Since 2014, Rottnest Express has been sponsoring the Rottnest Foundation and one of our Major Projects, the Wadjemup Bidi, by providing up to 500 ferry fares for volunteers to come over to Rottnest Island and help implement the project each year.
In 2015, Rottnest Express issued 443 free return ferry tickets to volunteers from 6 community groups: Rottnest Society, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Scouts WA, Nursery Volunteers, the Green Army and the Rottnest Foundation. These groups combined, provided a total of 4940.5 hours of their time to complete tasks associated with revegetation for the Wadjemup Bidi project.
A total of 6865 trees were planted by these volunteers!
All of these plants were propagated in the Rottnest Nursery, which was reopened in 2011 by the Rottnest Island Authority Environment Team after being inactive for 10 years. Seeds from local native plants are collected from around the Island and grown in the Nursery to assist in meeting revegetation, rehabilitation and amenity planting requirements for the Island. The Nursery is run primarily by a group of passionate volunteers. Approximately half of the native plant species propagated at the Nursery is utilised for the Wadjemup Bidi project. Propagating seedlings in the Rottnest Nursery decreases material & freight costs and increases biodiversity of the Island.
Quokkas graze heavily on seedlings, therefore tree guards are essential when undertaking revegetation on Rottnest in order to ensure newly planted seedlings are protected. The guards are removed once the plants have grown and hardened enough to either deter or withstand the grazing pressure.
10,779 guards were installed by these volunteers!
18,721 tree guards were removed by these volunteers!
It is hard to put a price on volunteer in-kind support, as there are many positive benefits outside of the obvious labour aspect which should be taken into account when assessing volunteer input into a project e.g. knowledge about & passion for the Island and community capacity building through skill development & networking. However, the Tourism Industry currently uses a standard $30/hour to calculate a dollar figure for just the voluntary labour component. This dollar figure takes into account that volunteers are from all walks of life, ages and skill levels. Therefore, 4940.5 hours of in-kind labour made possible through Rottnest Express Sponsorship equates to a value of $148,215 of in-kind support! Hiring external contractors to complete the same tasks would have cost almost double this amount. Funds saved through utilising volunteer support and not having to pay ferry fares to get the volunteers to the Island, means more money can go directly into building the trail itself!
We truly appreciate the generosity and commitment that Rottnest Express demonstrates to the Wadjemup Bidi project, the Rottnest Foundation and all other affiliated volunteer groups who contribute to conserving our Island.
For further detail of what these volunteer groups achieved on-ground utilising Rottnest Express support, click here
For more information on the Wadjemup Bidi project, click here