The Dolphin Discovery Centre relies on the assistance of volunteers to advise visitors on the aims and objectives of the Centre, help manage the dolphin interaction program and act as a guide for Dolphin Discovery Centre. In many ways, they are the backbone of our organisation. The Dolphin Discovery Centre is committed to Conservation, Education, Tourism and Research of our local population of wild Bottlenose Dolphins, and our volunteers are a highly valued and vital part of our organisation.
By volunteering for the Dolphin Discovery Centre you will achieve a great sense of satisfaction knowing that you are assisting in a worthwhile project to increase public awareness about dolphins and other marine life.
Before you apply, please take a moment to consider why you want to volunteer.
If the only reason you can think of is to swim with the dolphins then maybe you should reassess your decision. Your time as a volunteer will involve a lot more than just being in the water with dolphins!
Types of Volunteering
Those who live and work in the Bunbury region and have offered to contribute a certain amount of time per week to the centre. They are required to make a commitment of at least 6 months, with a minimum of one 5 hour shift per week/20 hours per month.
This usually only applies to students and visitors to the Bunbury region who wish to help out for a short time. Due to the time it takes for the volunteer to become familiar with the centre, we expect a minimum commitment of 25 hours per week for 6 weeks. As a short-term volunteer, the position involves working 5 days a week, 5 hours per day, including 1 x weekend shift and 1 afternoon shift.
COMMITMENT TO THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
Volunteers are asked to sign a formal commitment to the Centre. This will involve:
- Doing the required hours and days per week (depending upon whether you are a short or long-term volunteer).
- Using a weekly roster system for all shifts
- Attending a monthly meeting, which is considered essential for the ongoing development of volunteers and their duties.
- Learning all information provided about the dolphins and the Dolphin Discovery Centre.
- Notifying the Volunteer Supervisor or the Volunteer Coordinator if unable to make shifts or leaving for a period of time.
- To notify supervisors if volunteers are no longer interested in being involved in the program or if unsatisfied to voice concerns to the Volunteer Supervisor rather than other volunteers or the general public.
- Sign a pledge agreement that includes both the volunteers and the Dolphin Discovery Centre responsibilities.
- Accurately fill out a Medical Clearance form including all relative information.
- International Volunteers must supply their travel insurance documents.
- Talking to visitors on the beach – explaining what the Dolphin Discovery Centre does.
- Assisting in the management of the Interaction Zone during dolphin visits.
- Tour guiding through the Interpretive Centre for the general public, tour groups and school students.
- Managing Dolphin Discovery Room area.
- Assisting with dolphin observations in the Bay and monitoring of dolphin visits to the Interaction Zone.
- Inputting the research data into databases for analysis.
- Assisting with the care and maintenance of our aquariums.
- General maintenance and cleaning.
- Participating in ‘Coast Care’ activities and assisting with current research projects.
It is worth remembering that 80% of the volunteer’s work involves talking to the public on the beach or in the Centre, plus other duties. Only a small amount of time is actually involved ‘in-water’ with the dolphins.
- Minimum age – 16 years.
- Commitment to the aims and objectives of Dolphin Discovery Centre.
- Good communication skills.
- Polite and courteous to the public at all times.
- Able to be a team member.
- Neat appearance.
- Can speak English fluently.
What Does Volunteering Involve?
The main requirements for becoming a volunteer are to be confident in speaking to the public, having a conversational level of English language, being able to work as part of a team and having a big smile.
Being a volunteer at the Dolphin Discovery Centre can be a wonderful experience and you meet people from all around the world, not to mention the dolphins! However, your time as a volunteer will involve a lot more than being in the water with the dolphins. Talking and answering questions is a very important part of a volunteer’s role. Eighty percent of a volunteer’s day involves talking to people who come down to the beach to see the dolphins. Volunteers make excellent tour guides!