Vice Principal Dr Tiffany Donnelly talks to Ruby Connection about mentoring Generation Next.
Fiona McCuaig (1997-99) is a wildlife activist and a committed member of the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling coalition. Fiona has served as quartermaster on one of the Sea Shepherd vessels, and has spent two seasons in the Antarctic chasing the Japanese whaling fleet.
Through her writings on her blog, and her actions as a member of the Sea Shepherd crew, she has demonstrated a major commitment to the health and wellbeing of our environment. Fiona is working at the cutting edge of environmental action, willing to place herself in danger for her commitment to direct action. The Sea Shepherd crews track and physically confront the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic Ocean, endeavouring to attack them in their Achilles heel: their ability to make a profit. The whalers are breaking six laws and treaties within the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Sea Shepard’s 2011 operations successfully saved an estimated 900 endangered whales.
Fiona has stated that: “Besides my wonderful family and friends, the most important thing to me is representing marine life and the health of the oceans. It can be easy for many people to forget about the importance of the oceans because we live on land, but the ocean is 99% of all living space on the planet! It gives us up to 80% of the oxygen we breathe, it influences weather and also feeds many poor people around the world who depend on fish for their livelihood.”
Having graduated with a Bachelor of Economics, Fiona works at Colliers International as a property consultant. Her love of animals and her concern for wildlife has seen her combine volunteering with animals with her professional work. She spent six months volunteering in Africa and America in wildlife rehabilitation, volunteered in three zoos and is now head of the youth committee for the Foundation for the National Parks and Wildlife in New South Wales. Fiona also started her own organisation to redevelop bad animal enclosures in third world. Known as Excellence in World Zoos, her first project was the Australian Zone of the Beijing Zoo in time for the Olympics. Her commitment to activism for the welfare of wildlife has led to her having a significant web presence as a vehicle for consciousness raising.