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Chris McCormack | Made it Theirs | Otago Polytechnic

I’ve always had a keen passion about
conservation and being in the outdoors. I’ve always loved the outdoors, but most
certainly, since I’ve been down at the Albatross Centre my knowledge and passion for conservation
has really gone to a higher level. I’m Christopher McCormick,
I’m the operations manager at the Royal Albatross Centre on the
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin. My operations here is looking after a core staff
that take care of the tours and looking after our key visitors that come down and see this iconic location which is seeing the Northern Royal Albatross, the underground tunnel systems of Fort Taiaroa and the Blue Penguins Pukekura as well. Well of course the albatross is one of my favourite birds not the top one though, funny enough. The Royal Spoonbill is one of my favourite birds, but of course the albatrosses are right up there. There’s only twenty-two species of
albatross in the world. This is the world’s only mainland breeding colony
of the species so it’s a very iconic spot for Dunedin. So I’m working for a not-for-profit organisation which is the Otago Peninsula Trust, so it’s really
heartfelt to see that the money generated from those that are joining
our guided tours to see our iconic wildlife has been invested onto the
Otago Peninsula. We’ve come to a place that is true of value to
New Zealand and also Dunedin. That it’s about pure passion and conservation. I’ve always loved the outdoors and did a diploma in outdoor leadership and management,
and travel and tourism. And since I’ve done my courses I’ve just taken a pure passion about conservation. I’ve had the chance of helping with the
Department of Conservation with albatross supplement feeding, looking after our birds, and I’ve had the opportunity to go down to the remote sub-antarctic island, the Auckland Island, to tag and do a census work on the
New Zealand sea lions. It’s been great to actually go up with them. It’s good to relate that information to the public of all the visitors that are
taken out, or so they have a bit more of a knowledge of the actual work that
happens behind the scenes. But being able to be part of that
and even having my team being able to do the hands-on work with the albatross
is an added bonus. I’ve grown my roots in Dunedin –
absolutely love Dunedin. I can’t foresee a future outside of the
Royal Albatross Centre, as of yet. I just absolutely love the place. I’m very lucky to have a position down here.

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