International Women’s Day – Celebrating women at DOC

Department of Conservation —  08/03/2021 — Leave a comment

For over a century, March 8th has marked a day of celebration for women all around the world.

At DOC, we like to celebrate the many talented and diversly-skilled women working in conservation – no matter the day.

Threatened Species Ambassador – Erica Wilkinson.
📷: Ligs Hoffman.

From our scientists, rangers, advisors and administrators, all of our staff add an incredible amount of value to the kaupapa of our work in conservation. However today, we’re taking the opportunity to spotlight some (of the many) women who may not always be seen in our green and grey uniform out in the field, but work passionately behind the scenes.

Radio tracking bats – Eglinton Valley.
📷: James Mortimer.

Read about their mahi at DOC and what inspires them outside of work.

Our first spotlight is ​Adrienne Montgomery.

Adrienne is a ​Senior Web Communications Advisor in the Web Team. She is based in Auckland, but works mostly on national projects.

Tell us about your work and what you enjoy about it?

I work in DOC’s Web Communications Team, where we manage content development and design for the DOC website. In my role, I mostly support DOC’s work for native species.

For me, it’s been an exciting privilege to be able to learn about New Zealand’s incredible nature from the passionate experts at DOC. But what I enjoy most is sharing this with others, so I focus on finding out what works for our website’s visitors. I work to apply this to all we share, so everyone can connect with our unique wildlife and DOC’s work in ways that work for them.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

Outside of work, I’m passionate about psychology and our wildlife. Before coming to New Zealand from Northern Ireland early 2017, I completed a master’s in psychology.

I also interned to support adults with brain injury, children with learning challenges and research into child and youth aggression. While I’m not in this space at present, I stay engaged with personality and cognitive psychology research which supports my work. When I’m not thinking about thinking, I love connecting with wildlife and particularly our fabulous native birds.

Adrienne feeding Bolvia Squirrel Monkeys with her husband at Auckland Zoo. This was where she discovered her secret talent for balancing 8 monkeys (including two babies on Mum’s backs!)
📷: Auckland Zoo.

Next up is ​Lucy Holyoake.

Lucy works in the Planning, Permissions and Land team as a Statutory Support Officer/ Project Coordinator. She was born and bred in Nelson, but works in Wellington.

What do you enjoy most about working for DOC?

I’m very grateful for the people I work with who are so generous with sharing their skills and experience. I’ve been able to learn so much through working on different projects with passionate people who give their time to help others learn and develop. Conservation is such a deeply held value by so many people at DOC so it’s hard not to be passionate about the work we are doing!

What inspires you outside of work?

I’ve always felt a close connection to the mountains and bush here in New Zealand. I grew up in Nelson with mountaineer/tramper parents who took every opportunity to take my siblings and I on tramps in all sorts of wild places.

My parents inspired my passion for tramping and adventuring in incredible landscapes, so its an important part of who I am. It’s wonderful to be working on projects that have a very real impact on protecting the special places I have explored.

Lucy catching a glimpse of sunshine on the Kepler Track.
📷: Bianca Black.

Our third woman profiled today is ​Ruth​.

Ruth is a ​Digital Channels Analyst in the Content Team. She is based in Christchurch but the rest of her team work in Wellington.

Tell us about your team and what you enjoy about your work?

We create content for our digital channels e.g. videos, blogs for social media. My role is partly content creation and partly analysis – tracking how it performs on our channels.

What I enjoy the most about my job is having a variety of work – from filming albatross to creating reports with our data. I also enjoy seeing the impact my work has on us as a team being able to constantly improve our content so that we can create things that people want to see, learn from and engage with online.

What do you like most about working for DOC?

I love how you can pop into any DOC office or Visitor Centre around the country and meet the most awesome people with such cool stories. DOC is an amazing community of people and I’m proud to be apart of it.

What are some of your interests outside of work?

Outside of work I love exploring the outdoors, tramping, and mountain biking.

Ruth doing what she loves – exploring her backyard.
📷: Luke Sutton.

Last, but not least, is ​Kim Carter​.

Kim is based in Hamilton and works as a Senior National RMA Advisor in the Resource Management Act team.

What do you enjoy about your work?

I enjoy being challenged and all of the banter! A team that laughs together, stays together.

What do you like most about working for DOC?

Working with great people that are passionate about their mahi.

What are some of your passions outside of work?

I’m passionate about my family. I have two kids, two dogs AND two cats!

Kim and her colleagues during a team outing.
📷: DOC.


To all of the awesome women working for DOC – happy International Women’s Day! Thank you for all that you do for conservation – whether you’re working in the field or behind the scenes connecting people to our kaupapa.

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