Meet the 11-year-old activist who is determined to save animals
Jasmine has been an activist for animals since she was only 4 years old. Since then, the now 11-year-old from Victoria is combining her determination, passion and creativity to carry out various different projects to help animals in need. By Kellie Giesen.
Saving the Tassie Devils
When Jasmine was only 4 years old she visited a wildlife park with her Oma (grandmother) in Victoria. Like many excited young visitors, Jasmine got her face painted as one of the animals at the park. The face painter chose to make her a Tasmanian Devil.
After that, Jas went off with her Oma to find out what a Tassie Devil looked like. That was the day she fell in love with Tassie Devils. Over the next six years Jas visited Tassie devils in Tasmania and learned more about them, which only made her love for them grow deeper.
It was one day in December 2013 that Jas finally got to touch, pat, and interact with a Tasmanian Devil (pictured above). This was the day Jas’ love turned into a passion. She started asking questions and investigating why her favourite animal was heading towards extinction, and she became determined to stop this from happening. Jas then decided she would start raising as much money as she could and donate it to Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal.
Jas chose Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal because they helped fund research into devil facial tumour and supported breeding and insurance population facilities. They also managed projects that looked into the impacts of roadkill on the wild devil population.
Jas started making headbands and hairclips and selling them to her friends for $2 each. Her Oma then started helping her make cards out of the photos Jas had taken. Soon later, Jas planned to have a stall at a school market, and recruited her family members to help. Her Big Nan (who was 90 years old!) made Tassie Devil shaped cookies, her Oma made “devil poo” (chocolate covered sultanas and jellybeans), and Jas’ aunt made Christmas bunting for her to sell.
The stall was a great success, so Jas had another stall at the local market. In 2014 Jas donated $556.35 to Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal. 2015 came around and Jas set her target for the year at $700. Through the sales of cards, hair clips, and piles of Tassie devil poo, her tally is sitting at $741.70. Jas hopes that her donation will help save the Tasmanian Devil for future generations.
“Jas’ story of supporting the Tassie Devil is inspirational and we are incredibly grateful for her support. Jas is helping us make a real and positive difference for this iconic animal and her passion is helping secure the Devil’s future. Thanks Jas!” – Save The Tasmanian Devil Appeal
Helping abandoned animals
Jas’ second passion is enriching the lives of the animals in her local RSPCA (Victoria) shelters while they wait to find their forever homes. Jas has had some great advice from animal carers about what sort of behaviours need to be encouraged while the animals are in the care of the RSPCA, as well as ways to enrich the animals’ lives.
Jas continues to make enrichment toys and activities for the dogs, cats, bunnies and Guinea pigs waiting for new homes, which she then donates to her local shelters. She has even gotten the whole family involved! Her dad helps to make the bigger items, while her mum and little brother Harry help make plaited toys, fluffy corks, carrot bon bons, and grow wheat grass and green leafy vegetables!
Jasmine had her Oma and Big Nan knitting mouse toys and collecting old towels and blankets. She also spoke to her local bakery who collect unused local papers for her, which she then takes to the RSPCA shelters. Jas would like to be able to adopt all of the animals in the shelter, but she realises that that is unrealistic. Instead, she convinced her parents to become foster carers for the animals that need a little bit of extra love before they are ready for their forever home. On Australia Day this year, the City of Casey awarded Jas for her efforts with a Highly Commended Award.
Please keep up the awesome work Jas! If you know an inspiring young activist anywhere in Australia, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.