career profile | Flora & Fauna Permits Officer

For someone who was born into the wonderful world of wildlife, animals and monkeys actually in her backyard, it is very fitting that Rose-Marie ended up in a role based around wildlife. And what better way to spend your day doing something you love and are ever so passionate about.

Career Profile – Rose-Marie Bredl – Flora and Fauna Permits Officer, Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources (National Parks and Wildlife SA)

Brief description of your role:
In my role I am responsible for coordinating and managing the assessment and approval processes for all Fauna and Flora Permits issued pursuant to the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 including permits to keep and sell native wildlife, permits to rescue injured native wildlife, hunting permits, permits to import and export native animals, snake catchers permits, fauna dealers permits (pet shops) and permits to take native animals from the wild.  I am also required to liaise with, and provide advice to, customers and staff in relation to conditions of permit, native animal husbandry, and animal welfare issues and provide information on current legislation and policy.

So… what do you actually do?
One of the main factors of my job is that it is very unpredictable, I am constantly having to deal with new issues as they arise and I can never plan my day 100% as a result.

A normal day for me (excluding any major wildlife or compliance issues that may pop up and take up the rest of my day!) begins anywhere between 8.30am-9.00pm.  I arrive at my office and switch on my computer and open up my emails and sort them in order of importance, which I will then attempt to respond to throughout the day.

The daily mail normally comes in around 10.30pm with new permit applications for the day being placed into my daily tray.  I then sort through the pile of applications again sorting them in order of importance and timeframes.  Normally in a day I receive applications for import and export permits which need to be assessed and processed within 2 working days, these are assessed and approved daily in order to meet this timeframe, I also receive applications for protected animals rescue permits, basic keep and sell permits and specialist keep and sell permits, all which have a more detailed assessment process and have a longer turn around period.  I have to assess the suitability of the applicant against the application criteria for the species of animal they have applied to keep or rescue.  This includes an assessment of their experience in native animal husbandry, an assessment of their enclosures and facilities, referee checks, do they have any previous compliance issues etc.  Once an assessment has been made I will approve (or decline) the permit and attach any conditions I may feel that are relevant and pass the permits onto my co-worker for processing onto our Wildlife licensing system.  This normally takes up the majority of my day with a 30 minute lunch break in between normally somewhere between 12.30-2.00.

In addition to assessing and approving permits I also liaise daily with customers, other government agencies and internal regional counter and ranger staff via email, at the counter or via telephone providing them with guidance and advice relating to current legislation and policy, the application process for permits and assist with any husbandry or animal welfare issues and complaints.

Depending on what time of the year it is, I am also responsible for coordinating the permit and renewal process for all Fauna and Hunting permits including the Duck and Quail Hunting Open Seasons, this includes assisting with regional compliance and managing the Waterfowl Identification Tests for the State, which is a test that all hunters must sit and pass prior to being able to hunt protected Duck species in South Australia.

My day normally concludes around 5.15pm.

How did you get to your position of being?
After finishing high school I was undecided on what to do next, I wasn’t ready to leave the family nest and move to Adelaide for uni and wasn’t sure what career path to choose, although I knew I wanted to somehow work with Wildlife or within the Wildlife industry.

Luckily enough for me, I was successful in scoring a business administration traineeship with the National Parks and Wildlife office in Berri, which provided me with study through TAFE as well as on the job training.  After my 12 month traineeship I applied for and won the role of Customer Service Officer and haven’t looked back!

Over my 15 years within the Department I have worked in various roles including Ranger, Personal Assistant to the Director, Commercial Tourism Officer, A/Compliance Officer Riverland and A/Manager Fauna Permits Unit.

Have you always wanted to work with animals / wildlife area?

I was lucky enough to be born in to the Wildlife industry and spent most of my years growing up working in our family run wildlife park, this experience has benefitted me greatly in my current role as it allowed me to view things from a permit holder’s perspective and gave me a huge passion for wildlife, which I still have today.

What do you love about your role?
I love that my job is unique and unpredictable.  As mentioned earlier no day is ever the same.  I love coming to work and never fully knowing what the day has in store for me.

I also love the people I work with.  The Departmental staff and permit holders are so diverse, we definitely have some lively characters and they all keep me on my toes that’s for sure!

I also love the fact that I am looking out for our native wildlife, my role is to ensure that our native wildlife is conserved for future generations to enjoy and that all captive bred animals have a good quality of life and are treated well.

In your current role, what has been your biggest achievement?
I would have to say my biggest achievement is the role I’m in now.  I have a high level of pressure and responsibility but I love every minute of it!

Over your career, what has been your ‘love this’ moment?
My ‘love this’ moment would have to be when I’m out on the field.  Whether it be conducting wildlife dealer inspections or patrolling the River during Duck open.   I love getting back to nature and interacting with my permit holders outside of the office environment.

What would be the least favourite aspect of your role?
My least favourite aspect would have to be dealing with people who genuinely don’t care about the rules or who are trying to exploit their animals for personal benefit or gain and having to deal with animals that have suffered as a result of ignorance or negligence.

Any advice for anyone aspiring to work in the park and wildlife industry?
If you have a passion for it then go for it!

The Department has a graduate ranger program for graduates who have completed a degree in Conservation and land Management, this is a great way to start off your career.

Alternatively there are many other similar career paths that are available outside of my department (given that my job is quite specific and doesn’t come around often!),  there are RPSCA officers, Local government wildlife inspectors within local councils, Fisheries Officers, Customs Officers and the list goes on! Most of these jobs require Certificate 4 in Government Statutory Compliance as a benchmark which is available through TAFE.

What a great career journey, just highlights the fact that anything is possible with a little bit of passion. 
Any questions about working in the Wildlife industry or for Rose-Marie? 

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