Sally Simco at Gordon River
The Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) recently marked International Volunteer Day, which aims to recognise and promote the tireless work of volunteers across the world.
Sally Simco is one of the hundreds of volunteers with the PWS. Sally, who is President of Wildcare Cradle Mountain Volunteers and a Wildcare Board Member, has been a volunteer with the PWS for almost 10 years.
Sally said she has many memorable events as a volunteer with the PWS, however she recalls a few which stand out.
Wildcare Cradle Mountain working bee team-Aug 2021
“I was involved in both Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Cleanups (2017/18) which saw industry, stakeholders and community come together to collect marine debris on an unprecedented scale in Tasmania. It was a huge logistical challenge with the PWS volunteers being transported to the more remote shorelines within the Harbour," Sally said.
“During my stint at Cape Bruny Lightstation as a PWS volunteer caretaker and weather observer for Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) I was showing the Lighthouse to a group of visitors when two RAAF jets did a low, rather noisy fly pass on either side".
She also recalls how she prepared the Cape Bruny signal flags to welcome the sailing ships for a tall ship festival, only to find the lighthouse shrouded in fog the day they sailed past.
Sally said another big and challenging moment of her volunteering to date was being involved with the Sea Spurge Remote Area Team in January 2013.
“This was a 10-day remote camp at Gorge Beach, south of Macquarie Harbour on the West Coast, which coincided with a period of extremely hot and windy weather and the outbreak of fire on the Tasman Peninsula and to the south of us in the Southwest National Park."
“Far from media communication it was difficult to comprehend the severity of the fires, in particular when we received the news during our satellite safety call that the Dunalley Primary School had been burnt down."
Sally said volunteering with the PWS is a win-win situation.
“My volunteering allows me to contribute to the care and conservation of Tasmania's special places, while at the same time offering opportunities to embark on new experiences, meet interesting people and learn more about natural and cultural heritage," she said.
A highlight for Sally as President of Cradle Mountain Volunteers has been working with the Cradle Parks Field Centre and the PWS North-West Regional Volunteer Coordinator to develop a successful and popular volunteer program, which has resulted in 57 people being involved at Cradle Mountain in the last year.
To mark International Volunteer Day, Sally said “volunteers give the world the greatest gift of care, thank you to PWS for the opportunity to care."
Sally, Simco, Zoie Yan, Ryan Man Yiu-wombat monitoring Cradle Mountain