The title “Conservation Communication” doesn’t really do justice to the workshop that I’m lucky enough to convene at Taronga Zoo a couple of times a year. I mean, yeah yeah, it’s about learning how to communicate better, and ideally how to apply that understanding to wildlife conservation. So if you’re a budding conservationist or just passionate about changing the world around you, then no questions asked, this course will build your confidence to do just that.
But I realised on the last one we did back in June that these two days are a lot more than the course work. They’re about Inspiration. Empowerment. And Networking. How often is it that you get to sit down and have a cuppa and an informal conversation with people who are working on real conservation campaigns? What a number of course participants said after the last one was that they got much more out of it than they expected. They had been overwhelmed by what was happening to the environment, and felt disempowered and disillusioned about their capacity to really do anything meaningful. By the end of the two days, motivation levels were way up there, and there was a sparkle in the eyes of a couple of people who had come in looking kind of ‘over it’ even before it began. Dare I say it, I think those two days had given them courage to go out there and chase their dreams.
We’ve had all walks of people in these workshops. You don’t have to be a trained scientist, although if you are, chances are you’ll get a lot out of this as scientists are often the least trained when it comes to speaking to the mainstream public. We’ve also had graphic designers, uni students, zoo volunteers, people who’ve worked in the electricity business, people having a career change, you name it! We’ve even had the odd koala come into class… If you’re passionate about making a difference, and even better, if you have a project that you’re working on that you want some help getting out there, this is two days you shouldn’t miss out on.
The next workshop is on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th December and all the details are on the Taronga website. It will again feature lectures by Earth Hour global director and co-founder, Andy Ridley, and media expert, Alvin Stone, as well as numerous Taronga Zoo experts in conservation outreach. I hope we see you there as it’s bound to be bigger and better than ever. (And of course, there’s always the chance to visit the giraffes and the elephants in lunch breaks for that animal fix!). The cost is $595 for the two day course.
Here’s what one of the participants in the last course had to say about it:
“I would just like to send my biggest and most sincerest Thanks to yourself and everyone involved in the Conservation Communication course at Taronga zoo on June 2nd & 3rd. The course content and guest speakers were absolutely fantastic, very informative and so helpful. Those attending (both speakers and students) were very interesting to talk to, learn from and inspiring in their passions and work.” Mirinda Thorpe, Melbourne