Connor Wallace’s volunteering began five years ago with the Motutapu Restoration Trust, an organisation committed to revitalising both the natural and cultural landscape of the Hauraki Gulf island. He was a junior member of Forest & Bird through primary school and has recently become more active with Forest & Bird as a North Shore Committee member and founding committee member of Forest & Bird Youth. We asked him a few questions about his commitment to the causes he supports.
Q What do you like most about volunteering for Forest & Bird and the Motutapu Restoration Trust?
A “The thing I like most about my involvement with them is the way in which both organisations provide perfect opportunities for me to learn from active conservationists – they tend to be the type of people that will help you if you ask.”
Q What is your proudest moment as a volunteer?
A “The first rat caught by a Goodnature Trap that I had installed with support of the Upper Harbour Local Board was a very proud moment but topping even that was the phone call letting me know that I was to receive Forest & Bird’s Te Kaiārahi Rangatahi o te Taiao Youth Award for 2016.”
Q What are some of the methods you use to encourage people to become “citizen scientists”?
A “To encourage people to step up as citizen scientists. I make use of Facebook and my own website to publicise volunteering opportunities, as I know this an effective way to communicate with fellow teenagers. I also like to think my enthusiasm for conservation work is not only annoying but contagious as well.”
“I ALSO LIKE TO THINK MY ENTHUSIASM FOR CONSERVATION WORK IS NOT ONLY ANNOYING BUT CONTAGIOUS AS WELL.”