraiser for the local community.

The Arid Recovery gate will be opened for arrivals from 4:30pm- 5pm with the night wrapping up by approximately 9pm.  Entry is just $10 and children under 12 are free.

Visitors will be able to take a tour through different vegetation types, making their way to the viewing platform to enjoy an outback sunset.

As it becomes dark the reserve begins to come alive, with critters climbing out from their homes.  Visitors will have the opportunity to take part in a spotlight walk to the nocturnal hide where they will have the opportunity to spot the burrowing bettongs, hopping mice and even a shy bilby!

Visitors will need to wear enclosed shoes and long pants.  A water bottle and torch will be handy and a keen eye is a must.  A sausage sizzle will be available on the night for a gold coin.  All proceeds will go towards the Roxby Downs Postie Bash raising money for youth and health services.  For more information or to register your interest call (08) 8671 8282.

Kids club goes bettong spotting

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Getting the kids off the couch and out of the house these holidays was the Arid Recovery Kids Club with a night of Bettong spotting last night.  A group of 30 children between the ages of 5 and 12 trekked out to the Arid Recovery Reserve last night to learn a little bit more about the animals and plants of the arid zone.

First up was a nature trail, taking them through some of the different types of habitat we have at Arid Recovery, through stands of mulga trees that can live for hundreds and hundreds of years, and the mistletoe birds that have a very quick digestive system!  Children learnt to tell the difference between a bettong and a bilby track and that a saltbush isn’t called so just because it can tolerate high salt levels, it also tastes salty too.

(Some of the Kids Club members on their sunset nature trail.)

After a sausage sizzle there were squeals of excitement, and a few of horror and surprise, as the bettongs began to emerge in search of some food.  Although many children had visited the Reserve previously on school excursions and knew plenty about our cheeky little bettongs, it was the first time many had seen one in the flesh.

Armed with torches, it was time to take to the dunes on a nocturnal spotlight tour.  Although we tried very hard to keep quiet, unfortunately we must have been a little too loud and scared off the elusive bilbies before we could see them.  Some were lucky enough to spot a stick- nest rat as he bumbled away from the torches, there were even a few who spotted a couple of hopping mice before they quickly bounced off into the bushes.

Anyone taking out an Arid Recovery family membership will automatically have all children included in the Arid Recovery Kids Club.  Membership of the Kids Club includes copies of Maccas Newsletter, free invitations to events and discounted birthday parties and more.  If you would like to join up your children please call the Arid Recovery office on 08 8671 8282 for more information.


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Arid recovery is a conservation initiative supported by:
adelaide university