Lauren on Being a Park Ranger
Boonwurrung Land (Mirboo North, Victoria)
Bachelor of Science; Masters of Environment
Animals, natural environment, conservation
I went to high school at Mirboo North Secondary College. I really enjoyed English and it was my best subject but I didn’t have any desire to pursue writing or anything creative as a career. I have been interested in animals and the environment since I was young and I wanted to study this at university. So I chose subjects to reflect this, such as biology and math methods, even though I needed a tutor for maths because I wasn’t great at it. I was lucky that I knew what I wanted to do for further study fairly early in high school so I could plan my subjects accordingly.
Moving to Melbourne
I moved to Melbourne straight after finishing VCE to start university the next year. I was lucky that I could move in with my sister so I had accommodation set up and someone familiar to live with. Living in Melbourne full time after growing up on a farm was still a big adjustment for me. I didn’t have a car so I had to wrap my head around the public transport system. Adjusting to uni was a big step too, as I was expected to do a lot more work outside of the classroom than I was used to. But I really enjoyed living in Melbourne, I made lots of great friends and it’s a great place to get a multicultural experience. I lived there for 7 years while I completed my Bachelor of Science and then my Master of Environment later on. I don’t think I could live in Melbourne full time anymore but I still love visiting there.
Jobs so far
I’ve had years of experience in hospitality and customer service, including working at the Melbourne Zoo. In the past few years, I’ve been a forest firefighter, a biosecurity officer and now I’m a park ranger.
Being a Park Ranger
I started a full time role with Parks Victoria in December of 2020. I’d worked with Parks Victoria previously as a firefighter but this is the first full time job I’ve had with the organisation. I work in East Gippsland, at the Buchan Caves Reserve. This is a unique role, because it involves all the customer service requirements that go with the services we provide such as camping and cave tours, but I also help with maintenance and natural resource management. The reserve is also jointly managed, so I’ll get the opportunity to work alongside the Gunaikurnai traditional owners. I’m working on some cool projects with endangered species at the moment too, which is what I focused on at university so it’s a good opportunity to use my degrees.
Plans for the future
Right now I’m still settling into my new role and all the responsibilities that come with it. There’s lots of projects that I’d like to work on and new skills to learn so I think I’ll be in this role for the foreseeable future. Eventually I’d like to work interstate or even overseas. I’d also go back to university to study again if the opportunity arose.
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