Every Monday Jobs at DOC will take you behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation.
This week we find out about Community Relations Ranger, Sandra Groves.
Name: Sandra Groves
Position: Community Relations Ranger, Gisborne Whakatane Area.
What kind of things do you do in your role?
I do communications for the area. This involves media, website publishing, publications, interpretation/signage projects and secretarial support to Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve Committee. I also assist with events in the area and other Community Relations work.
What is the best part about your job?
Feeling like I am making a difference. Seeing my written material in the local newspapers or hearing one of the ‘did you know’ facts for Conservation Week or Sea Week on the local radio station. I also like finding out through media stories about the conservation work in the Gisborne and Whakatane/Opotiki regions, and from the organisation as a whole.
What is the hardest part about your job?
Being able to tell a story and make it interesting to read! There are so many great stories that I get the opportunity to write, and working with our Area staff to put these stories out there is a privilege.
What led you to your role in DOC?
I was working as a secretary in the health service and was looking for a change. I started as a Management Support Officer for the East Coast Conservancy in 1991.
I’ve been Community Relations Ranger for the Gisborne Whakatane Area since 2009 and have just clocked up twenty years at DOC!
What was your highlight from the month just gone?
The completion of the interpretation/signage panels for the Cooks Cove Walkway at Tolaga Bay that we started in January 2010.
The project was undertaken in partnership with the Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti iwi. Cooks Cove was one of the places that James Cook and his crew visited in 1769 as part of the circumnavigation of New Zealand. The project will be officially launched later this year.
The rule of three….
- Cats Leo and Ruby
- A sunny Gisborne day—just awesome
Deep and meaningful ….
What piece of advice would you tell your 18 year old self?
Enjoy life and make the most of every opportunity!
Who or what inspires you and why?
All the great people that I’ve had the pleasure of working with at DOC. And my mum.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A school teacher — I always wanted to boss the other kids around.
And now, if you weren’t working at DOC, what would you want to be?
A freelance writer… doing what I love, when I want to, and getting paid for it.
If you could be any New Zealand native species for a day, what would you be and why?
Tui, they make the most beautiful bird call… we have some that visit in our trees at home.
What piece of advice or message would you want to give to New Zealanders when it comes to conservation?
It’s everyone’s responsibility to look after our environment. We should not just talk about it — get out and make it happen! When you travel to other countries you realise just how beautiful New Zealand really is.