What do you do?
My primary role is to coordinate teams comprising a Team Leader and volunteers, a boat and/or all required equipment to undertake reef health surveys. Consideration also needs to be given to the weather forecast and under-water visibility to ensure conditions are suitable to undertake the surveys. I am also lucky enough to be a trained volunteer survey diver and a qualified Team Leader, which allows me to lead the team during the surveys. In addition to the above, I assist with grant applications, risk assessments, report writing and any other tasks necessary for the successful operation of a not-for-profit organisation.
Why did you choose this field?
I came into this position following my involvement with the organisation on a volunteer basis as a survey diver and ambassador. My initial varied fields of employment were not in STEM, but as a mature age student I enrolled and successfully completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science. During this time I worked for an Environmental Management Consultancy and worked my way up from assisting environmental scientists to being one. Only last year I quit my job and completed Honours fulltime, studying a marine creature I am passionate about.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I wish that as a younger person I had a passion to pursue. I also wish I had studied something at University and ideally marine science would have been that thing.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I look forward to being able to make a contribution, no matter how small, to the protection of our marine environment. I also love the days when we get to go diving and see the wonders of the underwater world in areas where I would not normally go diving.
Best advice for next generation?
If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter how hard it may seem at the time. Don't give up. If you start out in something that you decide you don't like, it is never too late to change and learn new skills. If you can't get into the course you want, enrol in something else; you can generally swap over later once you have built up more skills.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model