Reptile Encounters | Experiences Pathways

Pathways Zookeeper Program

Creating Opportunities for Everyone

The Reptile Encounters Pathways program was established in 2019, and we have been successfully assisting many participants since its inception.

Pathways is suitable for both adults and children (15 and over) that are recipients of NDIS assistance, and has been proven to be very beneficial and enjoyable for those that attend it.

Besides the benefits of working with animals, the program assists participants with the following:

  • Zoo-keeping and Animal Husbandry skills
  • Every-day life skills (food preparation, laundry, cleaning and more)
  • Professional skill development (behavioural and professional conduct in a work setting, how to manage grievances, computer and writing skills etc)
  • Socialising
  • Working as part of a team
  • Advocacy and Confidence Building
  • Improvement of fine and gross motor skills

Our degree-qualified instructors work with participants on a 1:1, 1:2 or 1:3 basis, depending on preference and needs of the individuals. Holiday and weekend sessions can be arranged.

The Pathways program is held at our Headquarters in Burwood, as this is the best setting to teach animal husbandry. Usually students come in 1-3 times a week, depending on their schedules. 

The program was initially developed to support individuals doing an Animal Studies course at Tafe and is based on a similar curriculum. This curriculum can be adjusted to age and year-level of the participant, however it is not a formal educational program.

Students generally spend their day preparing food for the animals, doing general housekeeping, feeding the critters and cleaning the enclosures, and theory.

Depending what is on for the day they may also assist in weighing and enrichment. We also occasionally take them on excursions to our partner organisations to see some different species of animals not housed at Reptile Encounters.

Each unit has an assignment to complete, which again can be adjusted, and they receive a certificate upon completion.

For more information on our Pathways Program or to register a participant, contact
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