Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions

What is Wildlife Heroes?

Wildlife Heroes is a project designed to help and support Australia’s 10,000+ volunteer wildlife carers. It is managed by the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife. Funding for the project has been received through the NSW Government Environmental Trust in NSW, the Australian Government and FNPW donors and sponsors.

Who is the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW)?

FNPW is the charity partner of Australia’s national parks. It is a non-government organisation on a mission to protect Australia’s ecosystems and native species, for generations to come. FNPW has been working across Australia for 50 years.

What is Backyard Buddies?

Backyard Buddies is a website that helps all Australians get to know native animals better. It was set up to answer commonly asked questions about the wildlife we see in our gardens and neighbourhood. The site is an education initiative of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife.

How does Wildlife Heroes relate to Backyard Buddies?

Australia’s volunteer wildlife carers are the heroes that care for our backyard buddies. They respond to hundreds of thousands of calls every year to help injured, orphaned or homeless animals. The Wildlife Heroes project aims to support and assist Australia’s volunteer wildlife carers to rescue, rehabilitate and release native animals back to the wild.

How does the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife fit in with government departments such as the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service?

FNPW partners with state and territory governments, charities and conservation organisations to get the best outcome for wild places and wildlife. In NSW, FNPW works with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) on projects such as Wildlife Heroes and Saving our Species, but the Foundation is not part of the government. NPWS and FNPW are part of a Wildlife Heroes project working group and a Steering Committee in NSW.

What is the NSW Wildlife Heroes Steering Committee?

The Wildlife Heroes Steering Committee will assist in developing the direction and delivery of project activities across NSW.

An expression of interest request for Steering Committee members went out to the NSW wildlife rehabilitation sector in October 2019, just as the Wildlife Heroes project was launching. Committee members were chosen to represent wildlife groups, veterinarians, researchers and animal welfare organisations.


Original members:

– Casey Towns – WIRES Dubbo
– Suzy Nethercott-Watson – Two Green Threads
– Jana Schader – WIRES Illawarra
– Kyla Shelley – WIRES staff member
– Charlie Carter – Veterinarian
– Samantha Chatfield – Wildlife ARC
– Roslyn Irwin – Friends of the Koala
– Audrey Koosmen – Hunter Wildlife Rescue
– Associate Professor Catherine Herbert – University of Sydney
– Leesa Pratt – ORCCA
– Josey Sharrad – IFAW


Current members:

– Casey Towns – WIRES Dubbo Volunteer
– Jana Schader – WIRES Illawarra volunteer/ AVA
– Suzy Nethercott – Watson Two Green Threads
– Leesa Pratt – ORRCA, IFAW
– Charlie Carter – Wildlife Rescue South Coast Inc/ AVA  Southern Highlands – – Veterinary Centre
– Samantha Chatfield – Wildlife ARC
– Audrey Koosmen  – Chair of the NSW Wildlife Council, President NSW  Hunter Wildlife Rescue Inc
– Associate Professor Catherine Herbert – University of Sydney
– Josey  Sharrad – IFAW
– Aliison Kelly – President, Friends of the Koala
– Silva Everaers – General Manager, Friends of the Koala
– Jennie Murray – WIRES

Which government departments does FNPW work with in each state?

To ensure the best delivery of the Wildlife Heroes project FNPW has a contact in each state to assist with checking the licensing of every group and individual that receives a grant to assist with wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.


South Australia – Department of Environment and Water

Queensland – Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service

Victoria – Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Western Australia – Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

Australian Capital Territory – Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate