Donations and Support for the Koalas of Northern Rivers NSW Australia

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FOK is registered on the ACNC Charity RegisterAs a volunteer organisation we rely entirely on the good will of individuals who want to support us in our fight to save koalas in the Northern Rivers.

You can help FOK pay the bills in a number of ways:

Friends of the Koala Inc. is listed in the Register of Environmental Organisations.
All donations over $2 are tax deductible (in Australia).

You can choose where your donation is directed within the organisation.

As a volunteer organisation we rely heavily on donations or funding, on a competitive basis, from various levels of government for specific projects. But funding the ongoing costs of maintaining our koalas is totally dependent on donations from members of the public. Unless otherwise indicated, donations to Friends of the Koala Inc. go directly towards the cost of koala rehabilitation, which is substantial as you can see below:

  • the food a sick koala needs: over $20 a week
  • medications and supplements for a koala requiring a standard chlamydial treatment: up to a further $20 a week (or more, if there are any complications or specialised veterinary care is necessary)
  • specialised milk formulas for raising a young orphan koala in care for many months: $200 – $400 depending on length of recuperation time
  • a suitable enclosure for housing koalas at the Care Centre: $1,000 for materials alone

Support a specific Koala


Support a Koala and play a vital role in returning a koala to the wild.

Sweetie – a truly sweet girl Help support Sweetie Click to Donate
Sweetie – a truly sweet girl
Help support a koala in care
Click to Donate

Help support koalas in the wildClick to Donate
Help support koalas in the wild
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Help Fund the New Care Centre Building

Friends of the Koala undertakes voluntary licensed rescue, care and rehabilitation work for koalas across the Council areas of Ballina, Byron Bay, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed. We also provide community education services, and contribute to research, about koalas.

Over the past 20 years our activities have expanded, and it has become apparent that in the very best interests of the koalas we take into care and treat, we need to have a dedicated space for that purpose. We built the current Care Centre in 1995 with significant support from local businesses and trades people who carried out their work voluntarily or at a very reduced rate, and to organisations such as Southern Cross University, who provided a project-manager, and Australian Provincial Newspapers (APN Northern Star) who ran an effective fundraising campaign for us. Anyone who has been to the Care Centre at 23 Rifle Range Road, East Lismore will know that it can be a crowded and sometimes noisy space, as it houses all the functions associated with our responsibilities for koalas, our wonderful volunteers, educating the community and running the Care Centre.

In the more recent past we considered a replacement building on the site that would still contain all the functions with clearly-defined and separate spaces within it, but the design and cost placed it well beyond our financial means. Nevertheless, over the past year we’ve been canvassing the possibility of having a more modest building adjacent to the koala runs, and have settled on one that will physically separate the crowded administrative and education functions from the existing Care Centre. This will enable the current Centre to be a dedicated space for treating the koalas both in the treatment rooms within the Centre and also those that are maintained in the external runs on a longer-term basis – a much improved outcome for the recovery of the sick and injured koalas.

Apart from the improved outcomes for koalas being treated and in care at the Care Centre, we know there’s an absolute need for more effective communication about the threats to koala habitat, koala welfare and population survival. The new building will enable us to have a permanent display in a small meeting room and provide the opportunity for a much more professional and somewhat expanded education program for the many students, visitors and tourists from other parts of Australia and the world that call in to learn about this iconic animal we’re fortunate enough to still have in the wild despite it being under great threat.

At just on $200,000 (current estimates including substantial volunteer in-kind support) the new building would have been beyond our financial means but In October 2016 we received the welcome news that our submission for funding of 50% of the cost under the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) administered by the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development was successful. This means that in early 2017 we will commence construction and aim to have it in place by June 2017.

Whilst this has been a great boost to us, we committed to funding a part-time position for 25 hours a week when the building is completed with a primary aim of attracting tourists to the Centre so we can extend community education about koalas. We also still need equipment and other items that weren’t included in the submission. So, if you want to help us make the new building a professional koala education centre you could make a specific donation for that through our donations page.


Leave a Bequest

You could leave a bequests to help fund koala conservation in the Northern Rivers. As an independent, not-for-profit organisation, Friends of Koala relies upon community support for its continued existence. As well as care of sick and injured koalas, Friends of Koala plays an active role in promoting habitat restoration in the Northern Rivers region and supports research, in particular in the prevalence of disease in koala populations and in mapping current koala populations and their distribution.

A bequest is for those who value the work Friends of Koala does for the hundreds of koalas received in the care centre each year. A gift in your will to Friends of Koala will support the aid, assistance, protection and welfare of these iconic Australian animals.

To make a bequest

To comply with a number of legal requirements, it is highly recommended that you consult with a solicitor in regards to preparation of a will so that the intentions of your bequest are clear.

Subject to advice from a solicitor, Friends of Koala suggest an inclusion in your will of the following:

“I BEQUEATH to Friends of Koala of Rifle Range Rd, East Lismore, for the general purpose of Friends of Koala (insert here the sum of the bequest or a statement defining the bequest) free of all duties and taxes payable at my death, AND I DECLARE that the receipt of the Treasurer for the time being of Friends of Koala shall be a sufficient discharge to my Trustee(s).”

There are a number of ways to make your bequest to Friends of Koala:

  • Leave a nominated portion or a fixed percentage of your estate to Friends of Koala
  • Leave a specific gift to Friends of Koala such as money, property, shares, insurance policies, jewellery or anything of value.
  • Leave the residue of your estate to Friends of Koala after specific bequests and gifts have been left to family and friends
  • Leave your entire estate to Friends of Koala. This occurs when there are no living relatives and the Benefactor wishes to achieve something significant with their estate.

If you would like further information about Friends of Koala, or would like to discuss any proposed bequest, please visit our contact page.