SAVING LIVES: Charlie Lewis with Allan the koala, who had been pierced by barbed wire in both hands, both feet and his belly.
SAVING LIVES: Charlie Lewis with Allan the koala, who had been pierced by barbed wire in both hands, both feet and his belly. Contributed

Community Q-and-A: Charlie Lewis chats about her wild life

Suburb of Residence: Toogoolawah.

Occupation: Mum/carer, wildlife/animal rescue, SES.

Age: 44.

What have you enjoyed most about being a wildlife carer? As a member of Arrow Wildlife, I love working with amazing people from all wildlife groups and hospitals like the Ipswich Koala Protection Society (IKPS), RSPCA and the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital - without the teamwork from all the groups and places, the wild- life would be stuffed. I also love meeting such beautiful and amazing animals.

Why did you decide to do it in the first place? As a very young child, I was rescuing all kinds of animals and I just kept it going as I grew up.

Have you met anyone famous, who and when? I have met many famous people over the years, from artists and movie stars, writers and directors, and other famous animal advocates but the most amazing person I met and continue to turn to for advice is Bob Irwin. He is a amazing man who always, always has time to stop and help or give advice when it comes to wildlife. He is wonderful.

What is your greatest accomplishment in life? Apart from my children, it's getting koalas and other wildlife help and protection in the Somerset, Lockyer and the Scenic Rim. We've had many meetings with ministers and help from Shayne Newman to shine the light on the devastating loss of our wildlife and their habitat.

What's the best advice you've ever received? Do what you believe is best in your heart for the animals and grab the bull by it's horns and fight for them.

What is the one thing you would like to change in the world? Like many others, I would take pain and suffering away, and have more kindness and love. I'd like to see people have more compassion and understanding towards animals and understand their need for protection and protection of habitat or our grandchildren will only see animals stuffed in a museum or in a zoo.

Notwithstanding the number, how old do you feel and why? I still feel like a kid probably because I refuse to grow up and because I love having fun with my family.

What is your favourite hobby or recreation, and why? I love building model boats and playing in the rivers to see what animals we can find.

What is your happiest childhood memory? Watching old movies with my mum.

What is your favourite place to visit in the district? A local river to me where we can be swimming, and the platypus and Lung fish can swim by like we are not even there.

What would you do if you won the Lotto? I would create a place called Forever Sanctuary on a huge piece of land. I'd have a large building where kids with terminal illnesses can come and play and stay for a while with family so they can enjoy laughter, and at the back, an animal rehabilitation and sanctuary for wildlife and injured animals such as koalas can be rehabilitated and released. Kids and animals share the same kind of love for life and this way the kids can see them. I'd also buy a never-ending supply of petrol so we always have enough for rescues.

Who are the people you most admire - dead or living? My mum, who has passed, for her compassion and strength. My mentor Monica Allen, who has also passed, for sharing her love and knowledge for wildlife and Steve Irwin, because regardless of what people thought of him, he would fight for wildlife and to get them help and protection no matter what.

So, who are you really? Why not tell us about yourself and be part of the Gatton Star's Q&A? Just answer 10 simple questions about yourself and send a couple of relevant photos. Want to get involved? Email news@gattonstar.com.au and we will send you some questions.