At the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), we strongly believe in working together – across industry, countries and continents – to find new and innovative solutions to the complex issues we face. Which is why we’re so proud to announce Australian actor Bonnie Sveen as our newest IFAW Australia Ambassador.
Like IFAW, Bonnie is dedicated to helping animals thrive into the future.
IFAW Ambassadors serve as champions for the brand, using their voices to amplify our work and advocate for our vision.
We’re so grateful of Bonnie’s support and passion. We quizzed Bonnie about what sparked her interest in animals and conservation and how she first came to know our wonderful partners at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and Hospital.
What is your favourite animal?
I wish I could narrow it down for you! Some of my faves are: spotted-tail quoll, Tassie devil, green sea turtle, and all dolphins and whales!
How did you become interested in conservation?
I felt a part of nature growing up in Ranelagh, Tasmania - and am as attached to the wilderness as I am to my family!
We were lucky to have our backyards come alive at night with marsupials and masked owls and bats. Living on a hobby farm meant we would have an eye out for our lambs or chickens when we spotted wedge tailed eagles or a white goshawk (less frequent!) We also often lost chickens to quolls! Having the native ecology be such a part of our lifestyle built up a huge interest and empathy for the native animals we shared the space with.
How did you hear about IFAW?
Through IFAW’s incredible support of Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and Hospital.
What’s your one piece of advice to make the planet a better place for the animals and humans that call it home?
Vote for politicians you know will act on climate change, prioritise the environment and ensure First Nations people and values are at the heart of decision-making moving forward.
What do you think is the biggest conservation issue we’re facing?
The fast moving and often unpredictable effects of the climate emergency.
How did you first meet Bonorong director Greg Irons and the rest of the team?
In true Tasmanian style, Greg and I knew each other when I was a teen. Around 2016 we reconnected and I shared how in awe I was of his achievement transforming Bonorong into the sanctuary it is now, also providing the state’s only 24/7 rescue service and training. Since then there have been many visits to Bonorong and my family and I completed the rescue training they offer. I’ve loved playing a more active role in local environmental issues.
What experience have you had with animals that has impacted you the most?
A friend of mine at school worked with his grandfather as a tree faller and would take injured animals (often vulnerable joeys) to another friend, whose mother was a wildlife carer. That was one of the many cases where I had seen first-hand, animal suffering caused by our destruction. Sometimes harm stems from malice but often it is incidental. Both require trained hands and empathy. Bonorong do a brilliant job providing both and equipping communities to give them the best chance of avoiding animal suffering altogether.
Do you have any pets?
Yes, the lucky rescue cat Jaffa, who got to flee Sydney when we moved back to Tasmania in 2017. Although she’s quite blind and uncoordinated we make sure she’s an inside cat, never roams and sleeps in our shed at night.