Western Australian Gould League
Nurturing a passion for nature through education, innovation and communication
The Gould League is an independent environmental education organisation that enables people to understand, appreciate and protect the environment.
Its strategies aim to educate and empower the community in the long term conservation and rational management of the total environment. Any surplus funds are invested, furthering its aims.
About the WA Gould League
The Western Australian (WA) Gould League (Inc) is a non-profit, independent environmental organisation that enables people to understand, appreciate and protect the environment.
The WA Gould League was formed in 1939 with Charles Hadley, who was at that time the Director of Education, as its first President. Membership rose quickly and over 18,000 school students became members by 1955.
Today, the WA Gould League continues to maintain a strong relationship with Catholic, Independent and Department of Education schools, with over 7500 students annually experiencing its environmental education programs. The environmental education experiences provided by the Centre are continually reviewed to keep pace with current educational initiatives.
Management of the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre
The WA Gould League manages the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre within the Herdsman Lake Regional Park. The staff positions at the Wildlife Centre are a partnership between the WA Department of Education and the WA Gould League.
The staff report through the Department of Education's North Metropolitan Regional Office and takes direction from the Council of the WA Gould League. The Centre Manager is responsible for promoting the Gould League, developing and coordinating the environmental education programs and for raising awareness of the State's flora, fauna and wildlife conservation.
The WA Gould League respectfully acknowledge the Whadjuk Nyungar as the traditional custodians of the land where the Wildlife Centre stands.
Council and Management of the WA Gould League
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can the Centre help with sick or injured wildlife?
We are sorry but the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre is not a wildlife rescue or care facility. If you've found injured or sick wildlife, we suggest you call the Wildcare Helpline on (08) 9474 9055
Does the Centre have disabled access?
The Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre has wheelchair access and disabled-friendly facilities such as reserved carpark bays and disabled-access toilets. Please contact us prior to your visit to enquire about any special arrangements you may require. Please note that the Centre does not provide public toilet facilities and these are for the use of genuine Centre visitors only.
What about Safety and Public Liability?
The Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre provides a safe learning environment for students of all ages. In the 25 years that the WA Gould League has operated the Wildlife Centre and conducted school excursions there, there have been no serious incidents or injuries resulting from the Centre's educational activities.
The WA Gould league has completed a full risk analysis of the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre and the educational activities it conducts, at or near the Centre, in compliance with Department of Education Risk Minimisation Policy.
Are there snakes in Herdsman Lake?
Yes - there are Tiger Snakes living in the wetland habitats of Herdsman Lake. You can read more about these beautiful animals here.
Herdsman Lake Regional Park
Herdsman Lake is the largest wetland in the inner metropolitan area, supporting a diversity of wildlife that is a rare occurrence in an urban setting.
The lake is a haven for birdwatchers, only six kilometres from the city. This beautiful wetland provides a wildlife sanctuary where many species of waterbird breed and where people can enjoy nature right outside their own backyards
Herdsman Lake is also a valuable cultural heritage site. The Aboriginal people call it Ngurgenboro and used it as a food source in the past. European settlers also used the Lake for gardening, mining and soldier resettlement. It was almost developed into an airport too!
Herdsman Lake is surrounded by various recreation facilities such as playgrounds, a wildlife viewing centre, grassed parklands, and kilometres of walking and cycling tracks
Management of the Park
Herdsman Lake Regional Park is managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. The long-term vision for the Park is:
“Herdsman Lake Regional Park will be a quality wetland supporting biodiversity and a range of habitats. As a wildlife refuge it will be a successful example of human - wildlife interaction within an urban setting. The Park will accommodate environmental education, cultural interpretation and sustainable recreation use.” (Herdsman Lake Regional Park Management Plan)
In 1997, the state government proposed that a management plan for Herdsman Lake be prepared by DBCA (then the Department of Environment and Conservation) in conjunction with the City of Stirling.
The WA Gould League is proactive in developing partnerships with other organisations in order to facilitate the fulfilment of the Herdsman Lake Regional Park Management Plan.
Difficulty: Easy and wheelchair accessible.
Estimated time: 15-20 minutes at a leisurely pace.
To the right of Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre is the Olive Seymour boardwalk trail. The boardwalk protects the fragile swamp ecosystem (animals, plants, land and water sysems) while allowing visitors to explore comfortably.
Discover a whole new world as you walk through flooded gum, tea-tree and paperbark woodlands; be rewarded with magnificent views of Herdsman Lake and its rich birdlife; look out for frogs, dragonflies and damselflies amongst the reeds...and if you're lucky, you might just spot a tiger snake!
Tiger Snake Etiquette
Tiger snakes are beautiful, venomous native snakes that call Herdsman Lake Regional Park home. These animals should be treated with respect and left alone in their environment. This fact sheet will tell you more about these native animals.
During your walks around Herdsman Lake, you may encounter a tiger snake. To protect yourself - and the snakes - please observe the following:
Avoid walking into long-grass areas where tiger snakes may be resting. It is best to stay on the path of the walking trail and keep your eyes open.
If you do encounter a tiger snake, stay calm and leave it alone - the snake will usually make its way off on seeing you.
Tiger snakes have never bitten visitors to Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre. However, in the event of a bite or suspected bite, the Centre has First Aid kits with pressure bandages. Hospital attention is required if bitten by a tiger snake.