Thirty years ago a tiny wallaby joey opened its eyes and looked up at Garry Cheers, who had just pulled the baby from its dead mother’s pouch.
Overcome with compassion, Garry scooped it up and took it home to his wife Brenda, and from that day on the pair have dedicated their lives to caring for Australia’s unique wildlife.
Brenda and Garry made the move to Maryborough from Beronia, Melbourne in 1985 and started the Maryborough Wildlife Shelter shortly after.
The shelter is well known around the region as the place to take injured birds and animals, but after over 30 years of dedication and hard work, Brenda and Garry are hanging up their boots and calling it a day.
Brenda said she has been slowly closing down the shelter over the past 12 months and that she is looking forward to a well deserved break.
“We’re trying to slow down now, mostly because I want to spend time with my grandchildren before they get too old, and I want to do other things,” Brenda said.
“You have to be here every four hours to feed animals so you’re limited on what you can do and where you can go. I love it but it’s very wearing.”
Brenda said her passion for wildlife and the idea of starting a shelter came after that fateful day Garry stumbled across the little wallaby.
For more on this story see Page 8 and 9 of The Advertiser, Friday, December 7