Jobs at DOC: Chloe Barnes, Communications Advisor

Department of Conservation —  19/06/2015

Come behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Today, we profile Chloe Barnes, Communications Advisor, based in National Office (Wellington)

At work…

Chloe Barnes in front of a sign at the Manawatū Gorge.

Visiting the Manawatū Gorge on a trip to Palmerston North

Some things I do in my job include:

My job is to help DOC staff communicate their work to the rest of their colleagues. Tasks include editing stories, compiling our monthly managers’ newsletter, and helping people with various communications projects.

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

We talk a lot about biodiversity within DOC – diversity strikes me as a great word to describe all the work we do. There are heaps of different, interesting projects going on. Helping teams share information with each other allows staff to benefit from each other’s knowledge and expertise.

The best bit about my job is:

Learning. I’ve been at DOC nearly six months and I’ve learned so much about conservation, the technology we’re developing, how we are honouring our Treaty commitments and the stories behind some of the historic sites we manage.

The awesome-est DOC moment I’ve had so far is:

Walking the Manawatū Gorge Track while we were on an office visit in Palmerston North. It was awesome to get away from the desk, plus we came up with heaps of ideas while walking. I think we should have more walking meetings!

The DOC employee that inspires or enthuses me most is:

Nearly everyone I’ve met is passionate about conservation or the outdoors. It’s nice to work somewhere where you can learn about so many things in one organisation.

Snow day in London.

Snow day in London

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that:

I have been to one of the Queen’s afternoon tea parties in the gardens of Buckingham Palace (thanks to a flatmate who worked for New Zealand Immigration and took me as their ‘plus one’).

The song that always cheers me up is:

The Invisible Man” by Queen reminds me of making up dances with my sister and cousin when we were kids. My cousin’s recently had a baby so we’ll have to teach him the moves.

In my spare time:

I do freelance copywriting – I have written website copy, brochures, videos and other bits and pieces.

My best ever holiday was:

I visited a few countries while overseas, but one standout was Iceland where I was lucky enough to see the Northern Lights. I also got to stand on a ledge behind the Seljalandsfoss waterfall as the sun went down, which was magical.

Chloe Barnes Standing behind the Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland.

Standing behind the Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland

Before working at DOC:

I worked as a copywriter in a design company before moving to London for four years, where I worked for a university and did a bit of travel. Since being back in New Zealand I’ve worked at Quotable Value, Hutt Valley District Health Board and now DOC.

Deep and meaningful…

Chloe Barnes standing in Times Square, New York.

Times Square, New York

My favourite quote is:

“If you can’t get out of it, get into it.”

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is:

It’s a writing tip – one of my tutors on the Massey University journalism course taught us “Do you need that ‘that’?” You can often delete the word ‘that’ from a sentence to instantly make your writing more concise.

In work and life I am motivated by:

Helping people and being creative.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

Get out there and experience our outdoors. We are lucky to have such beautiful places on our doorstep. People travel thousands of miles to come and walk our tracks, stay in our huts and visit our historic places. Enjoying the outdoors helps us understand why protecting them is important.

Question of the week…

What’s your favourite recipe?

I love to cook and I’m always trying out new recipes, but one of my favourites is from the Leon chain of restaurants – their Leon Gobi (cauliflower curry) is delicious. The Guardian newspaper published the recipe.