Illawarra inmates help rebuild Dingo Sanctuary Bargo

The iconic Dingo Sanctuary Bargo was severely damaged in the Green Wattle Creek blaze last year, but Illawarra inmates are helping the site rebuild.

Two staff and 13 minimum-security inmates from the Illawarra Reintegration Centre have worked hard to make repairs at the fire-ravaged sanctuary.

Gardens, sheds and a showroom containing 52 years of memorabilia were completely gutted in the mid-December fire.

The inmates helped cut fallen trees, clear debris and fix fences and a sewer line as part of the rebuild efforts.

Sanctuary president and founding director Luci Ellem said she greatly appreciated the group's efforts.

"We just don't have the resources so it's been fantastic to have extra hands to help with the clean-up," she said.

"The correctional staff and inmates have worked really hard and I can't thank them enough.

"Dingoes have a special aura about them and I feel they've provided comfort to the inmates."

The inmates also installed a new shade cloth around the sanctuary perimeter, which helped the dingoes resettle into their pens.

Correctional Services NSW manager of industries Lauren Knudsen said it have been one of the most rewarding days she had experienced in her career.

"We all feel that we are giving back to the community and the inmates are very thankful to be able to assist people who have been devastated by the fires," she said.

CSNSW Community Projects Teams provide support to community groups and non-government organisations across the state with many inmate work teams assisting drought-affected farmers in recent times.

The sanctuary is run by the Australian Native Dog Conservation Society, which was formed in 1976 by Berenice Walters to promote understanding and knowledge of Australia's native dog, the dingo, and its official recognition and protection as native fauna.

If you would like to donate to the Bargo Dingo Sanctuary or help with the rebuild, visit for more information.