TasTAFE Training

 “Being able to complete the Certificate II in Animal Studies through the Internship at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary was definitely a life changing experience. I was able to learn what it meant to be a zookeeper whilst getting hands on training in the workplace. The team at Bonorong were incredibly helpful and friendly making the experience very worthwhile. I had always thought about working with animals and the 12 weeks spent learning to care for them just made me want to pursue zoo keeping as a career more than ever!”
– Kate Baker, Graduate Certificate II in Animal Studies.

get a start in the animal care industry

One of Bonorong’s biggest strengths, and something we are extremely proud of, is our standard of animal husbandry and professionalism. We feel that this is an area that is sometimes lacking in the animal care industry, and we wanted to improve the training of potential employees who go on to work in a variety of animal institutions.

In order to do this, Bonorong created two nationally-recognised training programs in partnership with TasTAFE (RTO 60142). These programs are offered onsite at Bonorong in the following formats:

ACM20117 Certificate ii in animal studies

  • a six month, full-time classroom-based course (3 days per week)


  • a 14-week internship

See below for the study structure for the ACM20117 Certificate II.

ACM30117 certificate iii in animal studies

  • a full-year, full-time classroom-based course, comprised of:

    • one day of classroom study,

    • one day of work placement in an animal care organisation

    • the equivalent of one day per week of study in your own time (assignments, work & research).

  • must have completed the Certificate II in Animal Studies or equivalent


These qualifications provide the basis for employment in the animal care industry and will set you on a path for your future career. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is the benchmark for native animal husbandry in Tasmania. Our primary role is the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned native animals with the eventual goal of releasing them back into the wild. You will be helping to secure a future for each of the animals in our care.

By studying onsite at Bonorong itself, students have access to real case studies and animals to learn from. Many of the classes are structured so that theoretical training is matched to animals, scenarios, systems and procedures in place at Bonorong that can provide context and practical components to the lesson.

A number of previous students have secured work in the wildlife-keeping industry or gone on to fill various other roles, including in vet clinics, zoos, the RSCPA, animal shelters, journalism, teaching, business management, charitable fundraising, and with the government.

study Structure - ACM20117 Certificate ii


  • Based onsite at Bonorong

  • 14 consecutive weeks

  • 3 days work placement per week
    (two weekdays and one weekend day)

  • Theory work in your own time
    (Support provided if needed)


3 days a week from Feb - June or July - Nov

  • Two days cover the theoretical sections of the course in classroom based learning

  • The third day is a work placement experience
    within Bonorong or another animal-care organisation

(Scroll up to read the structure of the ACM30117 Cert III)

Which is better?

It all comes down to how much time you have, and how you prefer to learn. We can't tell you which will be the better option for you, but the outcomes are the same for both options.

How do I apply for the classroom course?

To apply for a classroom based course call TasTAFE on 1300 655 307 or email info@tastafe.tas.edu.au. You will be asked to complete a suitability questionnaire and potentially attend a face to face interview.

You can click on the below qualifications for course details:

fees and payments

For details please refer to http://www.tastafe.tas.edu.au/future/fees-and-payments/

Students will need to provide the following:

  • Protective clothing which includes long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy boots


How do I apply for the internship?

We'll tell you that in just a second. First, we want to be clear on the reality of the internship. It is hard work!

During the internship, each student works within the Bonorong team and performs a variety of tasks related to their training as a wildlife keeper. This work is complemented by a workbook of required tasks (both practical and theoretical) which must be completed for the qualification to be awarded.

It will be 14 of the most intense, sweaty, fun-filled and satisfying weeks of your life. Do not expect to be cuddling furry animals all day! Wildlife keeping is a strenuous and diverse job and Bonorong is a hive of activity. We work very hard and will expect the same of you. This way we can make sure you get the most out of your time with us. We are going to turn you into a wildlife keeper!

The internship is specifically designed for those who are interested in wildlife management or zookeeping as a career. Preference will be given to those candidates who can demonstrate that it is their intention to continue on in the industry.
At this stage we are only offering the internship to those who have completed Year 12. The classroom-based course is open to those in Year 11 and 12.

Ready to apply?

To apply for the internship, please send the following to the Bonorong Sanctuary Manager (details below):

  • your CV

  • a cover letter stating why you would like to do the internship

  • a one page essay on the topic ‘What do you see to be the role of wildlife parks in wildlife conservation?’

In order to provide the best training we only take a limited number of interns at a time, so the starting dates are staggered throughout the year. 

If your application is successful you will be asked to come in to the Sanctuary for an interview. If your interview is successful you will be invited to participate in a trial day at the Sanctuary where you will get a taste for the type of work that we do and an understanding of what is involved in the day-to-day running of Bonorong.

As long as both yourself and the team at Bonorong are happy with how things went on your trial day then you will have successfully earned yourself a placement in our internship program!

Please send your applications via email to: 
with the subject line 'Bonorong Internship'.

Or via post to: 
Bonorong Internships
PO Box 59
Brighton, TAS, 7030