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The Nature of Orana – Snake Education

Having such a beautiful and natural campus means that we share this space with a variety of creatures, including snakes. Our students had Gavin Smith from ACT Snake Removals come to bring insight and understanding to these important reptiles and what our students should do to stay safe if they see one.

His primary message was that these creatures should be respected but not feared as they have been living here for millions of years and they are more scared of humans than we are of them. They only want to stay safe and hide and only become defensive when they feel threatened.

His wonderful assistant Sylvie (his daughter from Class 2) helped our students understand that snakes shouldn’t be feared, but certainly respected as she brought her pet shingleback lizard and a carpet python (non-venomous) around for the students to pet.

Gavin shared with our students that if you see a snake on campus, remain calm and still, back away carefully and slowly if possible and to call for a teacher to help and the teacher make sure all students in the area are safe. Our Site Team will then come to manage the situation and see that the snake is relocated off campus into a safe area for both the public and the snake. Three of our Site Team are trained and qualified snake catchers and we call on Gavin to help where possible.

The most common type of snake that we see on campus at Orana is the Eastern Brown Snake (As pictured: Image courtesy of, which is venomous so if you see any snake, please alert the office or Site Team, do not approach the snake, but try and keep your eye on it until the site team arrives. We do have lots of Blue Tongue Lizards and skinks around but do notify the Site Team if you are in any way unsure.

If you need a snake removed from your home or workplace or have any questions for him, Gavin can be contacted through his website