25 July, 2023
This month we shine the spotlight on Ben Page, Horticulture Biosecurity Officer, Department of Primary Industries and Regions, Adelaide.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
A typical workday can vary greatly for me, from being out in the field looking for snails in the mud or some other kind of exotic plant pest, to days in the office writing reports or mapping.
How long have you worked in this area?
I have worked in biosecurity for six years.
How did you find yourself in this career?
I actually went to uni to study geology, but in an environmental science elective, I discovered how much trouble the environment was in and how important biosecurity management is to Australia and around the world. I transferred degrees and found myself passionate about biosecurity.
What roles have you held previously?
I have been the District Officer for Lameroo in the Mallee, and a Landscape Officer in the Clare Valley both managing pest plants and animals across diverse landscapes. I then moved into the plant pest space as a Biosecurity Project Officer educating the public on the importance of biosecurity for plant health and managing a snail eradication.
What is your most memorable career achievement?
Utilising multiple surveillance and eradication methods to keep the exotic lens snail (Caracollina lenticula) from invading a multi-million-dollar agricultural industry in South Australia.
What advice would you give to others starting/changing their career?
Volunteer. Volunteering helps you gain valuable skills in an industry that you are passionate about. You will meet like-minded people and make connections that will assist you throughout your career while gaining practical skills. It will also help you to decide if this is the correct career choice for you.