‘You’ve got to think like a corella – get inside their head’. That’s how Tony Goodwin, who has been a wildlife management officer with Avisure for just under 11 years, describes his approach to managing over-abundant little corellas. Tony and fellow Avisure specialist, wildlife biologist Shane Van Dijk, feature on the latest Avicast on managing little corellas, which provides lots of pointers on managing these smart and resourceful birds.
‘I love what I do,’ Tony says. ‘When I get into something, I want to know everything – all the details.’ That passion has stood him in good stead in his work with Avisure. ‘My bird knowledge when I joined was pretty low – I knew the basics, like magpies and ibis, but when it came to raptors, they were just large raptors or small ones. My knowledge has gone up 10,000 per cent since then.’
That passion for detail included getting to know the airport species’ breeding cycles; how the prevalent species think, as he says ‘getting inside their head’; what their seasonal movements are; and the most effective harassment strategies. Little corellas are a major hazard species for the site where he is based, but ‘we haven’t had a damaging strike since we’ve been doing the job,’ he says with justifiable pride.
Tony has had a varied career, including many years in the Australian Army, and a variety of roles in newspapers, including pre-press, production, proofing and finally IT. He is someone who enjoys getting to the heart of a subject, so when a colleague at the Adelaide Advertiser introduced him to an early predecessor of MS Excel to document and analyse performance statistics, he ‘was hooked on computing, and ended up working in IT for the Advertiser for nearly 20 years’. When the newspaper moved operations to Melbourne, he took a redundancy and then spent some time pondering his next move. By happenstance, that was working for Avisure in South Australia as a wildlife management officer.
Tony feels it is now time for the next move, so Remembrance Day, 11 November will be his last day on the job with Avisure. His son plays the ‘real football’ at international level, so as a proud father he is hoping to follow his games more closely and see him represent Australia at a World Cup tournament. With family members who were lost far too young—his dad died at 59 and his brother in his late 40s—he is keen to make the most of his retirement life to come. ‘I will miss the awesome people in Avisure – they are great to get along with and ultra-professional. But I know I am leaving the place in good hands – there are some great young people coming on.’