Vol­un­teer ready for any­thing


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News - Kaylee Martin

HE nar­rowly avoided be­ing struck by light­ning and had a bot­fly bur­row into his head, but Jar­rad Ste­wart claimed his time vol­un­teer­ing in South Amer­ica was the trip of a life­time.

Mr Ste­wart (22) now the state youth man­ager for Vin­nies in Bel­mont, re­cently em­barked on a six-month con­ser­va­tion in­tern­ship in the Ama­zon.

“It cer­tainly wasn’t easy and there were times when you won­dered if you would be able to see out the full six months, es­pe­cially af­ter re­quir­ing nu­mer­ous cour­ses of an­tibi­otics,” Mr Ste­wart said.

“But I am so glad I did it; it was great fun and I learned so much in­clud­ing some use­ful ma­chete skills.”

Mr Ste­wart and the team of vol­un­teers were forced to co-ex­ist with Brazil­ian wan­der­ing spi­ders and the many var­ied species of the Ama­zon.

“By far the high­light was be­ing close and per­sonal with the di­verse flora and fauna, in­clud­ing com­ing within a me­tre of an ar­madillo,” Mr Ste­wart said.

Upon his re­turn to Perth, Mr Ste­wart was wel­comed back into the Vin­nie’s fam­ily, work­ing with the many Vin­nie’s Youth vol­un­teers.

“Just as I got a great deal of sat­is­fac­tion work­ing in South Amer­ica on con­ser­va­tion projects, work­ing at Vin­nie’s and sup­port­ing young peo­ple to achieve and learn is equally as sat­is­fy­ing,” he said.

“I feel priv­i­leged to be able to work with our young vol­un­teers who are cur­rently giv­ing their time to cre­ate and de­liver Christ­mas ham­pers.”

Vin­nie’s Christ­mas Ap­peal runs un­til the end of Jan­uary.

Nei­ther bot­fly nor Brazil­ian spi­ders could scare vol­un­teer and new Vin­nie’s state youth man­ager Jar­rad Ste­wart.

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