How did I get started in the industry?
I have always been passionate about the marine environment and by early high school and I knew I wanted to pursue that passion. I remember my Grade 10 work experience coordinators’ surprise when I told her that I wanted to work on a salmon farm for my work experience. She was not sure it was an appropriate workplace for a young female, so she contacted the farm to discuss if they would be willing to accept me. Thankfully, for me, the farm manager agreed and welcomed me onto the farm. This opportunity was where my passion for the aquaculture industry began.
I went on to complete my Bachelor of Aquaculture at University of Tasmania, and then my Honours in 2007. I have worked in several roles in the Tasmanian seafood industry including a fish farm hand at the salmon farm where I undertook my high school work experience.
In 2014, my partner and I moved to Darwin and I became a nursery attendant at Humpty Doo Barramundi. I enjoyed my role raising fingerlings to a size where they could be transferred to the grow out ponds. I was then able to assist with harvesting and packing them for delivery to the customers. My current role is a Research Assistant at Paspaley Pearling Company. I am based in Darwin and fly to the farm sites throughout the Kimberley’s on a seaplane to conduct my research. My research is broad, but focuses on pearl oyster health, production systems and pearl quality.
Most memorable moment
My memorable moments would be travelling on a seaplane to the pearl farms along the stunning Kimberley coast and being on the water to watch the sunrise.
Would you recommend the seafood industry to other women?
I would definitely recommend the seafood industry to other women. Not surprisingly the industry is largely male dominated, however even in the ten years I have been in the industry, more women are becoming part of the industry which is excellent. The industry is so diverse and there are many opportunities, if you are willing to do the challenging work to pursue your passion.