• To volunteer for the first time, or to find out more about the next volunteer day, contact the Volunteer Coordinator.
• To volunteer from overseas, or if you wish to discuss conservation issues relating to the Ark, contact John.
• For general inquiries, including those from the media, or when Jane, Laurence, and John are not available, contact the Project Manager.
Management of volunteer activities is shared by Ms Laurence Béchet and Jane Ferguson.
Jane contributes as a part-time co-ordinator, planning and organising the weekend volunteer activities, looking after training, health and safety issues, and ensuring that all equipment needed on the day is ready and people have been allocated tasks and “buddies.”
Coming from a long history of volunteering at the Ark, Laurence Bechet has a part-time position as field officer training, organising the kokako telemetry team, and keeping track of the clearing and baiting progress on bait lines with special attention to PTA prevention training and reminders. She co-ordinates robin monitoring, doing a lot of GIS work so we can see [and tell the world] properly where our birds are, and also co-ordinates the activities for a growing number of volunteer activities mid-week.
For all enquiries regarding volunteering at the Ark, contact Laurence or Jane at the email address below.
In February 2013, Gillian Wadams began as the Ark Project Manager. Gillian has a background in planning and biosecurity and has recently returned from 3.5 years in the UK where she worked as a project manager on collaborative research in sustainable development topics. After making the most of the travel opportunities available from the UK Gillian decided to return home and has been volunteering with the Fairy Tern Trust in Northland this summer. She has previously volunteered on a variety of other conservation initiatives. She won a Department of Conservation Young Conservator of the Year Award in 1999 for a project encouraging native birds back to an area of forest in Northland.
Gillian has a Bachelor of Science in Ecology from Otago University and is an Associate Member of New Zealand Planning Institute and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.
Phone: (09) 810 7014
John Sumich (Ark Management Committee Chairman)
Born and bred in West Auckland, John’s first memory of native wildlife was of a pigeon feeding on nikau berries at the Cascades. Fifty years on the nikau is bigger; so is John and his life long passion for wildlife became focused on conceiving and developing Ark in the Park. As a day job he’s a GP with other interests of family, bicycling and macadamia nut growing.