Local heroes protecting wildlife and supporting students

17 Oct 2018
WPSQ award win
Acceptance of the award, featuring (L-R) Des Boyland, Policies and Campaigns Manager, WPSQ; Amanda Cooke, Work Integrated Learning, UQ; Robert Ewers, Manager Industry Engaged Learning, University of Adelaide (who presented the award on behalf of ACEN); and Matt Cecil, Projects Manager, WPSQ.

Wildlife champions at the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland (WPSQ) have been recognised for providing students with on-the-job learning opportunities.

The community environmental organisation was awarded the Australian Collaborative Education Network’s Local Hero Award for providing University of Queensland Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours) students with workplace mentoring, project experience, and industry connections.

WPSQ President Peter Ogilvie said that win was warmly welcomed, showcasing WPSQ’s long-term commitment not only to the environment, but to young people who are passionate about conservation.

“WPSQ has a wonderfully diverse and dedicated team of members, volunteers, supporters and staff united by a deep passion for wildlife and conservation,” he said.

“We have a proud history of campaigning for the survival of species and ecosystems – which we’ve done for over 55 years – but we also believe in collaborating with leading institutions like UQ, to help foster the next generation of environmental professionals.

“In 2014, we established this partnership to provide industry placement opportunities, and since then, WPSQ has become a key industry partner for UQ’s environmental management program.

 “WPSQ’s placement projects are designed to offer students the opportunity to develop both discipline-specific and transferable skills, as well as an understanding of the contributions and obligations expected of a professional graduate in the field of environmental management.”

The organisation has hosted 22 students since 2014, roughly eight per cent of all environmental management students undertaking a placement.

UQ students working at WPSQ in 2016
UQ alumni (L-R) Alexandra Brown, Courtney Peirce and Nathan Cooper, working for WPSQ in 2016.

Former UQ student Courtney Peirce participated in the placement program in 2016, and said that her work with WPSQ proved invaluable.

“My industry placement experience with Wildlife Queensland went far beyond my expectations of a small, not for profit, non-governmental organisation,” she said.

“The organisation is made up of an incredibly knowledgeable, hard-working and dedicated team, whose contribution to wildlife conservation in Queensland is remarkable, considering their size and limited funding.

“Working for them fortified my desire to pursue a career in environmental management and their conservation efforts continue to inspire me.”


Media: Peter Ogilvie, peterogilvie@wildlife.org.au, +61 3374 1265; Dominic Jarvis, dominic.jarvis@uq.edu.au, +61 413 334 924.