In 1995, after responding to a call for “AIMS Tour Volunteers”, Helen Brayne embarked on a personal journey to discover the beauty and complexity of the Great Barrier Reef which she’d heard so much about. The former Sydneysider recalls the then CEO, Joe Baker’s enthusiasm for finding ‘ordinary people to talk with ordinary people’ about AIMS’ world-class tropical marine science. As she describes, it was a memorable push for increasing the accessibility of AIMS science to the public. With that, the AIMS Public Tour Program was born.
Using a slide projector and some basic science communication training provided by the Institute, Helen initially worked with a team of two other volunteers to inspire and educate interested members of the public visiting AIMS’ Cape Cleveland headquarters. The communication technology has changed, but her commitment to delivering quality tours has remained unshaken. Helen accounts her time at AIMS with pride. She boasts about the opportunities volunteering at AIMS created for her – notably being able to meet hundreds of interesting people including students, international tourists and locals.
The Australian Institute of Marine Science honours Helen’s 20 year commitment and dedication. She has been a much admired ambassador to the Institute, and the organisation extends sincere gratitude to her and her family for the time served. Congratulations Helen!