Saving Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary

$45,371 of $490,000 goal

Raised by 388 people in 19 months

Developers Sold Lake; The Ecosystem's Collapsing

The lake that provided water to the 'man-made' ecosystem on Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary, in South Australia, was sold about a decade ago. Since then, slowly but surely, the Sanctuary has dried out. The ecosystem is collapsing. The plants and animals are dying.

What Is The Project?
Raising $490 000 to buy back the lake that used to belong to the Warrawong Sanctuary.

Who Are We?
Wife and husband team, Narelle MacPherson and David Cobbold; owners of Peel Zoo in Western Australia.

Where Is It?
Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary
47 Stock Road
South Australia, 5153

Why This Project?
Because Warrawong is the birthplace of feral proof fencing, cat curfews, the chocolate bilby... It's a national treasure and must be saved.

Why Now?
There are issues forcing Warrawong's neighbours to sell their property. This is a once in a lifetime chance to restore water to the Sanctuary.

The Problem

At its peak, Warrawong Sanctuary occupied 85 acres, across 9 properties. Unfortunately, the owners ran into financial difficulty and were forced to sell. Property developers swooped in and bought the prized real estate. With no care for the animals, the property developers carved up the Sanctuary and sold it off. Where animals once roamed, people built houses. All that remained of Warrawong was 28 acres. And that was abandoned 4 years ago. Animals were locked inside and left to fend for themselves. Not easy to do when your water was sold for profit.

Together, we can buy back the lake.

By raising AUD$490 000, we can buy the lake and the 8 acres of land it sits on. We can realign the boundary and reunite the plants and animals of Warrawong Sanctuary with their life-source.

Hang On Platypus, We’re On Our Way

One of the most important animals at Warrawong Sanctuary is the platypus. They've been extinct on mainland South Australia for over 40 years. They thrived at Warrawong though. In fact, years of successful breeding may have enabled some animals to escape from the Sanctuary and 're-wild' local waterways.

We must buy the lake to ensure the survival of the platypus.

The Best News

My name’s David. My wife, Narelle, and I just bought the last 28 acres of the abandoned Sanctuary.

It was big news. That's how important Warrawong Sanctuary is. Almost everyone published the story. Check out some of the media coverage we received.

TV Seven News
TV Nine News
TV Ten News
Radio FIVEaa
In Daily
Adelaide Now
The West Australian
ABC Online
Conservation Journal

Now we're on a mission to buy back the lake and bring the Sanctuary back to life.

We're going to buy back the lake and bring back the life.

Narelle and I actually own Peel Zoo in Western Australia. But we're selling it. We've already sold our lovely little home in the forest, and most of our worldly possessions. What's more, we've packed up our children and our dog, and we've driven 3572 kilometres to save Warrawong.

Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary is a national treasure. It must be saved.

Saving a National Treasure
Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary is a really significant part of Australia’s conservation history. It was founded in 1969 by Dr John Wamsley. In 2003, he was named the Prime Minister's Environmentalist of the Year. John pioneered feral proof fencing and created the chocolate Easter Bilby. His influence, and that of Warrawong Sanctuary, cannot be overstated.

The Sanctuary That Changes Lives
A young girl, named Bronte, camped at Warrawong Sanctuary when she was a kid. Bronte grew up to be our Head Keeper at Peel Zoo. Another young girl, named Julie, also camped at Warrawong as a child. Julie's our vet at the Zoo.

Warrawong  changes lives. It enables children to fulfill their dreams of working with animals. Australia cannot afford to lose the Sanctuary.

The Foundation
We've already laid the foundation to save Warrawong Sanctuary by purchasing the abandoned 28 acres. It's not enough though. To really save the Sanctuary, we need to buy back the lake and bring back the life.

Less Is More

Our goal is to raise AUD$490 000. That way we can buy the lake outright. However, we have spoken to our bank and they will lend us enough to buy the lake, and pay the stamp duty, if we can raise AUD$150 000. So, raising less, still enables us to purchase more. The animals will get their lake back.

More Is More
Imagine if we raise more than we need. All of a sudden we're in a position to build an animal hospital. We could fast-track the construction of the accommodation units. We might even be able to resurrect the underwater observatories, built by Dr Wamsley, and incorporate them into a platypus research centre. Imagine that.

Everything Is More
In reality, every cent of support provides Warrawong Sanctuary with more than it presently has. That's great, because we have quite a bit of work to do.

Remember, the Sanctuary was abandoned 4 years ago. So, we not only have to save the animals, we have to ensure the humans who visit are safe too.

Once In A Lifetime
Our neighbours have to sell their property. If we don't buy the lake now, we may never have another opportunity.

While completely unexpected, this is a once in a lifetime chance to restore the Sanctuary’s ecosystem and secure a future for all the animals.

Time is running out. Lives are at stake. If we don’t buy the lake now, we may never have the opportunity again.

Get involved. Get your friends and family involved. Spread the word and share this campaign on Facebook.

You can see the animals need water.

Let's buy back the lake and bring back the life.

