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. Gayle manages the Hepburn Wildlife Shelter and is highly regarded for her expertise in critical care for wildlife, fence hanging injuries and wound management in kangaroos and treating adult and manged wombats. She contributes regular articles on advanced wildlife care and rehabilitation of kangaroos and wombats, was once a teacher at Victoria University in wildlife husbandry and rehabilitation and played a key role in establishing the now biannual National Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference. She is currently the research coordinator for a wombat survey and mange treatment program in the Wombat State Forest.
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 was president of Wildlife Victoria from 2005 – 2009. 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.