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Caring for Ipswich’s injured and orphaned wildlife

Orphan Native Animal Rear and Release Association (ONARR) care for injured and orphaned native wildlife across Ipswich.

Orphan Native Animal Rear and Release is not for the faint-hearted.

Yet, dedicated members of this long-standing volunteer association give their time, resources and hearts every day to deliver on their name and purpose: caring for injured and orphaned native wildlife.

It began in 1983 with an initial aim to care for native flying-foxes. These flying mammals have been part of the night sky for more than 35 million years, playing an important role in keeping native forests healthy through dispersing seeds and pollinating flowering plants.

Over time, the Orphan Native Animal Rear and Release Association, known as ONARR, has expanded its care to many native species intrinsic to the Australian landscape, including gliders, possums, kangaroos, wallabies, reptiles and more. 

As recent recipients of the Enviroplan Levy Funding Program, ONARR is an inspiring example of the hardworking community groups taking action across Ipswich to protect and restore our region’s iconic natural values.

ONARR Secretary Beverley Clarke said the funding they received went straight into supplying food and medication for the wildlife in their care.

“Our volunteers work tirelessly around the clock caring for injured and orphaned native wildlife so they can be safely released back into the wild,” Mrs Clarke said.

“We cater for everything from birds to bandicoots and kangaroos to flying foxes.

“Some babies need several months to a year of care, while others can be raised in just several weeks.

“All the costs associated with caring for this native wildlife is borne by our volunteer members.

“Funding from council means we can reduce this burden so they can ultimately take on more wildlife to release back into the environment.”

Ipswich City Council is absolutely wonderful in the way in which they support both our group as a whole, and our members individually with grants. Our carers have been supported to buy aviaries and other equipment, including most recently a ‘chook tractor’ for raising wild ducklings.

Beverley Clarke

Secretary, Orphan Native Animal Rear and Release Association

Local environmental champions just like ONARR are being encouraged to apply now for up to $3,000 each before the first round of Ipswich City Council’s 2023-2024 Enviroplan Levy Community Funding Program closes on 30 September.

Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson Deputy Mayor Russell Milligan said council is proud to support community initiatives and partnerships that contribute to a vibrant, healthy and sustainable city.

There is a role for everyone in protecting and maintaining Ipswich’s vast and diverse natural landscape, and we can be proud of the work that our grass-roots community groups do every day to make an impact.

Deputy Mayor and Division 4 Councillor Russell Milligan

Ipswich City Council

“I’m pleased to invite not-for-profit community groups, schools, childcare centres and wildlife carers to apply for council’s support in continuing their invaluable contribution to our environment.

“The Enviroplan Levy Community Funding Program supports projects that increase community understanding and participation while conserving bushland and native flora and fauna on private or public land within our local government boundary.

“This complements council’s own conservation work with our city boasting more than 6,500 hectares of reserves and conservation estates.

“Around $960,000 in this year’s budget has been committed from the Enviroplan Levy to support the management and maintenance of these critical natural habitats, including Flinders Goolman and White Rock Spring Mountain Conservation Estates.”

Working together, council and community groups can make a real difference to our natural environment so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Deputy Mayor and Division 4 Councillor Russell Milligan

Ipswich City Council

The Enviroplan Levy Community Funding Program has recently changed from three annual rounds to two, providing applicants with a more streamlined application process and more funding available each round.

Funding has increased from $2,000 to $3,000 for not-for-profit community groups and organisations, and from $1,000 to $1,500 for wildlife carers each round.

Applications opened 1 September and will close on 30 September 2023. A second round will open in March 2024.

For more information about community funding available, and to apply for Enviroplan Levy Community Funding, visit:

 Read also:

>> Street Patio on the move after successful trial

>> Ipswich Plan 2024 protects the environment for future generations

>> Ipswich included in State of Fire Emergency declaration

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