Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 7, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 16 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2017
TWO wildlife warriors and their dedicated
band of volunteers desperately need help from
the community to continue caring for the wild-
life of Phillip Island and surrounds.
Colleen Gilbee and Kaylene Mendola volun-
teer their time to operate Wildlife Rescue and
Carer Shelters, Phillip Island which provides
rescue, care, transport and rehabilitation of na-
tive wildlife from Phillip Island and surrounds.
The problem is, the non-for-profit organisa-
tion receives no funding and is quickly running
out of money.
The organisation spends around $20,000 per
year to care for animals, with injured animals
rescued and brought to Kaylene’s backyard at
Ventnor where 10 cages house kookaburras,
magpies, ringtail possums and more.
Funds were down to a measly $32 when Kay-
lene put a desperate post on Facebook last
As of Wednesday, the gofundme account had
received more than $5000 in donations since
July 2016, and received $865 in two days last
week, in response to the call for help.
But the funds are quickly swallowed up, with
roughly $400 spent per week.
“Yesterday I went to the supermarket and
bought $60 worth of fruit and vegetables,” she
“I got home and spent an hour cutting it all up
and fed them all and I had nothing left, so I had
to go back to supermarket again.
“When I put the message up on Facebook, one
of our great supporters, Pete, rang me straight
away and said ‘I’m on my way to the supermar-
ket, what do you need?’ He came back with five
bags of fruit and vegetables which is exactly
what we needed and people have been putting
money into the gofundme account so it’s been
Members of the public are often willing to do -
nate food, but it can often go to waste.
“If people want to donate fruit and vege, just
give me a call first,” Kaylene said.
“We might already have some food then if
someone else brings some, it might go off and it
won’t be able to be used.
“The best thing for us is Woolworths or Coles
vouchers, so we can go and buy the fruit and
vege when required. It just makes it so much
easier for us.”
Volunteers keep organisation going
Coleen works full-time and Kaylene works
part-time, with the pair spending much of their
spare time caring for animals.
They are supported by a few volunteers who
help by feeding the animals, and 11 year-old
Darci Innes, who has a holiday house in Surf
Beach and is a keen animal rescuer.
“She comes out to all the rescues. She’s not
an 11 year-old that just stands there, she’s got
her jacket and vest on and she’s in with the ani-
mal accessing it before me,” Kaylene said.
“When I’ve been working through the day,
for those few hours my phone is switched to
Darci and her dad drives her everywhere and
she’s been picking up the critters for us. She’s
Native wildlife is what Phillip Island is re-
nowned for, and organisations like this help
support the local wildlife and environment.
Although the rescuing can be time consuming
and taxing, Kaylene said it’s very rewarding.
“For the first 22 days of January I did 46 res-
cues, it was just crazy. We’re out all hours of the
night rescuing animals,” she said.
“We’re animal lovers and we don’t want to see
anything suffer. If we can help end their suffer-
ing or get them to the stage where they can be
released back into the wild where they belong, I
think we’ve done a great thing.
“People say ‘How do you let them go?’. I let
them go quite graciously because I know this is
where they belong and I know they’re going to
“I don’t want them in the cages any longer
than they have to be. I want them back in their
To make a donation, visit https://www.go-
fundme.com/2cs2eqrc or you can make a bank
deposit to Bendigo Bank BSB: 633-000 Acc no:
155 893 191.
Or call 0412 258 396 to see how you can help
A rescued ringtail possum leaps back towards its nest as wildlife warrior Kaylene Mendola
looks on. Rg020617
needs your help
THE energy in the Lyric Theatre shed in Le-
ongatha was palpable last week as cast and
production team members got together for the
first time for a traditional ‘meet and greet’ ses -
sion ahead of the start to rehearsals for upcom-
ing production of Hairspray.
The cast has now started rehearsals for the
high energy show, which will run at Leongatha’s
Mesley Hall from July 7 to July 22. Tickets will
go on sale to the public in March.
The production is set to be a great follow up
on the past two Lyric productions, Gypsy and
Mary Poppins, as it not only provides a plat-
form for some of the young talent identified in
those shows but it also something modern and
different from Lyric.
As well as those on stage, Lyric’s director Louise
Atkins has assembled a fine backstage and pro-
duction crew, so crucial to the finished product.
Tickets go on sale in March and watch
Lyric’s website at www.lyrictheatre.net.au for
Members of the cast of Leongatha Lyric Theatre’s production of Hairspray, arrive for the
first ‘meet and greet’ ahead of the start to rehearsals last week. Jaive McEwan, who plays
Seaweed J Stubbs and groove kid, Fasika Somerville-Smith, are all set for another big Lyric
for Lyric’s Hairspray
Leongatha Lyric Theatre’s upcoming production of Hairspray has some highly experienced
leads, including, from left, Brad Boucher (as Edna Turnblad), Yasmine Watsford (as Tracy
Turnblad) and Adrian Darakai (as Wilbur Turnblad), while also offering an opportunity to
many newcomers to the stage.
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