New appointment to Fiordland Conservation trust

Submitted by editor on

21st January 2015

Education co-ordinator for Kids Restore the Kepler

Fiordland Conservation Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Alessandra Menegatti as the Education Coordinator for the Trust’s Kids Restore the Kepler project following the resignation of Jo Marsh. Jo continues to undertake superb environmental management work for the Trust through her business, Restoration SolutioNZ including the upcoming Indian Island Robin monitoring.

Being a former science and biology teacher at Fiordland College, a mother of a daughter at Te Anau Primary and a husband who also teaches science and physics at the College, it would be fair to say Alessandra knows the local education system very well. Trust manager, Laura Harry, notes “The role of the Education Coordinator is to provide professional support to teachers whilst also supporting students to identify opportunities to extend their classroom based learning and thinking into taking action and to be fully involved both in learning and in taking action for their local environment in the Kepler. Alessandra ticks all the boxes. As with our previous education coordinators (Caroline Carter, Tina Perry and Jo Marsh) Alessandra will undoubtedly bring passion, fantastic skills and experience to the role”.

Alessandra is a passionate environmentalist with a strong academic background and a love for the natural world. Her impeccable academic skills and experience in the geology field with a PhD in Geology and a degree in Geological Sciences combined with a background in art come together in a neat fit for the role of the education coordinator. Having lived in Te Anau for 9 years, Alessandra has an appreciation of the unique natural environment of Fiordland and the drive to ensure opportunities provided by the project are realised in the schools and early childhood centres in the Te Anau basin.

Donations from Kids Restore NZ, Ian and Jenny Willans, and an offshore family with a passion for conservation education have helped fund the part-time position in the past. Going forward the Trust is grateful for the funding received from the Community Conservation Partnerships Fund for ensuring the position is funded for the next 3 years.

Alessandra says “I am truly thrilled and enthusiastic about this role which will enable me to work alongside teachers and encourage younger members of our community to explore many aspects and exciting opportunities in the fields of environmental and conservation education which this project offers. I’m looking forward to building on the wonderful work undertaken by the former education coordinators and to help continue keeping the Kids Restore the Kepler a community and place based project, one that involves real collaboration and partnerships.”

Kim Hollows, Vice-Chair of the Fiordland Conservation Trust said “The Trustees are excited with the appointment of Alessandra. The Kids restore the Kepler project has earned a reputation nationwide as a ‘best practice’ model of community conservation education which is simply fantastic. It is thanks to the commitment and vision of the Te Anau Community and our Education Coordinators involved in this project that it has achieved this reputation and gone onto to be the success that it is. This project belongs to everyone. Alessandra joins us at a time when further significant steps forward need to be taken for continued integration into the education curricula and we are fortunate to have Alessandra join us in this role at this time.“