A big thank you to Jan Simmons - founding Forum member

Posted 2 years, 5 months ago    0 comments

Hi Everyone

Jan has retired after 31 years working in conservation.   Jan has been a member of the Waikato Biodiversity Forum since its beginnings in 2002. She was very supportive of the Forum as the concept was developed and she put her ideas and energy into making the Forum happen alongside other members of Councils, DOC,  Iwi, the University of Waikato, Research agencies, NGOs Federated Farmers and interested individuals.  She became a member of the Forum’s Focus group and over the years acted as a mentor and advisor to me in my role as coordinator.   When DOC offered to support my role by providing me with office space,  I shared an office with Jan which was a valuable daily connection for me as I negotiated my way through Forum projects.

Jan has been a constant  advocate for the Forum and  worked tirelessly for conservation throughout the Waikato Region. Her vision and dedication has driven a number of conservation efforts that have made a difference on the ground such as,  the Waikato Weedbusters Mobile Squad and the Community Nursery now based at mystery Creek .   Alongside being a DOC employee she already gives endless hours to volunteering and she intends to increase her involvement.  So it sounds like “retirement”   isn’t in Jan’s vocabulary.  The attached photo is a great example of Jan getting her hand dirty pulling weeds at Waingaro Reserve with the Waikato Mobile Weedbusters Squad.

In her words  “ After 31 years it is quite a wrench to be leaving as I have absolutely enjoyed the work – doing something I am passionate about and getting paid for it!  And Jan certainly has passion for conservation”.   She went on the say in her retirement email that    “ It is the people both inside and outside of DOC that have kept me here for so long. It is the people that have made conservation work interesting, stimulating, challenging and enjoyable. Thank you so much for being part of my working life. I look forward to continuing our association in a personal capacity as a member of the conservation community.”     So you may see Jan pop up somewhere in the future around the Waikato if you haven’t already had an association with her on various project. 

Once again I’d like to thank Jan for her passion, enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to conservation.   I am the richer for working alongside her and our species and habitats are in better shape from the work she has done and is still committed to undertaking.     Go well Jan.    All the very best.

Cheers, Moira

Jan pulling weeds at Waingaro Reserve
Jan pulling weeds at Waingaro Reserve

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