Sydney, June 2010)

These awards celebrate the efforts of remarkable people who give their time, and often their own money, to improve the lives of animals. Five animal heroes across Australia to receive IFAW accolades this year, including three wildlife carers Barb Dobner, Ilona Roberts and Jenny Maclean. IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) is proud to recognise the following exceptional wildlife carers.

Barb Dobner has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to animal welfare by awarding her with the prestigious IFAW Action Award for Dedication to Wildlife. Barbara has been rescuing and caring for native wildlife for more than 18 years rehabilitating sick, injured and orphaned native animals. 

“Her round-the-clock commitment and best-practice techniques has saved so many lives,” said Erica Martin, Director, IFAW Asia Pacific. "Caring for six or seven koalas, a few wallabies and several other needy animals at any one time is no easy job. Yet Barbara takes it in her stride and always puts the animals needs ahead of her own – she is truly a wildlife hero.”

Ilona Roberts has been with the Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers for more than 10 years. She has shown her dedication for all types of animals by rescuing frightened and sometimes horrifically injured wildlife from all sorts of awkward and dangerous situations. Ilona also finds the time to run meetings, organise events and answer the phone for the busy centre.

“From grass owls and galahs, to flying foxes and waterbirds – Ilona is an expert in the rescue, rehabilitation and care of so many animals. We are indebted to her for her dedication and selflessness,” said Erica Martin, Director, IFAW Asia Pacific. IFAW is honoured to present Ilona with this award which recognises her spirit and her investment into Australian wildlife – we thank her on behalf of the many animals she has saved.”

Jenny Maclean: Jenny Maclean founded the Tolga Bat Hospital back in 1990 and has been providing a bat hospital for injured and sick bats throughout QLD. Jenny and her team of volunteers work around the clock to rescue and rehabilitate hundreds of bats each year which are then released.  

“Life at the Tolga Bat Hospital is nothing short of intense – it is a daily battle to rescue, rehabilitate and protect this important, vulnerable and often maligned species,” said Erica Martin, Director, IFAW Asia Pacific.

 “Jenny is a true champion and it is an honour to present her with this award for her inspirational work. In addition to the work that the hospital provides for bats with paralysis ticks the team also rescues barded-wire and netted bats all year round.” 

The “Wildlife Friendly Fencing” project originated and is run from the hospital and Jenny has also lobbied for protection of bats and habitat in schools, conferences and community groups.

“We hope that by highlighting some of these exceptional people more Australians will acknowledge and respect the important part that animals play in our global world,” Ms Martin said.

Contact: Amber Thompson, IFAW Supporter Relations, (02) 9288 4900 athompson@ifaw.org


(Updated June 2010)



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