Perth Zoo volunteer Katrina Purich encourages others to get involved

Docent Katrina Purich with Mya Kowa and Walcha. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au   d481150
Docent Katrina Purich with Mya Kowa and Walcha. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d481150

KATRINA Purich does not like being a Perth Zoo Docent – she loves it.

Established in 1982, the Perth Zoo Docent Association (PZDA) is an independent incorporated volunteer organisation that contributes to the Zoo’s conservation mission through assisting visitors and ensuring they have an enjoyable time.

As a docent, Ms Purich runs Zebra car and guided tours, staffs the Zoo’s information centre and headquarters, performs off-site presentations for community groups and stands guard on animal watches.

With seven years of experience, Ms Purich also helps run the 10-week training for new volunteers following an orientation day.

She said each year about 50 new volunteers are recruited.

“There are currently around 300 volunteers with the association,” Ms Purich said.

“We require each volunteer to come in a minimum of two days a month and there are a variety of teams they can join.

“Everyday is different; you will have a group of children come in and ask really insightful questions or, like I had the other day, a group of tourists from Vancouver came in just really wanting to see a kangaroo hop.

“Seeing the smile on their faces when I took them through the Australian Bushwalk made me feel like I had made a small difference to their world and that was a really good day for me.

“Essentially, if you are happy talking with people you are going to be a good docent.”

The next PZDA orientation recruitment day will run on April 7.

For more information, visit perthzoo.wa.gov.au .

MORE: Perth: Police officer stood down for possession of indecent or obscene material

MORE: Town of Bassendean bans single-use plastic at events

MORE: Mandurah councillor takes aim at unhealthy food choices, such as chips, sold at MARC cafe

MORE: Sunny Perth weather ahead for Easter long weekend