Tom Lawton

Wildlife Ranger in Queensland, Australia

My job

I worked for the Queensland State Government in Australia for the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. My role was as a wildlife ranger for the Northern Region wildlife management unit including the management of protected, native wildlife species throughout North Queensland, mostly crocodile and cassowary management. Crocodile management involves population surveys and monitoring, assessments and the capture and removal of crocodiles of concern.

How Hartpury University helped to get me there

I travelled to Australia in 2003 and volunteered at Australia Zoo. I knew then that I wanted to build a career working within crocodile management. When I returned to the UK I realised that if I wanted to make a real go of my ambition I needed to go to university and get a degree. My student experiences at Hartpury University were fantastic. Hartpury provided me with opportunities that other universities could not: personalised study programmes and small lecture groups which allowed one to one teaching opportunities. My learning experience has opened doors and shown me the importance of research and report writing, elements I use daily. My lecturers were great and supportive of my unusual career path and allowed me to base some of my course work around Australian conservation and crocodiles.