Fishcare volunteers

The DPI Fishcare program is one of the most successful volunteer programs in NSW and is central to the success of many of our recreational fishing education programs. If you have a passion for fish and fishing and you'd like to help protect our aquatic habitat, why not think about becoming a Fishcare Volunteer?

Volunteers talk to anglers about fishing rules, responsible fishing and help in a range of activities, such as fishing workshops, surveys, school incursions and community fishing events.

Funded from the recreational fishing trusts, the NSW Fishcare Volunteer Program continues to expand boasting volunteers in many inland and coastal areas around the State.

Become a Fishcare Volunteer

You can apply to become a Fishcare Volunteer (PDF, 1495.48 KB) if you:

  • have a keen interest in fish, fishing and the conservation of our fish resources and habitat
  • are 18 years or over.

Our volunteers range in age from students to retirees, and come from a great range of backgrounds and are expected to give approximately one day per month to assist the program.

You'll be involved in helping create better awareness among anglers and the wider community about fishing issues, but you won't have enforcement powers.

All volunteers are issued with clear identification as well as a distinctive hat, shirt and backpack containing the necessary documentation.

A Fishcare Volunteer is expected to adhere to the Public Code of Conduct and statement of principles.

Fishcare Volunteer Activities

Long Reef Aquatic Reserve celebrates 40 years

Since 1980, Long Reef Aquatic Reserve has played an important role in protecting rocky shore plants and animals, and has been an important place for marine education and research.

Training for volunteers

Training will be made available to Fishcare Volunteers once they're successfully part of the program.

More information on the Fishcare Volunteer program

If you'd like more information about the program, contact an Education Officer (EO):

Name Position & locationAddress Contact details

Melanie Buhler

EO North Coast Region

(Coffs Harbour)

Level 1, 30 Park Ave

Coffs Harbour NSW 2450

M: 0458 274 876

Alex Stollznow

EO Sydney (Newington)

6 Avenue of the Americas

Newington, NSW, 2127

M: 0448 725 878

Matt McLeod

EO Central Coast Region

UON Ourimbah Campus

North Loop Road,

Ourimbah NSW 2258

M: 0455 553 988

Dee Payne

EO South Coast Region


Level 1, 5 O'Keefe Avenue,

Nowra, NSW, 2541

M: 0408 437 547

Roger Cupples

EO North West Region


4 Marsden Park Road

Calala, NSW 2340

M: 0419 662 508

Brett Smith

EO South West


Central West LLS Office

Crn Court & Currajong St

Parkes NSW 2870

M: 0447 219 618

Dee Payne State Coordinator - Community Programs

159 Auburn Street

Goulburn NSW 2580

M: 0408 437 547

Recreational and Indigenous Fisheries Community Programs Education Officer Regions maps

Feedback on the Fishcare Volunteer program

"I am a teacher at Cooranbong Public School, recently we had the privilege of having four Fishcare Volunteers visit our school and tell us about “fishing and safety”.

My year 2/3R class really enjoyed their presentation, we all wished we had more time to listen to them and ask more questions.

We are looking forward to them coming back to visit again to share their knowledge and experiences with us.

They had such a nice way of working with my class."

Mrs Theresa le Roux

"I would like to express my thanks for your personal efforts in my acceptance at the recent NSW DPI Fishcare Volunteer Program course.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised on my first day by the DPI course structure and detail of presentation re current recreational fishing practices and licence fee issues.

More impressively, each of the DPI course presenters, such as David from TAFE, the local Fisheries Inspector and yourself (as Regional Coordinator) not only demonstrated knowledge of their respective subject material, but also conveyed conviction and passion by underlining the key issues with personal anecdotes.

Dee, the NSW DPI State Community Program Coordinator expertly explained relevant NSW DPI fishery policies, objectives, funding etc at a level understood by course participants.

Alstonville Fishing Club (AFC) wishes to also formally thank DPI’s Belinda Lucas for her continuing support of AFC via DPI newsletters, updates, circulars, pamphlets, fish measures, etc.

AFC remains committed to the protection of our local environment and to the support of NSW’s sustainable recreational fishing practices."

Jack Laos, Secretary AFC/Public Officer, DPI Fishcare Volunteer

"On behalf of Year Six and the Stage Three teachers, we would like to thank you for inviting us to attend the Get Hooked program.

A special thank you to all the friendly and helpful volunteers for making time in their schedule to teach us how to fish legally, carefully and properly. The Get Hooked program taught us how to tie knots, how to know if we have to throw the fish back and of course we all loved the goodie bags that you gave to use.

We all enjoyed the fishing at Gunnamatta Park and seeing ourselves on television that night.

We hope the school is invited again next year.

Thank you."

James Howard and George Farmakidis, Year Six students, Carlton South Public School