Almost an Island Conference biographies
Friday 22nd June, 2007
Peter Dann has worked as a wildlife ecologist for 25 years and published extensively on seabirds and shorebirds in Australasia. He has co-edited, with Ian Norman and Pauline Reilly, a book entitled The Penguins: ecology and management (1995) and is currently at Cambridge University working on a second book on penguins. He manages a research group, specialising in penguin and seal biology particularly in relation to tourism on Phillip Island in southern Victoria. Phillip Island is famous for its 'penguin parade which 500,000 visitors come each year to see the arrival of little penguins at Summerland Beach at sunset. It is also home to the second-largest Australian fur seal colony in the world.
Peter is also a research fellow of the Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne and the Scott Polar Institute at Cambridge University, chairman of the Australasian Seabird Group and director of the Penguin Foundation and Birds Australia.
In 1990-91, he spent six months working in Dunedin with the Department of Conservation and Otago University on little blue penguins. He was involved with the establishment of penguin viewing at Oamaru and monitoring programmes at Oamaru and Tairoa Head.
For Real Journeys CEO Dave Hawkey, the idea that his company should give something back to the environment is a fundamental part of his management. Real Journeys is a tourism operator which provides a wide range of quality excursions in some of southern New Zealand's most pristine environments - from cruises in Milford and Doubtful Sounds, and tours in the Te Anau Glowworm Caves through to excursions on Stewart Island. Over the years, the company has earned a reputation for its commitment to conservation activities.
For his part, Mr Hawkey was attracted to Real Journeys by the company's reputation in providing quality visitor experiences and the challenges in managing a large and complex organisation. He initially trained in zoology but then moved into management after completing an MBA in 1986. Though he always found tourism interesting, he cut his management teeth at Energycorp and the Tetral Group. Mr Hawkey's first foray into the tourism industry came when he was charged with establishing and managing Christchurch's International Antarctic Centre in 1991. Under his management, the centre won two Tourism Awards for being the best visitor attraction in New Zealand.
Mr Hawkey's current position as CEO of Real Journeys began five years ago on the retirement of Bryan Hutchins, whose parents Les and Olive Hutchins started the company as Manapouri-Doubtful Sound Tourist Company in the 1950s. Mr Hawkey is the first non-family CEO, although the company has had independent directors and chair for many years.
Real Journeys has further plans to expand its conservation initiatives in the near future. “As a CEO and as an individual, I'm very aware of the challenges facing the environment,” Mr Hawkey says. “We have a duty to operate responsibly in a manner that ensures the same wonderful experiences can be enjoyed by generations to come.”
Dunedin-born Neville Peat is a leading New Zealand nature writer and interpreter. He is the author of more than 30 books, most of which explore natural history or environmental/geographical themes. He is co-author of the award-winning Wild Dunedin (Otago University Press, 1995). Deputy Chair of the Otago Regional Council in his third term on the council, Neville lives at Broad Bay on Otago Peninsula, a short drive from some of the world's most impressive coastal marine life.