Everyone has a story. A defining moment of their existence that makes them the person they are today. For Humans of UniSA, we delve into the depths of human nature and speak with some students to discover a slice of their personal history.
Master of Business Administration
I’ve always had an affinity with animals, but I didn’t want to be a vet. Fortunately for me, an opportunity came up in commercial operations at the RSPCA, and that’s where I’m at now. On average, every year, about 10,000 animals go through the shelter. My main role is making sure we can fund that.
Both my grandfathers were notorious for rescuing animals. My paternal grandfather had pigeons, dogs, and cats. My maternal grandfather was probably even worse with pigs, ducks and sheep, plus all the other normal animals. My sales and business side certainly came from him because he’d always be haggling on prices. But he also had that care for animals, so I think that’s where the worlds collided for him.
Growing up, I loved dogs and cats. We had both – budgies as well. Our first pet was a little black cat called Sammy that nobody seemed to want. My grandfather took him in and my mother had an affinity with him. When she moved out of home, Sammy became sad and stopped eating, so my grandfather said ‘You have to take him.’ Mum then took him in and I was born not long after. Sammy lived for about twenty years.
My other half is really passionate about animals as well. That’s sort of how we met – at an animal event through my work. We’ve now got three rescue cats and a dog, which our kids have grown up with. There’s also a little rescue farm not far from where we live and we often go down there to visit the goats, horses, pigs, chickens and cats. So our children have sort of picked up on the animal responsibility and compassion as well. At wildlife parks little kids are usually scared of emus, kangaroos and other things, but my little boy is happy for them to walk right up to him (of course with close parental supervision!) I think, from that aspect, he’s definitely got that ‘wildlife warrior’ in him.
Interview and photography by Geena Ho
This piece was originally published in Edition 31.