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Who we are

Gayle Chappell B Sc (Env Sc) B Public Policy (Hons) and Jon Rowdon B Sc (Env Sc) (Hons) Grad Dip Animation & Interactive Multimedia are environmental scientists, environmental educators and naturalists each with over 20 years experience with natural land management and wildlife. Gayle is the license holder for the shelter and is trained and qualified in wildlife husbandry and rehabilitation. In addition to the more than full time work managing the shelter she teaches wildlife husbandry and rehabilitation at Victoria University and is a kangaroo and wombat species advisor for Victoria’s premier wildlife care organisation, Wildlife Victoria. She is highly regarded in the wildlife care industry for her expertise and activity, including her research and her key role in establishing the highly successful annual National Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference, at which she regularly represents Wildlife Victoria. She is currently compiling several books on wildlife care and rehabilitation and is research coordinator for a wombat survey and mange treatment program for Common wombats in the Wombat Forest.

Gayle and Jon

Jon has a professional background in environmental consulting in the management and ecology of natural lands, and in university research and teaching. He has a long history with environmental education and advocacy. He has worked with numerous groups such as Friends of the Earth, Environment Victoria and the Wilderness Society on key environmental issues. Jon is the current President of Wildlife Victoria. He works part time as illustrator of children’s books and educational material and has received international awards for short animated natural history films.

The wildlife rescue and the everyday running of shelter is supported by the work of a handful of dedicated volunteer helpers from within the local community and further a field. These volunteers are specially trained and perform an essential role adding their time, effort, mutual support and often their own financial input to the rescue and care of the wildlife of the region. Some volunteers are licensed as wildlife carers in their own right. The Hepburn Wildlife Shelter provides a vital link in the network of wildlife carers across the state.