Burbangana youth program
Burbangana is a Dharug word of the Sydney language meaning “take my hand and help me up”. The logo of the whale acknowledges the saltwater people of Cammeraigal country.
Running since 2008, The Burbangana Program is a joint initiative run by the Taronga Conservation Society of Australia and Family and Community Services which gives young people in care the opportunity to engage in activities in and around Taronga Zoo.
These young people aged 9-18, participate in animal handling and husbandry, food preparation, enrichment and land care as well as assisting Taronga’s education staff in education programs including lessons, interpretation, Zoo-mobiles and special cultural projects. Burbangana aims to ‘Reawaken the Spirit of Belonging’ with its young people, reconnecting and strengthening them in knowledge, spirit, relationships, country and culture.
THe Burbangana Program is funded by Metro ISS, FACS-Intensive Support Services, Family and Community Services. Our participants can only be referred through Metro ISS, FACS-Intensive Support Services, Family and Community Services.
Walanmarra youth program
The Walanmarra program is run at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo, in partnership with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. Walanmarra is complementary to the Burbangana program in Sydney.
Walanmarra is a Wiradjuri word which means ‘to make strong now’, representing the ethos of the program working towards strengthening Aboriginal children, in their skills, learning and attachment to land and culture.
Animals of the Dreaming Zoomobile
Animals of the Dreaming Zoomobile is an inspiring program combining two fascinating aspects of Australia – native animals and the Dreamtime. This program is delivered by Brewarrina Elder, Colin Hardy OAM and supported by our Indigenous zoo staff.
Col Hardy is the recipient of the Order of Australia, for recognition of his contribution to the community over many years. Col has also been recognised for his musical talent through the Tamworth Country Music Festival's 'Golden Guitar' award.
It is Zoomobile's honour to have Col co-present Animals of the Dreaming.
Mentoring program for young women
Taronga has established a young women's mentoring program supporting local organisations who work with young women needing extra support and guidance in their lives. The program aims to mentor young women who are keen on working with animals and wish to further their skills and direction in the workforce. The young women are referred to Taronga Zoo Sydney through the program co-ordinator.
Outreach program for young men
Taronga collaborates with Juvenile Corrections Services to offer young men the opportunity to work and engage with staff and animals in and around the zoo. The program aims at building positive and respectful relationships for the young men in a work and community setting.This program also provides the young men with the potential to build their skills and knowledge that will further assist them in the wider community and with potential job opportunities.
Indigenous training opportunities
Supported by the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled funding, The Taronga Training Institute provides opportunities for Indigenous students to enroll and study in a range of accredited courses at Taronga.