Meet a Geographer — Working outdoors

Kathryn Goyen

Professional Development Coordinator – LandLearn
Department of Primary Industries (DPI)

Kathryn GoyenWork Description

In my work every day is different!  Some examples of things that I do, include researching issues relating to sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, writing the information up into activities, and trialling these activities with school students.  I also run workshops with teachers showing them ideas of activities that can be undertaken in schools.  On some days I will be in the office, however on other days I am out in forests or paddocks taking teachers and students on fieldwork looking at salinity, or issues associated with water use or land management.

The best aspects of my job

Being able to work outdoors, as well as continue to learn more about sustainable land management are aspects that I enjoy greatly.Without a doubt the best aspect of my job is being able to share with people my enthusiasm for the natural world and inspire them to learn more about their connection to the land.  Being able to work outdoors, as well as continue to learn more about sustainable land management are aspects that I enjoy greatly.

Prior studies

Prior to starting full time work I studied Geography in Year 11 and 12 and then undertook subjects such as (Ecology and the Environment, Integrated Catchment Management, Environmental Management Techniques, and Landscape Ecology) when completing my Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) at Deakin University.

Career pathway

I started working in Environmental Education while I was studying at University, working and volunteering for the Gould League, Marine Discovery Centre in Queenscliff and the Phillip Island Nature Park.  I was then successful in obtaining a position with the DPI/DSE Graduate Program where I worked in three different jobs in three different locations over two years while undertaking a learning and development program.  This led to my current employment in the LandLearn education program with DPI.

Future career opportunities

There are a number of different career opportunities within my current role.  I could move into a teaching role in a school or I could move up into a senior management role in the program.  Also, because I work for a large government department I could move into another role such as community engagement, extension or training within another area of DPI.

Advice to people considering this type of career

My advice … is to do what you are passionate about.My advice for anyone, whether in Geography or not, is to do what you are passionate about.  Then, talk to as many people as you know in your area of interest, volunteer and get work experience in that area.  Most people don’t know where they are going to end up in 2, 5 or 10 years so you may as well enjoy yourself along the way.