A spike in the number of animals needing care in NSW has led to an increased demand for wildlife carers across the state.

In data released by NSW Wildlife Rehabilitation, in 2014 there were 72,663 animal rescues, with this number increasing year-on-year and in 2020 in jumped 64 per cent to 113,029 due to a rise in domestic tourism and bushfires.

Emma Mayne, who graduated from a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at TAFE NSW and secured employment at AHR Vets, is encouraging others to consider a career in the industry.

“TAFE NSW has taught me so many practical skills and vastly improved my knowledge. The learning and mentoring that the wonderful teachers provide is second-to-none. Their relevant, practical experience and strong industry connections, together with my qualification, have enabled me to progress in my career.”

Mayne said she sees all sorts of animals come through emergency including pets and native wildlife.

“Just recently I’ve helped to treat kangaroos, tawny frogmouths, echidnas, and kookaburras. The passionate teachers at TAFE NSW prepared me for being on the job because they all have a long history of industry experience.”

Emma Whitlock, Animal Services teacher at TAFE NSW, said students receive hands-on exposure on caring for wildlife.

“It is important that students learn the fundamentals of caring for animals in real situations. Upon graduation, TAFE NSW students are job-ready and fully equipped to walk into any animal institution to put into practice what they have learnt.”