When Pierre Defourny and his wife considered where to raise their 19-month-old twins, Tasmania was the choice location – and for more than just the lifestyle.
Originally from Belgium, Pierre found his introduction to Australia working in Canberra for the European Union on trade and sustainable finance policies.
Now, he’s working to sustain the state’s wild places at the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) thanks to our Bachelor of Applied Science (Professional Honours in Conservation Management).
“I’ve been wanting to work for them since before moving to Tasmania and was telling my wife that I would love to work for them one day!” shared Pierre.
“I’ve been really privileged to be hired by them before I even graduated.”
While family was at the top of Pierre’s mind, he saw the move as the perfect opportunity to orient his career towards making a more positive change for the environment.
“My wife, who is Australian, and I decided to move to Tasmania to raise our twins and this move was the perfect opportunity for me to go back to university and achieve that specialisation.
“I also knew that Tasmania was at the forefront of conservation efforts globally and that the University had a good reputation in that field.
“It’s important to me that I pass on my passion and respect of the environment to my kids.”
Although retraining can seem difficult when juggling professional and family life, Pierre says his passion for sustainability means he’s making the most of his learning.
So much so, that a study field trip to the Midlands inspired him to join the local conservation effort, building professional relationships that secured his role at TLC.
“The field trip to the Midlands led me to really developed a strong interest for that region as well as relationships with some of the people passionate about conserving nature there, in a landscape that is quite degraded and dominated by farming.
"This led me to my current work today where I work with these people to achieve positive outcomes for biodiversity within that productive landscape.”
Pierre believes the knowledge he’s picked up in his degree, combined with his background in project management and governance, made him the choice employee for his new role.
“One of the units early in my degree was a professional placement which I completed with the TLC, mapping out climate refugia to inform their future reserves acquisitions. It was during my placement a job came up, I applied for it and was selected.
“I believe that, together with my past experience in policy, the fact that I was enrolled in this degree and performing well gave my employer confidence that led them to hire me.
“I now coordinate the Midlands Conservation Fund which is a conservation program the TLC runs jointly with Bush Heritage Australia to conserve temperate grasslands, woodlands and wetlands in the Midlands of Tasmania.”
Want a career preserving Tasmania’s unique biodiversity? Our flexible Science study options allow you to sustain your lifestyle while helping to protect our precious land and waters.
Banner image: Pierre (left) and his co-worker. Image courtesy of James Hatton.
Body image: Pierre and his colleagues in the midlands. Image courtesy of James Hatton.