I am a Bachelor of Science graduate from Victoria University of Wellington, having studied Marine Biology and Ecology and Conservation. I am a member of many conservation groups in Wellington, such as Conservation Volunteers Wellington, Pest Free Wellington, Society for Conservation Biology and Forest and Bird Youth, where I am a Schools and Education officer at the National level. I am passionate about the conservation of invertebrate fauna in the marine environment - particularly sponges! Key passions of mine include plant and marine critter identification, scuba diving and hiking. One of my favourite life experiences thus far has been dissecting an in-tact Giant Squid while working as an intern at NIWA!
I like to live my life possessing a fluid mindset, whereby I don't get too caught up in my past or my future, preferring to seek happiness in the present and let my future set its own path. Accordingly, I would describe myself as a chill, laid-back guy who enjoys the small things in life and loves a good yarn.
My goal while completing this programme is to continue stepping out of my comfort zone and growing as an individual. My goal in life is to learn as much about the world and myself as possible so that I can take this knowledge and inspire others through practical conservation and self-development programmes; this programme is multiple steps in the right direction to becoming more in touch with who I am as a person so I can achieve these goals.
I completed Stage 2 of this Programme, Outward Bound, in May 2022, and absolutely loved it. The course taught me a lot about how to be a leader and also how to push through mental and physical barriers on a daily basis. My learnings from this course have been instrumental in how I interact with a team and the extent to which I am able to push myself and others while exercising.
Recently, I completed a 6-week long military defence leadership course, and through this, I discovered that I also had a passion for community uplift. I was awarded the NZ police He Tohu Aroha award through this course, recognising my commitment to uplifting the community around me and to self-improvement, so I plan on pursuing this passion in future career pathways.
Ultimately, I want to live life to the fullest; constantly challenging who I am as a person and what I am capable of. My current projects include challenging the words and actions of the government in regards to the conservation reform act, creating educational documents for Youth about the environment and building my hiking experience so that next year I can hike Te Araroa.
Feel free to message me on Facebook if you want to chat about studying at university, conservation or about the programme: @Andy Wech
Have a great day!