On-board with Ebony Keady, Ranger at Phillip Island Nature Park!
Ebony Keady works as a Park Ranger at Phillip Island Nature Park, caring for the wonderful wildlife residents who call the island home. We caught up with her to find out what it’s like to work in one of Australia’s most beautiful destinations!
Tell us about yourself?
I have lived on Phillip Island my entire life, my parents loved living near the beaches and on the coast. The Phillip Island Region is home to beautiful beaches and a diverse range of wildlife. I also love to travel and explore different countries and cultures.
What inspired you to become a Park ranger?
Growing up on Phillip Island I had the opportunity to attend a school that placed an enormous emphasis on the environment. This sparked my passion and love for working in this field. I have been with Phillip Island Nature Park for eight years now, and have had the opportunity to pursue my interest in becoming a ranger.
What would you say is the most unique feature of the Phillip Island Nature Park?
I have the opportunity to engage in a diverse workplace, everyday is different. Not only managing clientele who visit the parade on a daily basis, but also counting the number of the penguins and observing what is happening in the colony. I am also very lucky to have the beach as my office.
What sort of duties do you perform as a ranger?
Every night we take guided ranger tours, provide education through ranger talks, manage visitors, ensure the safety and well-being of the penguins, and make sure our visitors have a memorable visit.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is working so closely with the penguins and getting to understand the inner workings of the colony. Also, learning from the other rangers has expanded my knowledge of working with the penguins. It’s fantastic to work with such a knowledgeable group of people.
What is the most challenging aspects of your role?
The most difficult part of the job is conveying to the visitors why it is so important not to take photographs of the penguins. Understandably, many guests are very keen to get a photograph of the stars of our show. But for the health & well-being of the penguins this simply isn’t possible.
What is your most important advice for any guest visiting the area?
I’d recommend that all visitors take their time and experience all aspects of the nature park, to ensure they get the most out of what we have to offer.
Do you expect visitation to the Phillip Island Nature Parks to increase in coming years? How will growth be managed?
Phillip Island is a leading tourism destination! The number of international and domestic visitors are increasing, therefore I would expect this to continue into the future. To cater for this growth, our facilities will be expanding to include an amazing new state-of-the-art visitor centre.
What is the most underappreciated or least known feature of the park?
The natural beauty of Phillip Island’s beaches. This sometimes goes underappreciated by visitors in their eager anticipation of experiencing the penguin parade. This is a shame, as I believe the island’s beaches are genuinely world-class.
Here at Go West we operate daily penguin parade tours to Phillip Island, and pick up from most accommodation providers in Melbourne’s inner city.