Impact investment

Facilitating a greater visitor experience

Funding context

Each year, thousands of visitors, as well as national and international researchers, enquire about visiting the Mt Rothwell wildlife sanctuary in Victoria to get up close and personal to some of Australia’s most threatened fauna, including the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby and Eastern Quoll.

While eager to accommodate these visitors, Mt Rothwell’s onsite accommodation was rundown and unpowered, meaning people couldn’t stay comfortably on site. Rendere stepped in to help.

Organisational context

Located on the outskirts of Geelong, Mt Rothwell was founded on a simple idea – eradicate all predators on the property, reintroduce endangered mammals and allow them to repopulate and thrive.

The 473-hectare site, which is now part of the Odonata network of private sanctuaries, is surrounded by an electrified fence that protects high conservation value species, particularly those indigenous to the basalt plains grasslands, habitats and woodlands of Victoria.

Funding rationale

By funding the installation of solar power on the accommodation roof, Rendere felt it could play a role in enabling greater visitation which, in turn, would raise awareness about the vital work going on at Mt Rothwell. Rendere’s support could also encourage other philanthropists and businesses to invest.

Outcome and impact

Odonata’s Biodiversity Director, Annette Rypalski, says that, by connecting power and water to the building and having more comfortable accommodation, “… we have been able to attract more VIPs and researchers to visit Mt Rothwell to learn about our activities and contribute to our work. It sounds like a simple thing, but it’s having a huge impact on our work, with many flow-on effects”.