Although Friday the 13th scares many around the world, for some others this is a great day to reminisce about — especially for our volunteers who took on a mission that day. The trio – Ashish Mathur, Utpal Bera, and Anoop Muraleedharan – teamed up with fellow volunteers from Telstra NBN to help the resident colony of 1,200 penguins in St. Kilda, City of Victoria, Australia.

Help how? Through Landcare – a partnership among communities, governments, and businesses – to protect and repair Australia’s often spectacular, but threatened natural landscapes and resources.

Forty volunteers ventured into the St. Kilda breakwater to safeguard the resident penguins’ nests. During the course of their time there, the team took the sand – that collects near the nests, threatening them – and put it back on the beach. They learnt to tell the difference between invasive weeds and native vegetation - and to separate the good from the bad. They combed the waterways near the cross-over bridge, cleared away litter, and cleaned the West Beach. At the end of their time, the group’s collaborative efforts helped to save a part of the natural world from being adversely affected. It was, as Ashish put it, “A great day to give back.” And that they certainly did. Because, all their hard work had given the penguins, seals, and other wildlife back their pristine habitat.

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