BEN DESSEN – Wildlife Advocate, Conservationist, Pet Expert, Author, Presenter, Motivational Speaker & Digital Influencer
Like many Australians – in fact, a whopping 5.9 million households to be precise – Ben Dessen is a proud pet parent. But Ben’s pet family is unlike most households around the country; it’s more like a marvellous menagerie packed with animals of all varieties. From amphibians to creepy crawlies, an assortment of rescued native birds and marsupials, as well as a wide variety of reptilian species of all shapes and sizes (a personal favourite), and of course his beloved tail-wagger, Ben shares his life with them all. Ben is not just a proud pet parent – he’s the live-in manager of a not-for-profit wildlife sanctuary. Spanning more than 40 acres of pristine conservation bushland in Sydney’s North West, the sanctuary provides a safe-haven for the rehabilitation and protection of injured and orphaned native animals. With his zoological background and extensive, hands-on experience working with a wide variety of wildlife species, Ben believes that by truly appreciating the beauty in other creatures, we can discover the best part of ourselves.
As a wildlife advocate and conservationist, author, media presenter, educator and public speaker, Ben has dedicated his life to helping animals both within Australia and around the world. Extraordinarily enterprising and energetic, he also comes with some incredible credentials for someone so young.
With qualifications in animal science and conservation biology, Ben has globe-trotted through the open plains of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, walked in Charles Darwin’s footsteps through the Galapagos Islands and spent time living in the ancient biodiverse rainforests of Borneo in Southeast Asia’s Malay Archipelago. Working in Borneo Ben helped to rescue orphaned orangutans while shooting a documentary for 100 days in the jungle. Ben has also been fortunate to benefit from some terrific tutelage throughout his career, including – Better Homes & Garden’s iconic vet Dr Harry Cooper and none-other than the grandfather of conservation, Bob Irwin, father of the legendary Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin! Today a regular fixture across breakfast TV on every major network (not to mention guest-spots presenting on programs such as Totally Wild, Saturday Disney, Bondi Vet, The Living Room and soon to be appearing on ABC’s Play School), Ben is passionate about educating audiences of all ages about the role each of us play in improving the lives of animals everywhere. If that’s not enough, Ben also finds the time to manage one of the most modern and diverse companion animal centres in the country, host a series of highly popular online pet masterclasses, and is a resident teacher at the Future Vet Kids Camp, mentoring tots and teens to encourage their passion for pursuing a career working with wildlife and animals. With his highly anticipated debut book, The Ultimate Pet Handbook (New Holland Publishers) released in September 2022, Ben is also a regular contributor to national wildlife publications as well as a sought-after keynote, covering venues of all sizes and connecting with all walks of life from rural primary schools to international corporate HQs. When it comes to his quest to save animals and the environment, as Ben Dessen humbly explains, “Each and every person has the power to make a difference, but it’s what we do with that power that counts.”