Jun 18, 2015

Australia Week: Rocklily Wombats - Wombat and Wildlife Refuge & Rehabilitation Centre

Rocklily Wombats is a wildlife refuge and rehabilitation center. They are a member of the Wildlife Land Trust Humane Society which means that they're trying to preserve and protect the natural habitat and the animals that depend on it on their land. On Rocklily they provide care for the animals that need it. Rocklily is a refuge for animals and when the time is right Dianna and her team will release them again.

They care for wombats, but also for other animals. They are having several wildlife projects and each time they're working on a new goal, like building a wombatorium for example. All the refuge animals are getting a name and on the website you can read about each animal's progress.

On Rocklily they are working with volunteers.

I've asked Dianna, the owner of Rocklily, a couple of questions to find out more about Rocklily Wombats.

When/how did you decide to start your wildlife projects? 

 We have always been outdoor people grew up surrounded by bush. Having finally sold my business to some friends and am now just the designer I had more time. We bought Rocklily 13 years ago and slowly started living in sydney on weekdays and weekends here. I was a very busy carer in Sydney for possums birds reptiles the odd wombat and a ery busy reptile handler removing snakes both venomous and non venomous from peoples properties in Sydney. We retired 3 years ago to Rocklily. This was after a big project (James Cameron's Deep Sea Challenge Submarine Project, a dive to the bottom of the Marianas Trench which we participated in, the build and design of our bios are on the website under build team). Warwick was diagnosed with parkinsons at this time as well so we looked at alternative income to support the costs of building pens, feed , medications, vet bills etc. and the online shop was born. 

How do you manage your organization?
We are managing using our savings and getting in more animals than we can handle. For instance little Sarah at 1.7 kg will be with us 2 years and will drink special milk for at least 15 months of that time. She will require a large pen she cant dig out of which are our wombatoriums and we will buddy her up with another wombat to help her not be too humanised. We have 9 wombats currently and our capacity will be 10 in care. We also release wombats from a portable pen with a burrow 20 min 4wd drive away and have to visit that daily giving extra food and changing our wildlife camera cards for 3 weeks then every few days for a while. We also take adult injured wombats and soft rehabilitae them. We had 2 last year that have made it softly and Wilber. We have released 7 wombats this way. Then we have up to 7 macropods , wallabies wallaroos or kangaroos in our soft release pen. We have these for close on 2 years as well. If we rescue them as little unfurred joeys from their roadkilled mothers. Macropods are very stressy and require a lot more medication to prevent coccicidiosis and various other diseases. Last year we have had 7, the last two in final release stages. We have also had about 6 come as adults and have kept them a week or so before releasing. We get a number of animals in that are very injured and we just cannot save and generally do not mention them on websites or Facebook. We do all this with just the two of us.

It must be rewarding to see the animals get better. Is it difficult to see them so ill and how are you handling that?  

Yes its fantastic to slowly rehab wildlife and see them out there fully wild. Catching a glance of someone we have released a year later is very exciting. We are very saddened when they return and do not make it. I post some of our stories to help others connect to wildlife and maybe be inspired to help as well.

What's life in Rocklily like?

 Hectic, amazing, fantastic scenery, inspiring, heartbreaking, challenging.

 Could you tell a bit more about the volunteer program?  

Started 2 months ago when someone suggested we enroll in helpx and we currently have our third volunteer. Also the odd friends volunteered to help with the odd working bee or building a wombatorium. After putting this on Facebook i have had other calls for people to come. We are trying to renovate as the old farmhouse which was not ideal and we needed an animal treatment room so that's happening at the moment, with Warwick and 2 locals helping. So it helps if people connect through helpx and come. When our renovation is set up I'd ideally like to offer a weeks accommodation and great great food and helping to feed and cuddle the wildlife for a small charge of around $200 or $300 to help us cover costs. 

Is it possible to help in any other way?

 We are not a registered charity, we just use volunteers and we belong to a wildlife group that's called Wildlife Rescue South Coast. Closest wildlife carers that do what we do are about 1.5 hrs drive away in any direction as we cover a large area.

Is there any additional information you'd like to share?

We also treat mangy wombats in the wild and supply treatment kits free to people. It costs us $20 per wombat for treatment.

The Rocklily Wombats is great and very informative. There are Fact Sheets with information about topics like treatments, how to help animals and how you can make your garden nature friendly again. In the News section there's information about the animals and the things that are happening on Rocklily. In the Wildlife Projects section you can find more information about the different projects on Rocklily. There's a lot of great information to read. If you want to know more about Rocklily itself, visit the history section for some useful information. I think Dianna and Warwick are doing great work and am grateful that Dianna took the time to answer my questions. If you like this refugee as much as I do, visit the website. The jewelry in the shop is gorgeous, so check that out. If you'd like to volunteer at Rocklily you can do that via helpx.


  1. I loved reading this. Thank you x

  2. What a great initiative. Very nice to read their story. I visited the shop and it's great. I would very much enjoy to read more articles like this one on your blog!

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