May Newsletter 2015

01 May 2015

1. Applications are now open –  Roots & Shoots  (R&S) National Coordinator

We are pleased to announce that we are looking for someone to lead and build a team of passionate state-based R&S Representatives! As our global network of young people empowered and inspired to take action to improve our world, R&S is a youth-led community action movement that is making a difference in more than 130 countries. Our new R&S National Coordinator will work directly with the CEO and manage a range tasks including coordinating the R&S team and organising and facilitating youth events. The successful candidate will need to have excellent volunteer management skills, strong interpersonal communication skills and 3-5 years previous experience. If you think it might be the dream job for you, please apply at or contact for more details. We can’t wait to hear from you!

2. JGI Nepal Update – Your Support is Still Desperately Needed

We have all heard that there has been another devastating earthquake in Nepal. Our team at JGI Nepal is leading relief efforts that are focused on local villages where Roots & Shoots has a presence. Their efforts include sourcing and distribution of food, water, medicine and fuel, as well as helping provide temporary shelter with tents. In the longer term they will focus on helping rebuild and repair houses and they have already been able to source and distribute supplies.

Disasters like these do not discriminate, all are impacted – people, animals and the environment. The loss of human life is tragic, not to mention all of the wildlife and ecosystems who are also feeling the effects of these earthquakes. JGI Nepal is working in coordination with other animal welfare and wildlife conservation NGOs to assess the needs of local wildlife.

Our hearts and thoughts are with our friends and colleagues in Nepal. Please give generously at

3. The Dark Side of Cute

Dr. Donna McRae, from Deakin University, is making a crowd funded documentary about a chimpanzee called Cobby, the star of the little known 1960’s program ‘Cobby’s Hobbies’ which was shown in Australia. Cobby is still alive and well today and living in the San Francisco Zoo as the oldest living male chimp in captivity. Sadly, the story is not so happy for most chimps in entertainment.

Most people don’t realise that chimps used in advertisements and media are infants – usually under 8 years old – and have been taken forcibly from their mothers. They are often mistreated as fear and physical discipline are used to make them perform. As they miss out on the critical socialisation aspect of chimp society, once chimps in entertainment get too dangerous to handle, they are often “disposed of” rather than put in a zoo, sanctuary or the wild. In addition to the sad lives of these little chimps, the other problem with use of chimpanzees and other Great Apes in advertising and entertainment is that it creates misleading and degrading perceptions of these magnificent animals, who are seriously endangered in the wild. See more information here.

Dr McRae’s documentary will examine how traumatic show business can be for chimpanzees and reveal the ‘dark side of cuteness’. Recently, The Guardian picked up Cobby’s story and JGIA’s support of the project. To help raise awareness of the plight of animals in entertainment and lend your support, please donate to the documentary via

4. Mosman Locksmith Supports Chimps in JGI’s Chimpanzee Sanctuaries

For the past 21 years Mosman Locksmith, Stephen Worrall, has been supplying the padlocks used in the chimpanzee enclosures at JGI’s Tchimpounga and Ngamba Sanctuaries. Debby Cox from JGI Tchimpounga says, “Mosman Locksmiths has been one of our longest supporters in Australia. Steven provides us with the locks at cost price and his labour for free. These are the most reliable locks we have ever found. I know it is not the most glamorous contribution, but it is an essential one for our sanctuaries”.

Steven has supplied Taronga Zoo with enclosure locks for 35 years and it was through this connection that he originally met Debby, who was a chimp keeper at the time. “We like to do this for JGI because it is a good thing to do, and we know we are helping the chimps”, Steven explains.

Yet another essential batch of locks is being made at the moment by Mosman Locksmiths.  They will be delivered to Tchimpounga in June by two Taronga staff members visiting as part of a fellowship program. From all of us at JGIA, thank you to Steven and his team for this unique contribution. Together we are making a difference!

5. National Volunteer Week

May 11-17 was National Volunteer Week and we again want to take the opportunity to thank all of our wonderful JGIA volunteers across Australia and the world! The Jane Goodall Institute Australia is fuelled by some of the most talented and passionate people you will meet. From technical support and merchandise managers to photographers and the board of directors, we thank you all. You are living proof that “each one of us makes a difference!”

We are always looking for skilled, committed and compassionate people to join our volunteer team. Keep your eyes on our website for details of upcoming volunteer positions

To stay up to date with the work of the Jane Goodall Institute Australia subscribe here

You can make a difference

Help us inspire actions that connect people with animals and our shared environment.

Our Accreditations