Frequently Asked Questions
Still got questions? Hopefully we have the answers!
Can I just turn up or do I need to pre-register?
Unless you are a large community group (10 or more people) there is no need to pre-register. Simply turn up to the designated meeting spot as specified on the Bushcare calendar PDF, 1374.91 KB.
What do I need to bring?
It’s a good idea to bring a bottle of water, long sleeved top and pants, enclosed shoes and a hat. A rain jacket can be handy in case the weather deteriorates.
What does council provide?
Council provides gloves, tools and onsite training for all volunteers. A qualified Bushcare Officer will also be on site to assist volunteers and a small morning tea will be provided.
What if I can’t find you?
If you have trouble finding us just look out for the white Randwick City Council ute parked at the meeting spot or call the Bushcare mobile on 0410 314 830.
What if it’s raining?
In severe weather Bushcare will cancelled at the discretion of the Bushcare Officer. Regular volunteers will be notified by phone or email if Bushcare is cancelled. The Bushcare Officer will always turn up at site even when the session is cancelled to ensure no one is left waiting on site. Alternatively you can contact the Bushcare Officer directly on 9093 6708, 0410 314 830 or at email@example.com or visit our Randwick City Bushcare Volunteers Facebook group page for regular updates.
Do I have to stay for the whole session?
No! You are the one kindly volunteering your time so you are welcome to stay for as little or as long as you would like. Like most activities Bushcare isn’t for everyone so you can turn up and give it a try to see if you like it or not. There is certainly no obligation to stay against your will.
Do I need previous experience?
Not at all. Bushcare is an activity anyone can get involved in regardless of previous experience. Volunteers join in for different reasons. Some do it to help the environment, others for the social aspect, to improve their English or simply to get out of the house.
Ok, but what do you actually do at Bushcare?
Bushcare activities can vary depending on the site or even the session you attend. In general volunteers get involved in the following activities:
- Removing weeds that invade bushland and outcompete native species
- Planting indigenous plants to help restore damaged ecosystems
- Installing erosion controls to stabilise slopes and uneven ground
- Trimming existing vegetation for access and light penetration
I want to bring some friends. Do you have a limit on how many people can attend?
Excellent! We’d be more than happy to accommodate you. We usually have a limit of 10 volunteers per session. If you are a larger group we’d really appreciate if you could get in touch with us beforehand. This way we can select a suitable site and ensure we have enough staff on the ground to cater for the group’s needs. The best way to do this is to contact the Bushcare Officer directly on 9093 6708 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Will there be a supervisor on site?
Yes. Council’s Bushcare Officer will be on site to assist volunteers and answer any questions you may have. They will provide the suitable training and expertise to bring new volunteers up to speed as well as helping existing regular volunteers as needed.
What skills will I get out of it?
Bushcare can provide many new skills and experiences for volunteers. These include:
- Flora and fauna identification skills
- Land management skills
- Weed removal and planting skills
- Landscaping and gardening techniques
- Interpersonal skills
- Exposure to new tools and how to use them correctly
Can I bring my child?
Volunteers are welcome to bring their children, however they must remain on site with them at all times.
Is there an age limit for volunteers?
Yes. Due to insurance reasons children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Volunteers over the age of 16 are welcome to attend unaccompanied.
Do I have to turn up every week?
No. There is no minimum level of commitment. Volunteers are welcome to attend once or come back as often as they’d like.
Will I be making a good contribution?
Most certainly. By participating in Bushcare you are playing an active role in the management of your local environment. The weed control and planting activities you undertake are vital in helping to preserve and enhance existing bushland.
What’s in it for me?
Bushcare will provide you with the following benefits:
- Meet like-minded individuals
- Learn about the natural environment
- Provide wildlife viewing opportunities
- Opportunities to enjoy the outdoors
- Sense of accomplishment and contribution to the community
- Free morning tea
How fit do I need to be?
Bushcare is a suitable activity for most people to participate in. Depending on your fitness/mobility we can always find a task to accommodate your needs. If you’re unsure whether a site is suitable for you contact the Bushcare Officer directly on 9093 6708 or at email@example.com
Do I need to attend an induction?
Upon your first visit Council’s Bushcare Officer will get you to complete a registration form and will run through a brief work, health and safety induction with you. After that you are free to participate and enjoy Bushcare.
What other volunteering options are there?
There is a huge range of volunteer opportunities available for those who are keen. Depending on your area of interest these may be in education, health, housing, the environment or something else entirely. The best place to start is by doing some research on the internet to see what opportunities exist in your area. For people with a particular interest in getting outdoors and doing something worthwhile for Australia’s environment have a look at Conservation Volunteers Australia. Most local councils offer Bushcare programs so if Randwick City Council is a bit too far to travel see what opportunities your local council has to offer.
Other useful volunteer organisations to consider include:
What are the risks?
Like any activity Bushcare has some inherent risks. The majority of risks are relatively minor and can be largely avoided by taking your time and following some simple precautions. Common risks include:
- Uneven landscape
- Sun exposure
- Sharp vegetation
- Working with tools
The best way to mitigate these risks is to adopt a common sense approach. This includes wearing appropriate clothing (long sleeved top and pants, enclosed shoes, hat), taking adequate rest and water breaks, being aware of your surroundings at all times and not rushing.