Impact investment: Odonata Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre

Facilitating a greater visitor experience

Situational context

Each year, thousands of visitors, as well as national and international researchers, enquire about visiting the world-leading Mt Rothwell wildlife sanctuary on the outskirts of Geelong.

While visitor demand was sky-high, Mt Rothwell’s onsite accommodation was rundown and unpowered, meaning the team could not host all visitors and researchers on-site. Rendere stepped in to help.

Organisational context

The Mt Rothwell wildlife sanctuary on the outskirts of Geelong in Victoria 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 managed by a team of experts with decades of experience creating insurance populations of native fauna.

Our funding rationale

By funding the installation of solar power on the accommodation roof, Rendere could enable more visitors and researchers to stay on-site to observe native animals in the wild – particularly at night.

By facilitating a greater visitor experience, those visitors would spread the word about the vital work that is going on at Mt Rothwell and help the community gain a deeper appreciation of our native flora and fauna.

Rendere’s support could also encourage other philanthropists and corporates 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”.

In 2022, the Victorian Government announced funding to upgrade Mt Rothwell’s electrified fence, allowing it to expand by over 50 hectares, providing greater protection to our vulnerable species for another 40 years.