Jobs at DOC: Karlene Taylor, Personal Assistant and Administrator

Department of Conservation —  20/11/2015

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 Karlene Taylor, Personal Assistant and Administrator based in National Office.

At work…

Some things I do in my job include:

Primarily I provide administration support to the Communications Unit at National Office. Along with my business as usual tasks, I also organise the lunch time seminars, write the DOC in the news media round-up each Friday and recruit people for our ‘Jobs at DOC‘ blog posts— there is always plenty to keep me busy!

Karlene by a river at Buller Gorge on a recent South Island trip.

Buller Gorge on a recent South Island trip

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

Communication is a very important aspect to any workplace and our lunch time seminars provides staff the chance to share their work with colleagues. There is some really beneficial information that comes out of these seminars and it gives staff the chance to hear what people in other teams do.

The best bit about my job is:

The people I work with! The Communications Unit truly is an interesting space to be in. Prior to DOC I worked for the New Zealand Defence Force where I was in a totally different environment and culture. It has been fascinating so far learning about the communications world and how it works.

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

Making new friends! As I have only been here for a short time and have come from out of town it’s always a little daunting starting somewhere completely foreign, but coming to DOC was possibly the best workplace to come to. Everyone was extremely welcoming and friendly and I can honestly say out of the 8 months I have been here I have met some wonderful people which to me is awesome.

Karlene on a day tramp to Pencarrow lighthouse.

Day tramp to Pencarrow lighthouse

The DOC (or previous DOC) employee that inspires me the most is: 

Difficult question as I have only been here for 8 months, however I find most of the people I have met so far really interesting, everyone has so many attributes to offer and are so interesting and knowledgeable in different ways.

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that:

I used to be a marching girl! I marched in Wanganui teams from a young age through to my early twenties when unfortunately the teams in the region fizzled out. It was great fun and I got to travel all over the country with it, some teams even went international.

My happy place is:

I love the beach! There is just something so calming and relaxing about listening to the waves crashing in and having your toes in the sand and the feeling of wow I am on the very edge of the country. It has always been a place that gives me joy and when I am there with my children and loved ones—bliss!

Karlene sitting on a rock at Himatangi beach.

Last summer at Himatangi beach

My greatest sporting moment:

I was working for the Air Force and was selected to represent the Air Force team at inter-services netball where we played against the Army, Navy and sometimes Police teams. I was selected three years running and had great tournaments and heaps of fun!

In my spare time:

I play sport and run, I love keeping fit and being outdoors, I am no stranger to camping, hiking and bush walking. I try to get into nature as much as possible and quite often take my children on adventures through the bush!

My biggest pet peeve is.:

People who throw rubbish out of car windows—disgusting.

Karlene with her best friend Emmeline at Himatangi beach.

Mucking around with best friend Emmeline at Himatangi

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is:

“For beautiful eyes, look for the goodness in others, for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn.

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

Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today, start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

In work and life I am motivated by:

My children — I need to be the best I can be in order to help them become the best they can be.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

Get involved and see what’s out there, once people experience what beautiful treasures we have the more they will want to conserve them. Knowledge is the greatest ammunition you can have.

Question of the week…

What’s your most embarrassing fashion faux-pas?

I have more of these stories than I care to admit, however one of the worst occurred when I was at high school. I was in a stage show and we had to pick out our costumes to suit our characters. I chose a pastel pink chiffon blouse with matching pants. I was feeling confident for our opening performance, the audience filled with family and friends. Everything went well with no lines forgotten I was feeling great — that feeling soon came to a crashing halt when my friends watching pointed out the fact that my entire outfit was see through, clearly I didn’t take into consideration the fact that I would be standing under many lights. Needless to say I had a wardrobe change for the next performance!

2 responses to Jobs at DOC: Karlene Taylor, Personal Assistant and Administrator


    Love the personal touch – it adds a ‘whakawhanaungatanga’ quality to the face of DOC. Awesome!


    Awesome article!