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A WildlifeLink Project . . . . .

"WildlifeLink Sanctuary"


Headquarters of

Australian Seabird Rescue 


264 North Creek Road

Ballina  NSW  2478

Tel:  (02) 6686 2852


"The Leap" - famous picture of the late Lance Ferris rescuing an injured pelican!

A turtle release - three of them!

The Australian Seabird Rescue, Research, Rehabilitation and Coastal Education Centre


In 2004 the Foundation purchased a 5 acre riverfront property on the banks of North Creek river on the outskirts of Ballina on the far north coast of New South Wales.  It is situated on protected wetland, and is home to many native fauna in its lakes and bushland.

The property has been developed as a wildlife sanctuary and operating base for the rescue, rehabilitation and educational activities of Australian Seabird Rescue


It houses an operations and information centre where school and community groups attend tours and educational lectures, a hospital with intensive care facilities, turtle rehabilitation tanks, bird aviaries and care facilities, two picturesque lakes - all in a pristine wetland setting.


The Foundation is proud to support the sanctuary infrastructure, maintenance and running costs, management positions, provision of new infrastructure and equipment, and from time to time other projects to ensure that ASR operates from a state of the art facility.


ASR and its team of volunteers rescue and care for marine seabirds, shorebirds and other coastal wildlife including turtles in specially built aviaries, turtle tanks and hospital facilities.

Its commitment to the primary care of wildlife, the education of other carers throughout coastal Australia, involvement with community, and hosting of frequent school and community groups to further awareness of wildlife and its environment is in harmony with the Foundation's aims and philosophies.

The Foundation is proud to support the management of the organisation and the continuing development of the sanctuary.


The late Lance Ferris had been a native bird carer for many years before focusing on pelican rescue in 1992 - at which time he discovered that 35% of Ballina's pelicans were crippled and injured by fishing tackle from recreational fishers.  In 1993 he was joined by Marny Bonner and several other volunteers - after surveying other major estuaries throughout the north coast of New South Wales it became clear that wherever there were pelicans there were injured pelicans  -  and so Australian Seabird Rescue was formed.

After the untimely death of Lance, his daughter Rochelle Ferris stepped into his shoes and managed ASR for several years.  She is still active with the organisation, particularly in the training of new carers.

The management team is now headed by Steve Whalen who has had 20 years of experience as a marine scientist specialising in marine ecosystrms, as well a practical wildlife care.   

All other members of the ASR team are volunteers.

With branches along the coastline of New South Wales and sister-groups around the country, ASR's strategic objective is to reduce the human impact on wildlife through rescue, research and education.

Since commencing operations ASR members have rescued thousands of animals, talked to thousands of community groups in person and through the media, and trained hundreds of wildlife carers in the rescue and rehabilitation of marine wildlife.

ASR is active in education of the community regarding the dangers of plastic and are at the forefront of campaigns to ban the release of helium balloons, both of which are ingested by marine life and a major cause of mortality.

The ASR Hospital & Intensive Care at WildlifeLink Sanctuary.  The tanks are for the rehabilitation of injured turtles and a great attraction for visiting school and community groups to observe the turtles "up close"!

"The future lies in the hands of our children" - ASR hosts regular school groups on educational tours - you can see how keen they are!

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