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Australia Recovery Program

It's time to help!


4 Weeks


This year, bushfires tore through 27 million acres of land in Australia, taking the lives of around one billion animals and 34 people. The scale of loss and damage is hard to comprehend and like nothing we have ever seen.

So now, we are called to help. This program is all about action. Getting our hands dirty where help is needed and supporting our operators and partners we have worked closely with for over a decade. Time is of the essence to ensure as many animals can be saved and habitat restored before further losses are incurred. This will be an important and impactful four weeks. We hope you can join us.


15th July - 14th August

Australia is not unfamiliar with bushfire - it has shaped the country’s ecological balance into what it is today. But this balance has been offset by climate change, with close to a decade of droughts and record-breaking temperatures leading to a catastrophic and seemingly endless inferno. Thankfully, the fires have eased in the last month, but swift on their tail was torrential rain and flooding, causing what many worry will become compounding extremes, with one climate disaster intensifying the next.



As of February 2020, at least 27 million acres has been burned, over 30 people have lost their lives and over 3000 homes have been lost. A staggering estimate of 1.25 billion animals have lost their lives. This number is expected to increase as the animals suffer from a loss of habitat, shortage of food and access to drinking water. The devastation to sensitive ecosystems is sure to be felt for generations to come. We cannot bring back lost lives, but we can dig in and help replant, restore, and rebuild where possible to help make the environment safe for wildlife and the community.



The service work included in this program has been carefully discussed by community engagement meetings with the locals based at, and around The Crossing Land Environmental Education Camp, in Bermagui, NSW, Australia. We have worked closely with Annette, Dean and the Crossing team for over a decade with whom we partner with for our own sister company Pacific Discovery programs. We have kept in close contact throughout the recent bushfires and it has been really scary and heartbreaking to receive the updates about the damage and losses in their community. Our whole ethos is based around global citizenship and meaningful service learning projects, so there was no hesitation, we needed to get involved to help however we could.



This program will have three factors of service work; an environmental project, a community-based project and a wildlife focused project. Your service work in these areas will make a huge difference to a small community and will earn you a 75-hour Certificate of Service Learning. You’ll leave Australia knowing your time has been spent constructively to help a small community recover. We are hoping to all revisit the area in years to come and see the difference our work has made.



Note this program is also being promoted via our sister organisation Pacific Discovery, so both alumni have a chance to give back.


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  • All in-country travel and transport
  • All meals
  • All activities & excursions as described in the itinerary
  • Environmental & service learning projects
  • Experienced Program Instructors and local guides
  • Pre-departure web-page with all information you need in one place to prepare for the program
  • 24/7 emergency contact number for students and parents
  • Global medical rescue and political evacuation insurance
  • Instructors have 24/7 access to a physician and a psychologist, for advice and support
  • Pure Exploration T-shirt, stickers and a buff
  • Online image library for your program
  • NOTE program cost does not include Travel (international flights) between your home to program start (Sydney), and from program finish (Sydney), to your home; Drinks, snacks, laundry; Travel insurance.



Our Australia Recovery Program is open to anyone over the age of 16. We welcome individuals or groups of friends, families, high school graduates, university students and graduates, Pacific Discovery alumni and their parents and friends. This is unlike the structure of our other programs (which focus on 18-24 year olds), as we already have interest from alumni and families of all ages who are keen to help.

Our Pure Exploration staff are personally very excited to get over there and work side by side with you to help.



This special 4-week program has been developed by our team and our collaborative partners in Australia to provide disaster recovery services after the devastating bushfires that raged through Australia. This program is not like our other programs in that it is purely a service learning program. There is no syllabus, or structured learning sessions. It will be a roll up your sleeves, don’t wear your best shirt, finish the day with dirt under your nails type of experience. It will be challenging yet incredibly rewarding and one you’ll leave knowing you’ve made a real difference. The landscapes and injured animals you’ll help may be tough to see, but this is why it is important you are there. We need to all band together to show support and drive action.

The program will include the following:

  • Environmental regeneration and permaculture projects
  • A community-based project
  • A wildlife focused project
  • You’ll directly help a small rural community deeply affected by fire
  • You will earn a 75-hour Certificate of Service Learning



Day 1-2. Sydney

Arrive to Sydney where you will be met by your program Instructors. There will be a brief introduction and orientation around the projects you will be undertaking, as well as some time where you can get out and explore Sydney before starting on the service projects.

Day 3. Travel Day

Travel to New South Wales, one of the provinces most affected by the natural disaster. You will get to meet your project coordinators here at ‘The Crossing’ an Environmental Education Camp. This will be your home base during the days off between projects so you will get to know the staff and facilities around here quite well. Spend the evening getting briefed on your projects and getting to know the people in the group.

Day 4 - 23. Service Projects

Here on, you will be spending your weekdays on a project, and your weekends resting at the Crossing.

You will spend between 3-5 days with each designated project, providing hands-on assistance based on their current needs. Each week, the groups will rotate between the projects, so each group has a chance to help out in a number of ways, and subsequent groups can pick up where others have left off.

Your time with us in Australia will be spent doing the following:


You will work side by side with locals who live in remote bush communities to help them recover and rebuild services lost in the fires. This will include
- helping build composting toilets
- reviving a small orchard to allow a farm to get back up and running
- fixing and building back a chicken farm to help ensure the ongoing health of the chickens, who are used to organically manage pasture and soil regeneration
- help with building transporting systems for the chickens to allow for pasture rotation
- splitting firewood for the winter


Again alongside locals you will work hard to help support injured animals such as koalas, kangaroos, birdlife and more who suffered greatly from burns and now are starved of necessary dietary requirements due to burning food sources.
You will help with:
- Replanting/regenerating landscapes for homes and food sources
- preparing food for injured animals
- relandscaping damaged land
- maintenance of the facility
- supporting locals who are medical experts caring for the animals


The local NSW community we are working with needs help to undertake a survey to guage the presence of koalas post-fire. You will help with:
-gathering evidence of koala presence in certain areas
- record any evidence found
- spend signifcant time out in national park areas

Rest Days - Weekends

In the weekends all the groups join for a chance to debrief on the work of the past week, to rest and catch up. You may want to take the chance to connect more deeply with the locals, get to know your group members or head off and explore the nearby areas. 

Day 24-25 Rest and Relaxation

Enjoy your last weekend together at the Crossing as you share all that you have experienced over the last few weeks. In the afternoon, take a trip into the nearby community where you will have a chance to see the impacts on an entire community, get to connect with the locals and enjoy some more time together. 

Day 26-27. Permaculture Workshop

Gain some knowledge from the locals about permaculture practices, climate reality and how you can be a positive addition to these challenging times that are becoming globally recognized. You will apply all that you have learned from the past weeks and visit a local community to help identify further needs in that community.

Day 28. Wilderness Coastal Walk

Here you will set off with the full group for an informative tour that will give you a sobering insight the devastation that has occurred over the previous months. Your local operators have endless knowledge about the local history, wildlife and fauna of the area so you will see first-hand the devastation that the bushfires have caused. 

Day 29-30. Return to Sydney

Return to the bustling city of Sydney where you will spend your final few nights with the group. Here your Instructors will facilitate a debrief, creating a safe space for you to reflect and begin to digest the experiences you have had this past month. Your group will be there to help you work through any feelings you have, as well as to celebrate the huge effort you have put in during this time.

Day 31. Depart for Home

Time for farewells and back to normality! We are sure you will have a huge sense of pride in your achievements and will develop a strong bond with the area. 


This is a sample itinerary. Modules and activities may occur in a different order due to weather conditions or scheduling requirements