Jobs at DOC: Annie De’Ath, Organisational Development Advisor

Department of Conservation —  29/04/2016

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 Annie De’Ath, Organisational Development Advisor based in Wellington.

At work…

Some things I do in my job include:

Working on programmes and frameworks to help with the development of DOC staff. Currently, most of my energy is focused on the upcoming workplace engagement survey and making sure everything is set up to run smoothly.

Attending an Italian cooking class in Tuscany.

‘Nonna’, me, dad and my uncle at our Italian cooking class in Tuscany

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

Ensuring our people have the opportunities to reach their potential and deliver more for conservation. Other things like the workplace engagement survey provide an important platform for staff to give feedback on what is working well in the organisation, and what needs improvement. By collecting this information across the organisation we can find out some clear themes which help managers think about where to focus their efforts.

The best bit about my job is:

Working with such a cool bunch of people. Our little corner of the world is always full of laughter which makes it really enjoyable to be at work. I also love working with managers and seeing how passionate they are about helping their staff grow and develop.

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

Heading down to Nelson to see what my team mate Scott gets up to down there. Him and his partner own a lot of native land and it was so cool to spend a night out there and see what he does in his spare time. I meet so many people here who do incredible stuff outside of work which is pretty inspiring.

Lake Rotopounamu.

Walking around Lake Rotopounamu

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

My manager Sally Thomas. She is a super cool person and I learn a lot from working with her every day about enabling and empowering others.

On a personal note…

The thing I’m most looking forward to in the next 6 months is:

It isn’t 6 months so I am cheating, but I am really looking forward to Christmas! I am over-excited about Christmas most years, but this year I have immediate and extended family from my side, and my partners staying with us. So I am really looking forward to doing all the cooking, decorating the house, and buying more lights!

Christmas cupcakes.

Christmas cupcakes – the start of my favourite season

In my spare time:

I go to Melbourne as often as I can to spend time with my parents and two younger sisters. I also love being in the kitchen, doing pilates, supporting the local community, and playing with my new puppy!

Annie's puppy.

My new puppy

If I wasn’t working at DOC:

I’d like to work in the social sector with vulnerable children and families.

My celebrity hero is:

Jamie Oliver. I am super passionate about taking practical actions to support children and families in need, and I believe that he walks the talk with his actions around food education.

My best ever holiday was:

A few weeks with my family in France and Italy last year. I love the French culture, practicing the language, and making a lot of hilarious memories from spending so much time living in close quarters with my family (going slightly insane). It was my first time in Italy so I spent as much time as possible exploring and eating! In saying that, it is hard to choose between that trip and Thailand where I got to go diving for the first time – that was incredible.

Diving in Thailand around Racha Yai and Racha Noi Islands.

Diving in Thailand around Racha Yai and Racha Noi Islands

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – Einstein

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

“Look within before judging or criticising others.” – Good friend

“Do the right thing.” – Parents

“Advice is just advice.”- Shaun O’Connor

Annie and her sister in the hills of Cinque Terre, Italy.

Climbing the hills in Cinque Terre, Italy with my youngest sister (note who looks more exhausted)

In work and life I am motivated by:

Helping others, having fun, doing the right thing, and achieving something positive.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

Leave it better than when you found it.