Nicole’s passion to protect wildlife and the unique habitats they live in started from an early age. Born in Sydney and raised in Colombia, Nicole’s deep commitment to animal protection and welfare led her to a veterinary medicine degree. During her degree, Nicole was a recipient of the Honours Academic Scholarship award multiple times—a testament to her hard work ethic and passion.
Working with animals was exactly where she wanted to be, but she had always felt drawn to environmental conservation and wildlife protection. This passion was ignited when she was thrown in the deep end in her first role at a wildlife trafficking rehabilitation centre where she worked closely with brown-throated three-toed sloths and spectacled bears.
Nicole moved back to Sydney in 2016 and worked in wildlife sanctuaries, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charities, vet hospitals and for a number of NGOs based in NSW. During this time she developed a strong knowledge and understanding of Australian wildlife care and management and gained experience in projects and campaigns aided by scientific research.
This knowledge was thrown into action during the catastrophic 2019/20 Australian bushfires where Nicole was directly involved in rescuing wildlife and evacuating animals at a wildlife sanctuary north of Sydney. This harrowing experience gave Nicole greater determination to help animals and the people who care for them when disaster strikes.
Since 2020, she has been working with the IFAW Australia team to implement disaster preparedness projects as well as wildlife rescue and response. In this role, Nicole’s veterinary knowledge, skills and conservationist values allow her to contribute to the protection and preservation of the natural environment and wildlife, in particular, endangered species. She aims to continue learning and working towards finding a way for animals and people to thrive together while helping wildlife carers and communities to prepare for disasters.
B.A. Veterinary Science, University of Environmental and Applied Sciences Bogota, Colombia
Diploma in Management and Leadership, Greenwich Management College Sydney, NSW, Australia
Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing, TAFE Ultimo Sydney, NSW, Australia