At the start of semester, we all attended a career fair for journalism students. Every presenter emphasized and re-emphasized the need to do internships and get practical experience. Nothing pads a resume better than hands-on knowledge.

Of course, real experience can sometimes be harder to find than it sounds.

I had a really lucky break this afternoon. I’ve been looking for somewhere to volunteer since I got here with no luck. The RSPCA had all their volunteer spots filled (good for them, bad for me). Another organization only wanted my money and refused to talk to me when I said I was interested in volunteering time. Then, quite by accident, I got tipped off about the Wilderness Society.

I met with them today and was suitably impressed with their projects, their education pamphlets and the people I talked too. We chatted about issues from rivers running dry and not reaching the ocean to over-fishing, logging, and habitat loss. On environmental issues, I can ask all the right questions. The result–next Wednesday, I get to start volunteering one afternoon a week sorting through reams of information to synthesize one-page fact sheets and webpages for 5 key threatened species endemic to Cape York.

John, I know this is crossing the line to the dark side, but I do get to produce useable documents for a portfolio, practice my writing and my ability to accurately report in a clear, precise and concise manner, and learn about Australia. And if things go really well, they might even let me help out when the local Channel 10 “Gone Wild” animal conservation program starts working on a series on Cape York! So really, it’s not that bad. 🙂

(PS: Where are other people’s blog entries? I’m starting to feel like I’m hogging all the megabites!)