Volunteer Orientation – About Wombat Rescue

Our mission:
To protect, support and rescue wombats through education, advocacy and in-field services

Wombat Support & Rescue NSW/ACT, known as Wombat Rescue, was founded by Yolandi Vermaak in 2018. The organisation was registered as an Incorporated Association in 2019.

After starting with the intention to focus on road rescue, it quickly became evident that there are many issues affecting wombats as a species. As a result, Wombat Rescue soon expanded its activities to include mange treatment and advocacy, with a growing base of volunteers.

A unique approach

Wombat Rescue plays a unique role in the ACT and surrounding districts for several reasons:

  1. It is an organisation that specialises only in wombats.
  2. It is the only local organisation to do in-field and large-scale mange treatment programs.
  3. It is committed to proactive and preventative measures, in addition to responsive rescue, care and rehabilitation.
Expertise & experience

Since its beginnings in 2018, Wombat Rescue has developed considerable experience and expertise in the rescue and care of wombats for the purposes of rehabilitation and release.

With about 10 rescue callouts per week, volunteers have attended to reports of sick or injured wombats in the ACT and surrounding NSW, and assessed them as to whether to rescue and rehabilitate, treat in situ, or euthanase.

This work has included:

  • Undertaking regular road rescue of sick or injured and/or orphaned wombats in the ACT and surrounding NSW.
  • Carrying out regular planning and provision of population size mange treatment programs. Wombat Rescue has undertaken a successful population-level mange treatment program in Googong Foreshores and is currently conducting another mange treatment program in the Bullen Range Nature Reserve as well as ad-hoc mange treatment at Pine Island, Point Hut, Cotter campground and Kambah Pools.
  • Taking wombats into care for triaging and rehabilitation
    Investigating suitable sites for wombat release and developing assessment guidelines for such sites.

A Recognised Subject Matter Expert & Collaborative Partner

Wombat Rescue is respected for its expertise and collaborates with other organisations on a wide range of wombat-related activities and initiatives. The following is a select list of examples:

  • Wombat Rescue representatives contribute as active members of the Wombat Working Group and Wombat Mange Management Sub-Committee, both established by ACT Parks & Conservation Service.
  • Ongoing collaboration with ACT PCS in the development of the wombat sightings community portal.
  • Ongoing collaboration with the National Zoo and Aquarium on mange treatment.
  • Collaborated with RSPCA Canberra to complete an enclosure for wombats at its facility. Ongoing collaboration for use of the facility for wombats needing interim housing.
  • Collaboration with the Alexander Maconochie Centre to produce burrow flaps.
  • Ongoing collaboration with Wildcare NSW to provide mange co-ordination services.
  • Regular provision of advice to landowners and residents regarding wombats on their land/property, eg a wombat in a shed or under a house.
  • Regular provision of training to volunteers and members of the public on the basics of wombat management, mange treatment and rescue work. In August 2022, a training workshop by Wombat Rescue was delivered to over 175 attendees. Attendees included representatives from other local wildlife rescue groups including ACT Wildlife, Wildcare, and Wildlife Rescue South Coast.
  • Regular collaboration with ACT PCS Urban Wildlife Rangers on wombat issues.
    Upon invitation, Yolandi Vermaak provided formal training to ACT Government Urban Wildlife Rangers on wombat handling, transport, behaviour and assessment in May 2022.
  • Upon invitation, Yolandi Vermaak briefed Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Councillors on wombat issues, and the impacts and challenges arising from urban development.

We collaborate a lot! And we’re grateful for the opportunities to working with so many and varied people to help wombats.

If you have an idea for a collaboration that Wombat Rescue could consider, please share it with Yolandi. We’re always open to new ideas!

(Please do that BEFORE talking with the other people/organisation in case there are factors that prevent us from proceeding.)