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WIRES launches grant program for Australian wildlife sector

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WIRES* has announced a $5million grant program to improve outcomes for Australia’s native wildlife.  WIRES National Grant Program will be run over five years and is designed to support best practice wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, native species recovery projects and increase emergency preparedness.

The first stage of the program opened for applications on 10th September 2021 and submissions will close on October 1st.  Four tiers of grants ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 will be made available for individual licenced wildlife carers through to multi-partner collaborations. A total of $1million in grants will be awarded this year, with the remaining $4million dispersed in $1million allocations over the next four years.

“We are really encouraging sector collaboration in this ground-breaking grant program,” said WIRES Projects and Grants Manager, Jennie Murray. “By supporting expertise and sharing knowledge between wildlife rehabilitators, researchers, conservation professionals and community groups we believe this will result in the best outcomes for native species.”

There are two special grants being offered each year:

The Mikla Lewis OAM Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Grant – $20K per year for five years

When Mikla Lewis OAM founded WIRES in 1986, little did she envisage that 35 years later the organisation would have expanded from a single branch in Sydney to 28 branches and more than 3500 members.  She decided to form WIRES, with the help of a small group of people from various environmental organisations, following a report of an injured ibis in Sydney’s Hyde Park when none of the existing animal welfare bodies had either the jurisdiction or the resources to implement a rescue. Mikla’s foresight and knowledge led to the rescue and rehabilitation of thousands of native animals. To this day, she continues to be a dedicated WIRES volunteer.

The Pat Connors Avian Grant – $20K per year for five years

Patrick Connors was a long-term member of WIRES. He developed WIRES first rescue and rehabilitation database and call recording system pro-bono and supported it for well over a decade. Pat’s contribution enabled WIRES to provide rescue advice and assistance for more than 1.5million animals since its creation.  Pat sadly passed away in December 2020 and the grant is to honour Pat’s outstanding contribution and his passion for birds.

WIRES is seeking projects that have tangible, positive and ideally long-term outcomes for wildlife.   Key objectives of the grants program include:

  • Building capacity and capability for the Australian wildlife rescue and rehabilitation sector
  • Improving emergency preparedness and response capabilities
  • Preserving species and their habitat through projects leading to long term positive outcomes
  • Raising community awareness and inspiring broader community involvement in supporting Australian wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and preservation

Eligible applicants are invited to submit proposals for:

Tier 1: Individually Licenced Wildlife Rescuers and Carers (maximum $1,000)

Tier 2: Licenced Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Organisations (maximum $5,000)

Tier 3: Environmental NGOs and Community Groups (maximum $20,000)

Tier 4: Consortia/Multi-partner Collaborations (maximum $50,000)

Grants open 10th September with applications closing 1st October.   For more information, please visit –

This program is not open to WIRES members.

WIRES, Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organisation has been rescuing and caring for native animals 365 days a year for almost 35 years. WIRES mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same.

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Lourdes Antenor is an experienced writer who specialises in the not-for-profit sector and its affiliations. She is the content producer for Third Sector News, an online knowledge-based platform for and about the Australian NFP sector.


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