Chris ‘Brolga’ Barns at The Kangaroo Sanctuary in the Northern Territory © Tourism Australia

The Kangaroo Sanctuary, Northern Territory © Tourism Australia

Interview with the Kangaroo Rescuer

Why is your nickname Brolga?

An Aboriginal friend of mine from Kakadu called me 'Brolga', which is a bird: the Australian crane. He said I looked like a one – the name just stuck.

Joey, Kangaroo Sanctuary, Alice Springs, NT © The Kangaroo Sanctuary

Red kangaroo joey © The Kangaroo Sanctuary

My job is not “work” for me. I love taking care of kangaroos. But they must be looked after 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When they sleep, I sleep as well, and we also take breaks together of course.

Roos being bottle fed, The Kangaroo Sanctuary, Alice Springs, Northern Territory © The Kangaroo Sanctuary

Feeding kangaroos © The Kangaroo Sanctuary

Joey in a blanket, The Kangaroo Sanctuary, NT © Tourism Australia

Joey in a blanket © Tourism Australia

They're the reason I get up so early every day. Just like small children, they need their mother or father. Someone to be there for them. I am like a mother to the kangaroo joeys.

A small kangaroo joey jumping past a tour guide at The Kangaroo Sanctuary, NT © Tourism NT/Matt Glastonbury 2017

A small kangaroo joey jumping past a tour guide © Tourism NT/Matt Glastonbury

A kangaroo joey snuggled in blankets at The Kangaroo Sanctuary © Tourism NT/Matt Glastonbury 2017

A kangaroo joey snuggled in blankets © Tourism NT/Matt Glastonbury

Read next

There is nothing as beautiful as the outback: red sand and mountains, blue sky, golden grass and the extraordinary animal world, the wildlife – especially our red kangaroos.

A kangaroo joey stares into the camera, NT © Tourism NT/Shaana McNaught 2016

A kangaroo joey stares into the camera © Tourism NT/Shaana McNaught