A BENTLEY grandfather’s commitment to wildlife conservation is driven by the hope his grandchildren can see the animals the world has to offer.
Volunteer William ‘Bill’ Waterer said he has been involved in wildlife conservation since 1995 but his encounter with world-renowned environmentalist Jane Goodall in 2006 drove him to do more.
“On meeting Dr Jane, I realised that unless something serious was done, my grandchildren would not see animals in a while,” he said.
“I want my grandchildren and their children to see the world and the animals in it as I’ve seen it.
“Her focus is ‘Without the youth of today, the world hasn’t got a chance’ and I really believe in that.”
As the State coordinator for Dr Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program, Mr Waterer was instrumental in setting up the program in WA.
“My proudest achievement is getting Roots & Shoots going in WA and the fact that we have always maintained being the biggest in Australia,” he said.
“I also had the privilege many years ago of releasing four orangutans back into the wild in Borneo which was an amazing experience.”
Mr Waterer was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to wildlife conservation, one of Australia’s highest honours.
Through the Roots & Shoots program, Mr Waterer worked on the Silvery Gibbon Project, the Orangutan Project and supported endangered WA animals.
“I came to Perth Zoo to ask on the five most endangered animals in WA thinking I might get one or two, and I got five,” he said.
“The western swamp tortoise and the western ground parrot came out on top, so now our groups are working to help those two organisations.
“We’ve always had a memorandum of understanding with Perth Zoo, where they have supported us 100 per cent ever since Roots & Shoots started in WA.”