Premier's salute to wildlife hero

Published 12:03pm 25 June 2021

Premier's salute to wildlife hero
Words by Moreton Daily
Written by Breeana Roberts

Madonna O’Brien is a wildlife carer who, despite her struggles with spina bifida, continues to help the community through her work with native animals.

This spinal condition impacts Madonna’s work, but with support via the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), her support worker and funding, she has been able to continue saving native wildlife.

The Dayboro resident was a teacher for 21 years before she retired and started her work with animals.

After applying for aid in 2019, her life changed. She now has assistance for her goal of helping gliders, wallabies, kangaroos, and other animals in need.

Premier's salute to wildlife hero
Madonna O'Brien tending 'Dave' the kangaroo, one of her foster animals.

Palaszczuk's praise

“The NDIS has been an absolute godsend; to not have to pay for everything out of my own pocket now is fantastic.”

Madonna spends a lot of time with animals, caring for and loving them.

With help, she has been able to provide for the community and give animals, who were so deeply impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires, a chance to recover and return to their lives.

She was recognised by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Twitter early last year, calling for “extra funding to help carers and hospitals get animals rehabilitated and back out into the wild where they belong”.

Premier's salute to wildlife hero
One of the kangaroos Madonna O'Brien has been caring for at her Dayboro home.

Impact on wildlife

Madonna says the drought and fires have killed and injured more animals than she has ever seen.  However, the need for more wildlife carers and effort put into saving disadvantaged animals are what inspires her to continue her vital work.

Madonna plays a very important role in animal conservation. It is the perfect circle of support, from Madonna receiving aid from NDIS to her giving a helping hand to animals in return.

She is able to develop her goals of maintaining her independence and continue as an active member of her community. Madonna is very grateful for her opportunity to continue her work with wildlife.

For more information visit Madonna's Facebook page facebook.com/people/Madonna-OBrien

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