Help us replace our old field vehicle

Help us upgrade our field vehicle to keep our interns and researchers safe as they undertake their research for the Otways.

Field work is perhaps the most important aspect of what we do at the Conservation Ecology Centre.  It is crucial for our ecological research and conservation land management programs. And it’s undertaken by our research team, as well as our yearly pool of interns.  

They travel all over the rugged Otways to conduct this work, up the steep slopes into wet forests and to low-lying swampy heathlands, coastal dunes, and dense shrubby foothills. They also travel all over Victoria, to support other land managers and community groups, as well as to attend conferences, workshops and training opportunities.  

Due to these vast distances – not to mention the winding nature of Otways roads– this travel can cover several hundred kilometres and take the team far from townships, into some pretty remote terrain. 

One key piece of equipment for these trips is a reliable field vehicle.

Our Hilux 4WD has provided 12 years of service, transporting or team to remote field sites and bringing them home safely, but it has now clocked over 300,000km of service and the signs of wear and tear will soon begin to cause issues. This will leave us down one field vehicle because it’s now too old to meet our organisation’s safety standards, limiting our team’s ability to conduct their field work.

Our projects are critical to conservation across the Otways and beyond and a reliable vehicle is crucial for our ability to be responsive and efficient.

Can you make a tax-deductible gift before June 30th to help us replace our aging field vehicle?

At the CEC, our environmental work is highly important, and the safety of our personnel is paramount.  We don’t send out our people unless we’ve satisfied our safety guidelines and reviewed any risks identified in our workplans.  

For this reason, our field vehicles need to be in great working condition when our team are travelling the distances and through the remote terrain needed to undertake their research and conservation land management programs.

The rugged and high-rainfall nature of the Otways require four-wheel drive vehicles with good clearance and enough storage space to carry infra-red wildlife cameras andd other monitoring equipment, as well as trapping equipment and veterinary gear.  Our vehicles need to be reliable, are often needed as a weather refuge for the team, and have to be secure when travelling with costly equipment.  

Our old, manual vehicle no longer meets these requirements.  With young interns conducting fieldwork, as well as a diverse team of highly qualified men and women, we take every precaution to ensure that our people are not stranded remotely with faulty vehicles.  

Are you able to assist us with a gift before June 30th so we can upgrade our field vehicle to keep our researchers safe?

When we receive grants to undertake research projects, they cover on-ground equipment needs and travel-associated costs (e.g. fuel, sometimes accommodation).  However, core costs like purchase of vehicles, insurances, Centre-related expenses (utilities and maintenance), and our organisational support staff are not covered.  These are the ‘hidden costs’ for a non-profit organisation like the CEC.

Fundraising helps us to cover these core costs, improving project quality by ensuring our research team have the tools and resources they need to perform efficiently and effectively.  

This reduces team turnover and allows for continuity in our work, enabling us to better support Australian wildlife and ecosystems.

Are you able to help our researchers undertake their environmental work efficiently and effectively with a tax-deductible donation?

Working as we do in the landscapes of the Otways and the broader south-west region of Victoria, we are often travelling to remote locations and on winding, unsealed roads. Our trapping work can also have the conservation team driving to sites in the middle of the night, or early hours of the morning.  

A reliable field vehicle is a necessity, not a luxury, in these terrains and with the work that we do.  The CEC believes strongly in sustainability and the longevity of items – the vehicle we seek to replace is 12 years old and has been well maintained. A new vehicle will ensure our team can continue their important work for at least the next decade. 

We’re very fond of our old 4WD field vehicle, but it desperately needs upgrading.  Your tax-deductible gift before the end of the financial year will allow to do this.  

My heartfelt thanks for enabling us to keep our boots on the ground and working as safely, efficiently and effectively as we can for the landscapes that sustain us all.  

Warmest regards,
Lizzie Corke OAM
Conservation Ecology Centre