Youth at the Zoo

Youth at the Zoo

Taronga’s Youth at the Zoo program (YATZ) gives teens the opportunity to learn more about how our Zoos operate, develop skills for the future and spend time with like-minded people who share a passion for animals and conservation.

The program is open to teens aged 13 – 19 years old. Members will have the opportunity to take part in a range of training programs, volunteer their time with our Guest Services team or at Special Events, take part in campaigns, interact with Zoo guests, attend Social Nights and so much more. 

As our YATZ get older they can even put up their hand for additional responsibilities like training for our overnight programs, or becoming a Leader or Mentor for younger YATZ.  

Members will develop important skills in communication, both in person and via email as they manage their availability with the YATZ Coordinator via our online Volunteer Management System called Volgistics. 

NOTE: The YATZ program does not guarantee anytime with keepers or animals and cannot be used as hours towards TAFE NSW or Taronga Training Institute courses in Animal Husbandry.

Due to the popularity of the program, applications are opened twice yearly, in May and November. To receive information about the next round of applications, you must first join the waitlist for the Sydney or Dubbo program. 

NOTE: You are more than welcome to join the waitlist to apply if you are under 13, but you must be 13 years of age or older when you apply. 

Sydney applications

Please use the Expression of Interest form to add your name to the Expressions of Interest list for the next intake, typically May and November each year.

Please note this allows us to contact you and invite you to apply at a later date and is not a wait list or confirmed application. You should receive a confirmation email once adding your contact details to the form – if you do not – please carefully check your email Junk Box as it means you may not receive emails from us inviting you to apply.

Sydney expressions of interest - please complete and submit the form to apply.

Dubbo applications

Please email the YATZ Coordinator directly at to inquire and please mention “Taronga Western Plains Zoo” in the subject line.



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YATZ and external programs

In some case YATZ may be able to help you with Duke Of Edinburgh Service Hours requirements but there are many things to consider.

Important message regarding Duke of Edinburgh

We are aware that many of our YATZ members are also completing their Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and often would like to count their YATZ activities towards their Service hours. Unfortunately, we are unable to be Assessors for Duke of Ed Participants.

As advised by the Duke of Ed NSW Division, the YATZ program does not meet the compulsory regular time requirements of the Award i.e. 1 hour a week, 2 hours a fortnight or 4 hours a month for a minimum of 3 months for Bronze, 6 months for Silver and 12 months for Gold.

If you have further queries talk to your Award Leader or speak to the NSW Division at 13 13 02 (prompt 6) or