Jobs at DOC: Diane Oliver, Administration Manager

Department of Conservation —  28/08/2015

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 Diane Oliver, Administration Manager in Palmerston North.

Diane Oliver on a scenic walk.

A scenic walk on the weekend

At work…

Some things I do in my job include:

I have the privilege of looking after the administration support for DOC in the Lower North Island. I ensure all office requirements are met and processes are completed. This is done with the assistance of nine others. These lovely ladies are located at Gisborne, Masterton, Wellington, Chatham Islands and Palmertston North.

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

Supporting the various teams at DOC to accomplish their work. We are all happy to do what we can to assist. We work behind the scenes ensuring each office is ticking along well and the needs of staff are being met.

The best bit about my job is:

The people that I meet. Everyone is so passionate about their roles and the work they are doing. It’s uplifting to come to work and be with such a lovely team of people that are so dedicated.

Diane Oliver on South Africa's Table Mountain.

360 degree views from South Africa’s Table Mountain

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

While attending a recent hui in Wellington we went on a morning excursion to Matiu Somes Island. The weather was a little rough on our return trip, but we all laughed and giggled like school girls. The feeling that we were living dangerously and being that little bit scared made for a great trip back. We all bonded on that trip and still laugh about it today.

The employee’s that inspired me most are:

The tea ladies in the last organisation I worked for. They would welcome everyone with a smile, no matter what was going on in their world. They were always busy, but nothing was ever too much trouble. They genuinely were happy to see you. It taught me that a smile costs nothing, but it may be the only smile some people will see that day. Taking a little time to look after someone else’s well-being is as important as assessing your daily priorities.

On a personal note…

My happy place is:

When I am out walking or spending time with my family. I love to cook and to get the family together, as it really makes me feel good.

Diane Oliver and her partner in Santorini.

The best place I have visited outside New Zealand, Santorini

My best ever holiday was:

That is so hard to say. I love to travel and have been very fortunate to have seen a lot of New Zealand, Australia, India, Africa, and The Mediterranean. If I had to choose a best ever it would be New Zealand. We are so lucky with what we have. The scenery changes constantly and there is something here for everyone.

My biggest pet peeve is:

Our cat, she is lovely to look at but she will not let you pat or pick her up. She is such a loner. All you can do is look, but definitely don’t touch.

Diane Oliver's cat sleeping on a pillow.

Lovely to look at but don’t touch if you like your skin

My most prized possession is:

An old tatty apron my mother made me when I was about 8 years of age. I felt so special putting it on, as that was my individual time with mum – baking and preparing meals.

I come from a family of four children, and one on one time was rare.

Diane Oliver and her partner at Anzac Cove.

Anzac Cove

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote:

Do unto others – so true I believe in treating everyone as I wish to be treated.

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

Don’t lose Date Day. We still do this every Saturday and it always makes us stop and take time out for each other.

In work and life I am motivated by:

Helping others. It gives me purpose and I take great pride in a job well done.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

Always participate in your local area, from the smallest contribution to the largest projects, they all add up to contributing to a better result.

A cheetah lying on a tree during a safari.

On safari

Question of the week…

What’s your favourite scent?

My favourite scent is the smell of freshly cut grass on a summer’s day – just lying there and remembering fondly those carefree days at school, playing sports.