23 Jun

On June 23rd, myself and 9 eager residents piled into two cars with all our gear and drove down the coast to Busselton, WA. We weathered the thunderstorms and the lightning and arrived safely to the 10 degrees of lovely Busselton. This was just the beginning of what would be an amazing journey.

On Monday 24th we drove to the tip of the Cape Naturaliste peninsula to do a beach clean up at pristine Bunker Bay. We worked with Tangaro Blue who work around the country to clean up local beaches and to record the rubbish we find in order to reduce the impact it has on the environment, including marine life. The wind was insane, but after we found a fish skeleton the length of my arm and several dead purple jellyfish, no one really cared anymore!

The next day, we went to the Busselton Community Garden Centre to work with the other volunteers there. We mulched pathways, pulled up weeds, cleared out gardens and drank tea with the retirees who also work there! Watching Kai Sheng and Beiqing pull up weeds for the first time was quite entertaining!!

After weeding, we drove down Caves Road to Giants Cave for a spot of caving! Climbing through small man-holes, stumbling down a steep rock face and climbing up ladders was all part of the fun with hard hats and hand held torches, with no artificial lighting to ruin the experience! Can say it’s the best cave around!

On the Wednesday we pulled up our welly-boots and trudged through the mud to plant native trees along a river in Margaret River. We planted around 3,000 trees in the rain. It was blissfully freezing. We worked with Cape-to-Cape volunteers who work with local farmers to restore river areas for native flora and fauna. Nisha and Alex potti-putkied their way through hundreds of sedges and reids whilst Rizwan planted his larger sedges in the wetlands! As it rained, Hayley just stood around in a singlet – needless to say, she’s an idiot.

On the last day of volunteering we worked at the Geograpge Community Landcare Nursery. We were washing pots, re-potting sedges and smaller reeds. It was very relaxing I must say.

I can easily say that the Regional Volunteering Trip is one of the best experiences you can have as a volunteer, especially for those who are not accustomed to the cold, rainy weather of Busselton winters or the dirty mud of the rivers! This was an experience of a lifetime and I am so lucky to have spent it with whom I did! Thanks everyone!

I would like to thank Rizwan, our head chef and bottle-washer for the whole trip! Such a legend and it wouldn’t have been possible without you. I’d also like to thank ResLife for their generous funding for the event, without which it would have been impossible.

Brianna Bourke

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