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“A chance to work in a role that has meaning and purpose” – Ian Amos on his journey to marine conservation

People find amazing jobs on EthicalJobs.com.au every day. This is part of a series of articles that go behind the scenes to meet some of the people and organisations finding each other through EthicalJobs.com.au.

Today’s story is from Ian Amos who found his job as Operations Coordinator at Project AWARE on EthicalJobs.com.au.

Project AWARE is a marine conservation organisation that takes action to create both local and global change for the ocean and the communities who depend on it.

Starting out with work

My first job was as an Assistant Manager working at Henry’s Table, a restaurant chain owned by Boddingtons brewery in the UK.

I studied a Higher National Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management at Blackpool. It has allowed me to be very versatile in my career and has given me a great grounding in stakeholder interaction and building relationships.

I have also worked in recruitment, HR and sales. I have always worked in roles that have required me to build relationships with internal and external stakeholders, manage teams and build business. I enjoy connecting with people and being part of an enthusiastic and passionate team working towards and achieving outcomes.

Working at Project AWARE

Project AWARE is a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers. We connect the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation.

Today, we inspire, inform and provide the tools needed to engage and connect individuals, governments, NGOs, and businesses who share our values and vision for a clean, healthy ocean. We champion policy change, engage and activate a global volunteer community to tackle specific objectives for global ocean protection.

With offices located in Australia, United Kingdom and the United States, we take action to create both local and global change for the ocean and the communities who depend on it. Our local actions collectively protect the most vulnerable marine species and decrease pollution.

My role as the Operations Coordinator is very varied and I assist with all areas of the business from Stakeholder Engagement, Community Outreach and Liaison, Donor Stewardship, Finance, Compliance and Registration for the Charity, Corporate Sponsorship and Fundraising along with inventory in the warehouse.

No day is the same. I could be meeting or talking with a new or long term partner to help them onboard or with any of their needs in promoting our core services. Running accounting reports and reconciliation through to general enquiries via phone or email. One thing that stands out no matter who I talk with is the common goal of looking to reduce the amount of debris that enters the ocean and reduce the effect this has.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made for a very interesting onboarding and training period as I started the role just as the lockdown and restrictions went into effect. So some of the social aspects of working in a new team have had to be done virtually. It has also curtailed, for the moment, some of the outreach activities that were planned and take place regularly.

The organisation has been affected globally like everyone else, and we are operating on smaller staff than usual due to some personnel being furloughed in other offices and countries. The amount of sacrifice, camaraderie and support shown by everyone has been outstanding and it has been a great experience working with them to ensure we still look after our partners and donors through these interesting times.

Everyone who can work from home has been given the tools and equipment to allow them to do this. Certain roles still need access to the offices or warehouses for tasks to continue and appropriate policies have been put in place to ensure everyone’s health and wellbeing is front of mind.

Our teams have regular catch ups via online meetings to make sure people are well and that they can reach out for any support should then need it, no matter what time zone they are in.

Working for a better world

The most rewarding thing about my role is getting to meet people who are passionate about their work and have a common goal, hearing their stories and how they have overcome the challenges that stood in their way. It is very inspiring to hear these and it also lets me know what we are doing makes a difference.

I came across EthicalJobs.com.au through a Google search and I was attracted this this role because I love the ocean, whether it be on it, in it, or underwater as I dive and also race Outrigger Canoes. The chance to work in an organisation that is helping to clean up my playground is as close as I can get to my perfect role. As an individual and through my club the Pacific Dragons we have always taken 3 for the sea when training, racing or around the water, so being able to further this is an awesome opportunity.

This was a chance to work in a role that has meaning and purpose, rather than just chasing the dollar for the sake of it. I loved all my other jobs and wouldn’t change anything, but it felt like the right time to be able to put the experiences I gained through those positions to a better purpose and one that is close to my heart.

My advice to other ethical jobseekers looking for their dream job is: be patient, research the area you are looking to move into and reach out to others in a similar role to ask for advice and introductions. Find out the not-so-good points as well, so you are fully aware of them and not just the upside.


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