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This children's T-shirt was designed by our teenage son Josh. A beautiful and fun item for a special junior nature lover. All proceeds go to "Saving Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary"
+ Read More
Just as many hands make light work, as witnessed at the busy bee, many irons in the fire make financial success. That's why we're applying for a Future Jobs Fund grant. Please note, this is a 'dollar-for-dollar' grant. In other words, whatever we raise through crowd funding, could be doubled.

Think about that for a minute.

We're lucky to be living in a state that creates such opportunities for small business. Thank you South Australia.
Crowd Funding + Grants = Success
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Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Warrawong busy bee fundraiser by purchasing a sausage sizzle on the day.
We raised $1048.00
That's just awesome.
Every little bit helps us to "buy back the lake"
Thank you :)
+ Read More
In just over 24 hours we've reached $7000.
That's fantastic. Thanks for supporting this important project. Together we can do this.
David and Narelle
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$45,371 of $490,000 goal

Raised by 388 people in 19 months
Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary revolving ball keyring. To be collected from Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary Fridays and Sundays between 10am and 2pm.
Devil Ringtone
4943 of 5000 left
A unique ringtone of the boisterous carnivorous Tasmanian Devil screeching. Ideal for those who want an interesting alert that someone special is calling.
Bird Wallpaper
84 of 100 left
This Birds of Warrawong wallpaper showcases some of the beautiful birds found at Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo credit of Adrian Mann
Warrawong Cap
85 of 100 left
Show your support by wearing this Warrawong cap featuring the highly recognisable and elusive Platypus. To be collected from Warrawong Fri or Sun between 10-2.
Shout Out
431 of 500 left
What better way of receiving thanks for your support than a personalised message, on Facebook, from our mascot Pugsley the platypus.
Book by Founder
18 of 20 left
Send it down Huey. A beautiful child's story about Warrawong Sanctuary. Written and illustrated by Warrawong founder Proo Geddes.
T-shirt Child
487 of 500 left
Children's t-shirt, designed by our son, Josh. A beautiful and fun item for a special junior nature lover. Add required kid's size to your comment.
27 of 80 left
A 21 x 10cm postcard capturing the transition of Warrawong Sanctuary from past to future. Signed by the founder, John Wamsley and new owner, Narelle MacPherson.
18 of 20 left
A 1 Hour,behind the scenes reptile encounter, for 2 people, with our beautiful scaly friends. Black Headed Python, Albino Carpet Python and Frilled Neck Lizard
Name A Paver
91 of 100 left
Engrave your name or honour a loved one with a personalised brick paver. A unique and long lasting sign of your support for Warrawong. Embedded in entranceway
10 of 35 left
A 1 hour, behind the scenes animal encounter, for 2 people, with a combination of Reptiles, Parrots and Mammals. Experience available late spring.
Bench Plaque
3 of 10 left
Honour a loved one by placing their name on a Warrawong bench seat set in a tranquil location within the Sanctuary. Duration 3 years from opening.
Overnight Camp
8 of 20 left
Australian Wildlife Tour Experience. Includes an overnight stay, for 2 people, inc dusk tour & BBQ dinner. BYO tent & bedding. Dates to be confirmed.
Keeper Day
197 of 200 left
Ideal for junior nature lover. A 5 hour, behind the scenes experience, looking after the animals at Warrawong and learning about conservation and husbandry.
Tour & BBQ
96 of 100 left
You and a friend join an intimate group for a personal tour of the Sanctuary, with new owners, Narelle and David, followed by a BBQ lunch. Duration 2.5 hours.
Family Camp
34 of 40 left
Australian Wildlife Tour Experience. Includes an overnight stay, for a family of 4, inc dusk tour & BBQ dinner. BYO tent & bedding. Dates to be confirmed.
Wamsley Tour
28 of 30 left
A one off chance to join a guided tour of the Sanctuary with the founder, Dr John Wamsley, and new owners, Narelle and David. One night only. Date TBC.
Set in Stone
50 of 50 left
Your business logo set in stone, as a paver, gracing the main entrance to the Sanctuary. A permanent recognition of your contribution to saving Warrawong.
Life Member
45 of 50 left
You'll always have somewhere to go and something to do with this lifetime membership. You can bring a friend and you also receive your name on a plaque.
VIP Opening
20 of 20 left
Exclusive opportunity, for you and a friend, to attend the Grand Opening and access the VIP hospitality lounge. Includes your name on a plaque in reception.
Youth Group
20 of 20 left
Schools, Scouts, Guides, & groups, get your team motivated and help us raise funds to buy back the lake. Your reward is 40 people at Warrawong for 24 hours.
Deck Naming
1 of 1 left
Naming rights to the platypus viewing deck at Black Water lake, for 2 years, from opening. Your name in front of over 45 000 per year.
1 of 1 left
Naming rights for the interactive, hands-on, edu-tainment, animal presentation area for 2 years, from opening. Your name in front of over 45 000 per year.
1 of 1 left
Naming rights for the Education Centre, for 2 years, from opening. Centre used for school and youth group camps and excursions. Support conservation education.
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