My two favorite things about my job are meeting our donors in person, and visiting our field offices around the world.
I recently had the opportunity to do both in one trip by visiting our Oceania Regional office in Sydney, and hosting two Animal Action Award ceremonies. At these I had the pleasure of presenting a series of awards to people who have excelled in making animals’ lives better. The awardees ranged from two biologists who study whale behavior to a nine-year old girl who has - - I am not kidding - - both a website and a television show dedicated to animal welfare.
We invited Australian IFAW supporters to the event so I had the chance to meet them face-to-face to thank them for their support, which allows us to exist, and to listen to their views on animal welfare and IFAW.
Our supporters everywhere are dignified, intelligent and caring people.
Another joy was to spend some time with the wonderful IFAW team in Sydney. They are a smart, dedicated group who get results. Under the leadership of Isabella McCrea, our Regional Director, whale conservation is still a major focus especially with the rapid expansion of the offshore oil and gas industry, and they are moving to help save Australian native wildlife, in particular koalas. These animals are in danger of serious depletion from a variety of threats including the loss and fragmentation of habitat. This is due to development of housing and commerce within their natural habitat. It’s a huge problem worldwide and often due to sloppy land-use zoning and a lack of enforcement.
But despite the problems I face everyday in my job I am always bolstered by visits such as this latest one. I will make sure to blog again after my next trip.