School Work Experience

School Work Experience

Applications for 2022 are now open.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo offers school work experience opportunities for students in Years 10-12 who are interested in pursuing a career in zoo keeping and animal care.

Important COVID-Safe Update

Please read before applying

Taronga is committed to keeping our guests, staff and animals safe at all times. Because of the nature of the School Work Experience program, in line with NSW Health advice, Taronga requires all School Work Experience participants aged over 16 years old to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

If you or your child are interested in applying, speak to your school careers adviser who will liaise with Taronga on your behalf. 

Work experience undertaken at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo allows students to: 

  • Observe and participate in a variety of work being done in the field of zoo keeping, animal care and education
  • Undertake supervised work appropriate to the student’s skill level 
  • Ask questions about a zoo workplace 
  • Gain skills related to being at work at the zoo 
  • Investigate training and employment opportunities with Taronga 

Students will be exposed to a wide range of duties from the very interesting to the very routine, and may include: 

  • Cleaning (anything from windows to animal poo!) 
  • Preparing and distributing food for the animals 
  • Observing and recording animal behavioural information 
  • Assisting with keeper talks 
  • General administrative duties 

Places in Taronga Western Plains Zoo work experience program are very competitive. 


Placements are processed in order of receipt, and only fully completed and signed applications are considered. Applications will close as soon as all places have been filled OR on 28 February 2022, whichever occurs first.

Please be aware that the selection panel will only accept one application for either Taronga Zoo Sydney or Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo. Students are advised to apply for their preferred site only. Any duplicate submission will void your application. Priority will be given to NSW residents. 

In the interests of fairness, only one successful applicant per school will be considered for placement for one week (Monday to Friday), excluding school and public holidays. If a school has a student who was cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19, and has been rolled over for 2022, this does not count as the sole applicant for the school. Another student may submit an application.

Please direct all communication about applying to your school careers adviser, as approval is required from the school before Taronga can proceed.

Meet a Keeper

If Work Experience is fully booked, you may wish to attend Meet a Keeper. This is a one-day program for school students aged 14 years and over who have expressed a keen interest in pursuing a career at the Zoo. Meet Keepers, hear about their career pathways and learn about the variety of pathways to working in a zoo. Find out more about Meet a Keeper