The EIANZ would not exist without the ongoing commitment, dedication and expertise of our many volunteers. During Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu National Volunteer Week, we want to thank our volunteers in Aotearoa New Zealand who commit their time and expertise to our Board, Advisory Council, committees and initiatives. You are an integral part of our work.
Shannen Barns MEIANZ is one of our volunteers based in Aotearoa New Zealand. We asked her to share some thoughts on her work with the EIANZ and her experience of volunteering.
Shannen Barns MEIANZ
Shannen has been a member of the EIANZ since 2017. She is currently Chair of the EIANZ Students and Early Careers Committee (SECC) and a member of the New Zealand Chapter Management Committee.
How long have you volunteered with the EIANZ and in what capacity?
I started to help organise EIANZ events in my local area in late 2018, when I was a recent graduate. This led to me getting a good grasp of the type of events the Institute runs and establishing meaningful connections with other EIANZ members.
In 2019 I took on the role of the SEC Representative on the NZ Chapter Management Committee and the NZ Representative on the Institute-wide SECC. In the last month I have also stepped up to being the Chair of the Institute-wide SECC.
What motivated you to volunteer your time with the EIANZ?
I wanted to expand my network, learn more about other member's backgrounds and see more closely how the Institute is run. I had always attended interesting events or read articles that had come out of the Institute, so I thought it would be rewarding to give back my time and be on the other side of the process.
What do you enjoy about volunteering? What are the benefits of volunteering?
The people! I really enjoy working alongside other EIANZ members and learning about their experience in the industry. It’s a great way to network with people outside of your university or workplace. I also love being involved in the process of organising an event or program and seeing it all come together.
Being a member of the Management Committee has also been invaluable experience that I would recommend to any recent graduate. There are skills you learn such as writing proposals, delegating action items and working within budgets – things you don’t learn at university!
Would you recommend volunteering and if so, why?
For sure! The time you invest is definitely worth the connections you make and skills you learn. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door as a recent graduate and to learn what types of professions there are in the environmental industry.
EIANZ in Aotearoa New Zealand
Since its inception in 2003, the New Zealand Chapter of the EIANZ has made great progress in progressing environmental issues in Aotearoa New Zealand and creating a network for environmental practitioners that covers Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, a branch covering the Manawatū area, and a further branch covering the Marlborough and Tasman area known as ‘Top of the South’.
Become a member
EIANZ membership is open to environmental practitioners at all stages of their career – from students to established professionals. As an EIANZ member, you are part of a supportive, professional community contributing to the development and implementation of environmental best practice.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MEMBERSHIP HERE >