Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kevin Mason: 48 Years at Healesville Sanctuary.

On May 30th, the Healesville Sanctuary, celebrated its 74th anniversary of caring for and preserving Australian native animals. Quite a proud achievement I think, but what also impressed me, even more was that one of its employees, the above Kevin Mason, has been working there for 48 years. He started off working on a dairy farm across the road before starting at the Sanctuary (because his then Girlfriend/later wife, was working there) and started as an animal keeper. From there, he went onto be a head keeper and then on to be a Special Projects Curator, and is currently the Customer Relations Manager. Not bad for a young 68 year old is it?

Despite his humble beginnings and lack of specific qualifications, Kevin succeeded at his job and was the first Keeper to ever breed a Lyrebird in captivity. Of his humble beginnings, Kevin recently said the following “To be a keeper these days you need a degree, but it’s just paper experience. People like me have learned through fieldwork and hands-on experience. Today’s keepers learn from our experiences.”

As one who left school at the end of Year 9 (&not year 12 like most today, before even then going on to University,) I know what it is like to struggle to find work without the necessary “Piece of Paper”. Now I cannot boast quite the same successful Resume as Kevin, but I do know what it is like to learn the hard way and to succeed from the bottom up.

So if you are out there wanting to improve your position in life, but don’t have the necessary piece of Paper, that everyone seems to demand these days, don’t let that put you off if you have the desire to do something. Like Kevin, go out and start at the Bottom and work your way up to the Top, anyway you can.

Kevin got his qualifications on the job and for one employer. I worked for many employers before I found what I wanted to do and then went back to School, (even if it was a Bible College) at age 35 (With a wife and 3 Kids) and did a University Level Bachelors degree in Theology, in just three years. Admittedly the pass rate each year was not high, but it improved with every year, and I graduated from it in the minimum time, and the Degree allowed me to go and work overseas for 12 years.

So again, if you have a goal and desire, don’t let your lack of qualifications put you off, but do work on it and do what you have to do to succeed. Learn from the experiences of others who have gone before you. Start at the bottom and stick at it. If both Kevin and I can do it in different fields, just think what some one like you can do in your field, if you really put your mind to it. What say you now?

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