I’m originally from South Australia where I studied a BSc Marine Biology and Aquaculture. Since then I’ve worked mainly with marine molluscs, both Greenlip Abalone and Pacific Oysters in Port Lincoln, SA.
Much of my passion is around the ocean and working with sustainable ways to culture marine species. Oysters are a perfect solution to this. Not only do they have a minimal impact to the environment around them, they can actually help improve the water quality and eco system for other species.
As a Nursery Manager in Broome, what does your job entail?
My role, broadly speaking, is to be responsible for live oysters brought onto land. This starts with ensuring there is a reliable constant flow of clean water for the oysters, making sure there is a source of food and making sure the nursery is kept at the optimal environmental conditions for the oysters to thrive.
Tell us how you started working for Willie Creek Pearls?
During 2020/21, I was traveling along the Western Australian coast with my partner and we eventually made it to Broome. Like so many people before us, we loved the place! The community, the weather, the coast and of course the pearls. Then in early 2022 we both saw opportunities to work in Broome. We knew we loved the area and decided to make the move over here. We had visited Willie Creek Pearl Farm whilst here the first time, so I knew what a beautiful place it was to work.
What is the best part about your job?
Willie Creek Pearl Farm is a great spot to work. I’m also very lucky to be working with a species that I find interesting, and the pearls as the result is pretty cool.
The Biomedical aspect is very exciting. It’s a really positive move to not only diversify the business, but also to use some of the bi-products after harvesting pearls to go to a product that will be able to change people’s lives.
Of course, there’s also working with amazing people who are all so passionate about what we’re achieving.
What is the toughest part of your job?
Broome, although a reasonably sized town, is still remote. Willie Creek Pearl Farm is further out again. This can be a challenge with logistical needs. It means that you need to try and pre-empt issues before they are issues.
There is also the challenge of replicating an oyster’s natural environment on land to keep them happy. Most of the time this is achievable, but it can always be a challenge to replicate the many varying factors.
What is your favourite thing about working with pearls?
The one thing that always gets me is that the oysters are creating these pearls as an immune response to a foreign object. To them it’s almost an annoyance, to us it’s a thing of beauty.
What do you find so special about Australian South Sea Pearls?
Like so many other products that come from Australia’s pristine oceans Australian South Sea Pearls are incredible, unique and stand out.
What is the most surprising thing you have learnt about Pearls or Pearling?
Everyday I learn a new thing about pearling. It’s a whole world, from the oysters themselves to learning about jewellery, the end result we all love.