An Adventist school student from New South Wales has been recognised by the Irwin family as Wildlife Warrior of the Year.
Molly Henry, a year 8 student at Central Coast Adventist School (CCAS), has been invited to the Steve Irwin Gala Dinner in Brisbane on November 10 where she will receive the award from Australia Zoo and the Steve Irwin Foundation for her conservation projects and efforts. The team at Australia Zoo told Molly’s mum Melinda that Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin, who will present the award, personally picked Molly, as she has been a stand out individual among the Wildlife Warrior group.
Molly joined the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors in March this year and has been full steam ahead ever since, organising various fundraising opportunities such as making and selling wildlife keyrings, holding an Easter raffle, and creating tiger t-shirts. She also opted out of birthday presents, instead requesting that friends and family make donations to the Wildlife Warriors fund. Through her efforts, she has already raised an incredible $A2904, placing her as the second highest fundraiser for Wildlife Warriors in the world.
“Molly has always been passionate about animals and wildlife,” said mum Melinda. “From a very young age she has rescued animals that need help including a Tawny Frogmouth, a cockatoo and many brush turkeys. We call her the bird whisperer, as she can get any wild bird to sit happily on her arm and will spend hours with them. As the years went on we started seeing the passion develop even more and now that she is old enough to make a difference she has embraced it and will do whatever she can.”
Molly also participates in many conservation projects, and has been involved in planting native trees in the local area to help the yellow-bellied gliders and swift parrots. Each year, she makes pouches in her own time for the baby animals at the Australian Reptile Park, and has donated more than 50 pouches so far.
Molly’s commitment and dedication to the environment has significantly changed the way her family live, as they have stopped using single-use plastic products and now have eco-friendly options like stainless steel straws, Keep Cups and beeswax wraps. Molly even collects old mobile phones off family and friends, sending them to be recycled to help save the gorillas by stopping the mining for the minerals used in the manufacturing process that destroys their habitats.
Molly’s dedication to taking care of the environment and being a champion for the plight of wildlife is something she takes seriously, and she regularly encourages her friends to do the same.
“I am so proud to be fundraising for Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors [to] help make a difference!” said Molly. “If we all work together anything is possible, so never give up on your passion because it is worth it.”
Molly’s dream is to visit primary schools and educate children on the importance of the environment and conservation while they are young and care about such issues.
“We are both incredibly proud of her achievements and the beautiful young lady she is growing into,” says Melinda.
If you would like to donate to Molly’s fundraiser, visit https://vww2018.everydayhero.com/au/molly.