“During my six month stay in Australia I made sure to take the opportunity to gather experience at some of the many World Heritage Sites Australia has to offer. I squeezed in three unique volunteer roles, in three completely different environments, each with distinct management systems.
The first was at the World Heritage Institute in Katoomba, in the spectacular Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, New South Wales. Specifically, I was working under Director John Merson and Annabel Murray at the Low Carbon Living Program. This inspirational community initiative audits local businesses according to their water, waste and energy usage, providing them with advice on how to minimize their carbon footprint. I was able to experience the rich natural heritage of the Blue Mountains, and also fortunate to spend time with Chris Tobin, who is a National Park Ranger and also heads up the Aboriginal concerns of the region in a variety of differing capacities, and who introduced me to the Indigenous communities connection to the country.
Next, I ventured south to the Port Arthur Historic Site in Tasmania, to be a part of the incredibly dedicated Conservation and Infrastructure team. I worked on developing ideas and resources for the Education Department to be used in the Cascades Female Factory in Hobart. I was fortunate to spend time researching, and touring the various aspects of the site. It was fascinating to understand the running demands of such a prestigious site on a daily basis, observe the planning for a major new visitor centre and all the interpretation strategies which are being integrated, comprehend the shift into a streamlined collections management system and experience the educational program.
Finally, I ventured as far west as possible, to the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, which took me up close and personal with marine wildlife and its associated concerns. I volunteered on the ‘Dolphin Experience’ at Monkey Mia. It was a huge thrill to be so close to these beautiful animals. I was also lucky to meet with Cheryl Cowell, the World Heritage Officer and Chair of the local World Heritage Committee, and It was a revelation to learn about the various roles she has to perform as part of her position.”
Link to the blog post I wrote for Deakin.