The work and dedication of those involved at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre has been highlighted in a special video for National Volunteer Week.
The short film, by the Queensland Environment Department, focuses on Cyndie Gusdorf who has been volunteering at the facility for five years.
Volunteers like Cyndie play a crucial role in the success of the Mon Repos Turtle Centre and turtle research program.
From welcoming nightly tour groups to measuring turtles, recording nesting and hatching data and running the gift shop, these dedicated people give up their time and brave the elements seven days a week, for five months of the year.
It's a role Cyndie said she knew she wanted to get involved in from an early age.
“The first time I personally got to experience the turtles was when I was a teenager,” she said.
“I won a trip up to Bundaberg to go turtle watching and I think that cemented my love and passion for turtles.”
Cyndie said the highlights of her role included meeting new people and the interaction between human and animal.
“I love watching people's responses when they see the hatchlings for the first time,” she said.
“It is such an awesome experience and something that they keep with them forever.”
Cyndie said last turtle season had been extra special for her all thanks to one particular turtle she formed a bond with.
“Last season on one of the local beaches I was able to meet the same turtle,” she said.
“Every two weeks she came up to nest … I got to meet her three times.
“It was so incredible to identify a turtle by the way she looked, it was almost like building a relationship with the turtle.
“We actually nicknamed her Barnacle Betty because she had so many barnacles on her shell.”
Cyndie said volunteering for turtle conservation was an important role to her and one that she hoped to continue with for a long time.
“When you start turtle conservation I think you get a bug and you can't stop,” she said.
“I can't imagine life without doing turtle conservation.
“It is definitely a unique experience and something I am very passionate about.”
Mon Repos supports the most significant nesting population of the endangered loggerhead turtle in the South Pacific Ocean.
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