To me the natural world is THE WORLD- everything we have, make, or rely on comes from nature, it’s not separate from us and how we live our lives.
Brought up on nature programmes on TV, I always wanted to somehow help secure the natural world upon which we all depend, a world which is incredibly beautiful, adaptable and awe inspiring. From the epic rivers that span continents,to the ecological, amazing evolutionary wonders such as the orchid flower that looks like a monkey – it’s all incredible.
So how could I help? Although I had a background in Zoology, I decided to move on from academia and focus on my other skills. I love working with people, I have good management skills (what my mother would call bossy!) and a determination to make a difference whatever that might be. I started as an admin assistant and worked my way up, exposing myself as much as possible to what conservation and organisational management involves. Much of my work has focused around conservation strategy, project management, organisational development, staff and finance management, fundraising and awareness campaigns. At the start of my career I would never have predicted being involved in random activities like choosing colours for our challenge rickshaws, fixing rhino costumes or making tea for celebrities.
The greatest pleasure has been championing the cause for many majestic species such as Asian elephants, rhinos, freshwater dolphins and of course tigers. All the hard work pays off during a field visit when you are able to see these amazing creatures in the wild- hands shaking as you try and photograph the moment. I hope my grandchildren will be able to enjoy similar experiences.
On one of these field visits, a fellow, more experienced conservationist told me that the best way to have the most conservation impact was to find a group of people that had the same vision and way of working that I did. I didn’t quite realise what he meant until I came across WildTeam.
When I heard about the way WildTeam worked and its core values- I had a sense of déjà vu– like it was meant to be,in finding WildTeam, I had found my conservation home.
WildTeam is a family, full of incredibly passionate and infectious people who always energise me and our work. A diverse and dynamic family who have different skills, backgrounds and experience anda family who are prepared to share those assets with others,unafraid to try things differently or change things if they are not working.
I think the key to saving wildlife is people. The future of our world lies in the hands of the communities which depend directly upon local natural resources, the people who have committed their lives to conservation and yet also with those who feel more detached from nature and so need to reconnect. I believe that by working together we really can change the game for nature.