Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Reception for Zoos SA volunteers

I am very pleased to welcome you, as volunteers of Zoos SA, to this evening’s reception.

It is an honour for Rod and I to be joint patrons of The Royal Zoological Society of South Australia, custodian of the second oldest zoo in Australia.

Earlier this month I travelled to London to attend the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.

Among the many highlights for me was the Coronation Concert, and in particular the song “Don’t You Forget About Me”, with its stunning wildlife projections and drones in the sky forming 3D representations of a butterfly, a whale, a rabbit and an owl.

This was in acknowledgement of the many decades His Majesty, as Prince of Wales, spent advocating for conservation, often being shown, as circumstances have worked out, as having been ahead of his time.

As South Australians we can be proud that our state, through Zoos SA, has been a leader in the zoological and conservation sectors, having contributed to several world firsts in conservation breeding, veterinary practices and returning species to the wild.

As volunteers of Zoos SA, I am sure that you too feel proud of the organisation’s considerable achievements.

As Governor it is my pleasure to visit a variety of not-for-profit organisations and meet their staff and volunteers.

Volunteers are very often the backbone of an organisation, performing a wide range of tasks.

This is clearly the case for volunteers at Zoos SA.

From welcoming and assisting visitors, and being tour guides by bus or on foot, to assisting with education programs and library materials, to preparing food for animal enrichment activities and recording animal behaviour, as well as maintaining gardens and facilities, assembling fences and cultivating plants for sale… your efforts at Adelaide and Monarto are essential to the smooth running of Zoos SA.

The diversity of volunteers is another strength of the organisation, bringing a wide variety of knowledge and experiences to the organisation.

Rod and I were impressed to learn that 27 volunteers are aged over 80.

Seven days a week, and for more than 66,000 hours last year, volunteers have worked with passion, energy and enthusiasm to help visitors experience and enjoy nature and save species from extinction.

We offer you our sincere thanks.

Congratulations to the volunteers who received awards earlier this month for reaching 10, 15, 20 or even 25 year-service milestones.

I also thank the Zoos SA board and staff for their vision and hard work, which go to make Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park two of the most popular visitor destinations in our state.

This year marks 140 years of Adelaide Zoo, and 40 years for Monarto.


And thank you all for your great care of animals and, as the song says, for making sure we don’t forget about them.

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