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Yes, “Senior Shark Campaigner” is an actual job. Here’s how Leo Guida ended up doing it

People find amazing jobs on EthicalJobs.com.au every day. This is part of a series of blog posts 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 Leo Guida, who found his job as a Senior Shark Campaigner at The Australian Marine Conservation Society on EthicalJobs.com.au.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society is “the voice for Australia’s ocean wildlife”. It’s key focus is to create marine sanctuaries, make our fisheries sustainable and protect and recover our threatened ocean wildlife. It employs staff in areas including project managementenvironment and sustainabilityadvocacy and campaignsanimal welfare and protectionoperations and risk managementconservation and land managementcommunications and marketing, and even media and arts.


Getting started

My first ever paid job was when I was 15, working in a cafe washing dishes. I was a clumsy and shy kid, and at the time the thought of breaking glasses or spilling drinks on a customer petrified me! I could ‘hide’ in the kitchen and chefs taught me great tips and tricks in the kitchen.

I’ve always loved science and art, I believe they’re one and the same. I pursued science as a career, fulfilling my childhood dream of studying sharks for my PhD at Monash University in Melbourne. Throughout my studies, the creativity I practised in art helped me communicate complex ideas through writing and graphics, ask novel questions and find nifty solutions.

In 2013, more than a year into my PhD, myself and a few friends co-founded an environmental charity, which continues to this day. As my PhD drew to a close in 2016, I considered undertaking postgraduate studies studying sharks in the US or Europe. But, I eventually decided to invest all my energy in taking our charity to the next level.

In 2018, I felt I had given all I could and decided to seek new challenges and opportunities. I knew I still wanted to work in the environment sector and by sheer chance, I was lucky to stumble across the Shark Campaigner role at AMCS.

I literally sat down at my kitchen table one day and half-jokingly typed into Google three words that summed up my passions and experiences; ‘sharks’, ‘fishing’, ‘jobs’. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything but as luck would have it, Google pointed me to EthicalJobs.com.au and there was my dream job!


Working at the Australian Marine Conservation Society

As a Senior Shark Campaigner at The Australian Marine Conservation Society, my role is to lead a campaign promoting and affecting positive change for the conservation of sharks (and rays).

I work with a cross section of the community, including recreational fishers, commercial fishers, scientists and politicians. In doing so, I’m able to learn about the challenges the community faces and how to best drive regulatory and legislative change so that we can better protect our sharks and rays, and fish sustainably into the future.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society is a group of dedicated and passionate individuals who – with the support of the broader community – campaign for the conservation of our oceans and the lives that call it home. Whether it’s protecting whales, fighting for the Great Barrier Reef, or helping secure marine parks, it’s all so that our children’s children can enjoy the ocean as we have.

AMCS works tirelessly, fuelled by passion and a deep-sense of purpose. It’s these qualities that have given them an amazing track record of success and make them an organisation you work ‘with’ and not ‘for’. I couldn’t help but be drawn to the AMCS when I saw the opportunity to be part of the team.


Why work for a better world?

Working in the non-profit sector is a unique experience. My thinking is that it all comes down to being at the coalface of implementing positive social and environmental change, through whatever means your passions allow you.

I’ve had a small stint in the private sector and while I did enjoy it, it didn’t seem as liberating as the non-profit sector. On a personal level, I feel the non-profit sector offers me greater independence and a greater sense of comradery but, above all, I’m always in a room with people who are exuding passion for their work. Why would I want to be anywhere else?

Follow your passions. It can be hard, you’ll come across roadblocks, and you may even divert off your path for a little while, but always keep a part of your passion infused within your daily life and seize opportunities wherever they may be, big or small.

At some point, your collective experiences will count when you have that chance to land your dream job. This is exactly what’s happened to me over the past 10 years or so and I couldn’t be any happier with myself.


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