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Jobs at DOC has moved to Friday! Every Friday Jobs at DOC will take you behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation.

This week we meet Wellington based print and web designer, Hannah Soult

At work…

Name: Hannah Soult

Position: Print and Web Designer

What kind of things do you do in your role?

As a member of the Publishing Team in the Communications Unit, I provide design services to any DOC office in the country who requests help from our team. Each day I could be designing anything from flags and banners to brochures, icons, advertisements, interpretation signs… the list goes on. I provide support and advice to DOC staff across the country and work with other staff producing publications. Our team also manages DOC’s identity publication tools and templates.

Here I am at my desk

What is the best part about your job?

Working with DOC staff from all parts of the country! I’m always jealous when I’m speaking to someone in a distant part of the country and they’re about to go out and check on some native bird eggs or go out to do a school visit! It’s nice being able to contribute to communications about DOC’s work and provide visitors with information about our special places.

What is the hardest part about your job?

This is a hard one… I think it would be the tight timeframes. Every day there’s a list of things that need to be completed. I find this challenging—in a good way though—and it’s always worth it when the customer gets their product and it exceeds their expectations.

Tight time-frames—the way our team manages to keep track of all the jobs!

What was the highlight of your month just gone?

Continuing to do more work on non-traditional ‘published’ products. For example, I’m currently working with the Auckland Area Office on putting together three signs for Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands, based on the celebrations and history of the islands being pest-free. It’s great to be a part of the awesome things happening out in the field—even when I sit at a desk all day in National Office!

Our Team also won a Write Group Award for ‘Best Technical Communicator’, for our Publishing Guidelines and Writing Style Guidelines, an awesome achievement.

The rule of three…

Three loves

  1. Spending time with friends, family and my partner.
  2. Travel and getting out and about in the sunshine (I went to South America last year and am going to Cambodia over summer).
  3. Food (especially curry!).

    Curry—yes, that whole tray is my meal!

Three pet peeves

  1. Walking the 188 steps back up to my house each day (good exercise though and it’s worth it for the view!).
  2. The smell that clothes get when they’ve taken too long to dry (I call it the ‘washing machine smell’).
  3. Rude people!

    The view from our house in Wellington—city living!

Three things always in your fridge

  1. Veges from the vege market.
  2. Cheese (many varieties).
  3. Leftovers that we sometimes don’t get around to eating because it’s too easy to go out for dinner when living in the city!

Three favourite places in New Zealand

  1. Halswell, Christchurch (where I lived until three years ago).
  2. Punakaiki, West Coast (where we went on family holidays).
  3. Sandy Bay, Marahau, Abel Tasman (another holiday spot—my uncle from the UK has a ‘bach’ on the hill in Sandy Bay so I usually go for a visit each summer).
  4. And I’m going to throw in a fourth—Wellington (but only on a sunny day!).

    The amazing view from my uncle's bach in Sandy Bay, Marahau, Abel Tasman

Favourite movie, album, book

  1. Movie: The first movie that springs to mind is Avatar, mostly because I was blown away by the amazing graphics, and it was the first movie I saw in 3D.
  2. Album: Michael Jackson’s Number ones—you just can’t go wrong.
  3. Book: Design books (otherwise known as ‘picture books’—they’re very inspiring and get me back into creative mode when I’m having a creative block).

Deep and meaningful…

What piece of advice would you tell your 18 year old self?

Start saving now!

In South America at the highest point on the Inca Trail

Who or what inspires you and why?

People in Christchurch, my family and friends included. Everyone’s been through so much in the last year or so, yet remain so positive.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I was always going to do something ‘arty’. My mum was massively into arts and crafts, I grew up sewing, making my own jewellery and going to ceramic classes etc. I sometimes wonder what I would be if I didn’t follow the natural road that led towards becoming a designer!

Amazon—a massive tree in the jungle, and an amazing frog we saw (inset). On the same walk we also saw a sloth, a hummingbird and tarantulas!

And now, if you weren’t working at DOC, what would you want to be?

If I wasn’t at DOC and money wasn’t an issue, I would probably want to be an artist. I used to paint a lot when I lived in Christchurch but just can’t find the space or time now. Being a designer in another part of the world would be awesome too.

If you could be any New Zealand native species for a day, what would you be and why?

A tui, I love that Wellington has them. They can also sing… I can’t—but wish I could! They used to hang out in the tree in front of our house until the tree got cut down recently (so disappointed!).

What piece of advice or message would you want to give to New Zealanders when it comes to conservation? 

Look after what we have! We’re so lucky that we have native species in our towns and cities, but we need to look after them and their natural habitat. I think most people take it for granted. I even saw a kākā in the Wellington Botanic Gardens last year!