On Board with Wenbo Chen, Ranger at Port Campbell National Park!
Port Campbell National Park is world famous for its extraordinary collection of wave-sculpted rock formations and the Twelve Apostles. The Port Campbell National Park ranges from Princetown to Peterborough. With other highlights such as the Loch Ard Gorge, Memorial Arch, and Gibson Steps, these historic sites have long represented the Great Ocean Road.
Today we catch up with Wenbo, Park Ranger at Port Campbell National Park. Wenbo gives us an insight into what inspired him to become a Park ranger, unique features of the area, and his day to day roles along this stunning stretch of coast line.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a Parks Victoria Ranger and work in the beautiful Port Campbell National Park. Before I became a Park Ranger, I was working as a horticulturist in Yarra Valley, as well as running botanical expeditions to the high-mountains of western China.
What inspired you to become a Park Ranger?
I have always been passionate about nature. When I was very young I knew that I would work in nature and perform environmental work in the future. Working in a national park as a Ranger is a dream come true for me.
Did you grow up in the area in which you work, or have you come from elsewhere?
I grew up in western China, which is very different from Australia, both physically and culturally. I came to Australia to study environmental science and then decided to stay, now I am a naturalised Australian. I have lived in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, now near Port Campbell.
What would you say is the most unique feature of the Port Campbell National Park?
Definitely the coast. Here at Port Campbell National Park, powerful waves and wind from the Southern Ocean plus high rainfall have been eroding and shaping the limestone coast for thousands of years, they work together and create a series of magnificent cliffs, rock stacks, arches, islands and caves. I’m well-travelled, but I’ve never seen anything like this.
What study, qualifications or experience did you do to become a Park Ranger?
I have a master degree in environmental management, a graduate diploma in environment, and I also did TAFE course in horticulture and arboriculture. The other things which helped me in becoming a Park Ranger were my experience in the tourism industry and nature photography, plus I am a native Mandarin-speaker.
What sort of duties do you perform as a Ranger?
As a Mandarin-speaking ranger, my main role is providing information to visitors. I also patrol, look after visitor facilities and complete protection works in the park including weed and pest control. I also provide interpretive talks to Chinese tourists at the Twelve Apostles.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of the job is that it feels like the whole world comes to me. Hundreds of visitors come to the park from every corner of this planet. The direct interaction with these visitors is so unique and precious that I feel lucky and honoured to be able to service them.
What is your most important advice for visitors to the area?
Be kind to the fragile coastal ecosystem and stay on marked tracks and designated visitor areas.
Wenbo is part of the team at Parks Victoria. Parks Victoria are responsible for managing an expanding and diverse estate covering more than 4 million hectares, or about 18 per cent, of Victoria. Their primary responsibility is ensuring parks are healthy and resilient for current and future generations.
To find out more about the incredible work that they do visit their website!
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