13 December 2007

Handling venomous snakes may not be everyone's idea of a day at the office but for UQ Gatton graduate, Andrew Howe, it is his dream job.

Mr Howe graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science with majors in Wildlife Biology and Conservation and Park Management at a UQ Gatton graduation ceremony on Friday, December 7.

"My experience over the past three years and my preference to work outdoors, on the ground, were the reasons I accepted a wildlife rescue position at Australia Zoo,” Mr Howe said.

“I will be taught correct handling and rescue techniques in an area I am truly interested and passionate about. I will learn how to handle venomous snakes through training provided by experienced handlers.”

While studying, Mr Howe worked as a volunteer with the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, and in January this year, was recruited as part of a fire rescue mission to Victoria, relocating hundreds of koalas.

“I was lucky enough to be sent to Victoria for more than two weeks to rescue hundreds of koalas suffering the effects of summer bushfires,” he said.

This experience, combined with his tertiary studies, led to multiple employment opportunities upon graduation – an ideal situation he said he greatly appreciated.

The past three years studying the Applied Science degree had been a rewarding challenge, enabling him to apply his theoretical knowledge to practical situations, and providing him with a complete understanding of "how things work", he said.

“The degree opened my mind to think from a different perspective and understand that no one opinion is correct,” Mr Howe said.

“Through my volunteering and wildlife-based degree, I was offered two positions, enabling me to choose the one best suited to my needs.

“The experience and knowledge gained from studying at Uni and the voluntary work experience I have completed has put me in the best possible position for the employment opportunities I seek; both now and into the future.”

Media inquiries: Susanne Schick – UQ Gatton Campus (5460 1229, 0409 265 587).