What are we doing?

This website has been created in response to an urgent need for a communication network for wildlife rehabilitation volunteers to engage in debate about protected fauna rehabilitation in NSW. There are plenty of avenues for discussion of husbandry and animals; but there is scarcely any debate of governance and the treatment of volunteers. This equates to silence about the rules we must follow and neglect of the people doing the caring. Those who do speak out find themselves isolated and lonely. In 2010, WIRES members on their own intranet website started a discussion about democracy within the organisation. WIRES management responded by shutting down this forum. This was followed by other censorship measures taken to frighten members from expressing their concerns. We talk politics here at reformWIRES, not husbandry, believing that if we fail to address the needs of the people doing the caring then we place the lives of animals at risk. Politics is about people: their needs and concerns - not their personalities and biases. “Look after the volunteer and they will look after the animals”.

 

Who are we?

rw.comWe are a number of individuals each wanting to see change in the way wildlife rehabilitation is managed in NSW. We want to see change but want not to be seen ourselves - this is about issues not personalities. To discuss this topic one must discuss WIRES – the largest wildlife rehabilitation group in the state, and some believe the most favoured by government. What happens in WIRES has consequences for everyone involved with native fauna in NSW. We must keep our identity secret in order to facilitate this conversation, and we offer you the opportunity to join us in anonymity.

 

Spartacus?

spartacusParticipants’ privacy will be respected on this website and all efforts will be taken to protect reputations.  This forum is to deal with facts and issues; not the personalities. When confronted by the Romans looking for Spartacus, the slaves confused the Romans by all claiming to be him. “I’m Spartacus” each one exclaimed. On this website we are all Spartacus: we are all concerned about freedom of speech and the rights of volunteers. There are those who will want to find out who we are in order to silence us. They will also be trying to silence you: If you participate they will want to know who you are. We won't tell them.

 

Where are we?

belizeThis website has been set up overseas to ensure that WIRES management, or others on their behalf, do not shut down debate thereby removing your rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association.

We started out on the tiny islands of São Tomé e Príncipe just off the coast of Africa. Then we moved to the Central American Republic of Panama where privacy is respected.

Then we moved just up the road from Panama to the exotic and secretive Central American country of Belize. Then we moved back to Panama.

We do get around, don’t we?

So, come visit us anytime, anywhere - you're always welcome.

 

Our objectives?

The aims of this website are to:

  • provide a forum for members and ex-members of WIRES to discuss present problems and suggest solutions to bring about reform at governance level within the organisation.
  • support fair and open debate, free of censorship by management, while still showing proper respect to everyone on the WIRES Board and Council.
  • take action to reform the organisation to one where all members have a say in its operation.
  • encourage volunteer members of other wildlife associations, veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, academics, and members of the public concerned about the care of Australian wildlife, all to participate in discussions and to make suggestions to improve the preservation and care of injured and sick wildlife.
  • discuss government responses to native animal welfare, including licensing policy, to ensure that the rights of wildlife are protected and their needs best served.
  • lobby NSW government that there is an urgent need to bring in legislation to protect the rights of volunteers, either by creating an independent ombudsman for volunteers or allowing volunteers to take complaints to the NSW Ombudsman, Privacy Commissioner and ICAC.
  • prepare a case to the Federal Government to allow volunteers to take complaints to the Federal Privacy Commissioner irrespective of the annual turnover of the charity.
  • investigate measures as to how donors’ money and bequests can be protected to ensure that this money is not used for political purposes, and not used to pursue members who criticise the management of the organisation.
  • demand accountability so that donated money is only used for the benefit of volunteers who directly care for wildlife, or used to otherwise directly assist wildlife. If the money is used for administration, that the government and members have the power to oversee that spending.

WIRES Volunteers - Broke & Leaving

broke and leavingMembership is plummeting.

Over the last few years WIRES volunteers have been resigning in disgust. Some estimates reckon WIRES has lost nearly 50% of its membership. Something is very wrong.

Find out why the members are leaving

Write the minister

NSW Environment Minister - Paul SpeakmanGive Minister Speakman the message

REFORM WIRES!

WIRES' board should be behind bars