Zoos Victoria has developed a secondary school work experience program to inspire the next generation of youth to work with wildlife.

June 2020 update: 2020 work experiences placements have been postponed. Once we have more information about when the work experience program can recommence, we’ll be in touch to reschedule your placement for a later time, if this is something you would like to do and it aligns with your school’s policy.

Each year, a limited number of students are selected to gain experience at one of Victoria’s three zoos; Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo or Werribee Open Range Zoo.

Although the programs are slightly different at each property, we hope that all students finish the week with a deeper appreciation of wildlife, the environment we share with them and how each role within the organisation works towards conservation.

Some key details for applicants: 

  • The program is a full-day, week-long, and all weather
  • Attendance dates for the successful students will be available over each term
  • Successful students will be required to perform physically demanding manual labour duties under supervision
  • Zoos Victoria accepts applications one year in advance from interested secondary students

Who is eligible?

Victorian secondary students aged over 15 years are eligible for the program. School Careers Coordinators can only endorse one student per school. 

Application timelines

Applications for 2021 placements have not yet opened. Due to the 2020 work experience program being postponed, we’ll be offering placements in 2021 to the successful applicants from 2020 who were unable to complete their placement. Following this, we will open applications to 2021 for everyone else. Please be patient as we work through these changes, we anticipate 2021 applications will open in September 2020.

How to apply

To apply, students must:

  1. Choose one property to complete work experience placement: Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo OR Werribee Open Range Zoo
  2. Submit a cover letter detailing how they meet the criteria listed in the property role descriptions (below)
  3. Complete the Work Experience with Animals form (below) and submit it to their school’s Work Experience Coordinator for consideration
  4. Submit their application with the help of the school’s Work Experience Coordinator through the online application process