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Orignial BookEnd scholarship winners

BookEnd scholars

Our inaugural scholarship recipients are: Jeff Donne (left in picture), Karl Mathiesen (centre, with wombat) and Ninna Millikin (right). Our scholars will be documenting and promoting work that is currently being undertaken on the management of injured and orphaned wildlife (Karl and Ninna) and the filming of great white sharks (Jeff). They will also be developing and testing the communication methods that the BookEnd program will be using to convey this information to schools and the public.

In their own words:

Profile – Jeff Donne
Eight years ago, Jeff Donne received a phone call informing him that he had been chosen to lead a team through the forests of Western Uganda in search of chimpanzees. His job was to count them, all of them. Needless to say, he was a little surprised. But after growing accustomed to his new job of walking, crawling through ant nests, more walking, ant nests crawling through him, chasing the occasional poacher and spotting a chimpanzee or two, he realised that he had a lot to write about and a thing or two to say about the way humans interact with nature. And so he started to write. Eight years later, he’s finished counting apes, upped his roots from his native England and moved to Australia. Since arriving he’s been many things: a vet nurse, a youth worker, a handy man in Yakanarra community nestled on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. He’s still writing, and by all accounts doing fairly well, having been awarded finalist in a national student journalism competition, the Advocate scholarship for journalism, and of course a scholarship with the BookEnd Trust. Jeff’s scholarship involves getting familiar with great white sharks: a species that, along with just about any other fish with a dorsal fin and teeth, suffers from public misperceptions about (a) fish just doing what fish do, (b) the relative risk of dying on the toilet versus shark attacks, and (c) their important role in the balance of life within our oceans. Whether in Uganda or the ocean, or in his own back yard, Jeff is still enjoying writing about nature and the environment, and how we human animals think about the world around us.

Profile - Karl Mathiesen
After finishing an Arts degree with a political science major at Melbourne University, I traveled abroad working for a year. I eventually decided to come back home to Hobart and study journalism. After completing the first semester of my Masters I was lucky enough to be awarded one of three inaugural scholarships from the BookEnd Trust. The BookEnd program gives students of journalism an opportunity to work on an environmental communications project. The general public are often not aware of the interesting and important scientific and conservation projects being carried out in their own backyard, and often boffins are often not trained in communicating their work to the general public. Not only does this have negative effects on public awareness, but also funding issues, conflict and misunderstanding can arise. Ninna Millikin and I have been asked to work together to promote the orphaned and injured wildlife program at the Bonorong Conservation Centre. I work as a wildlife keeper at Bonorong so I have a particular interest and passion for this project. Our aim will be to create an accessible and interesting website from which people (and particularly school children) will be able to find out about the program and the conservation issues which make it important. In the future, I would like to continue in the journalism field. As well as environmental and scientific communications, I am very interested in using travel journalism as a vehicle for telling wide-ranging stories about the beautiful, imperfect world we inhabit.

Profile - Ninna Millikin 
Ninna Millikin relocated from Sydney to Hobart in early 2008 and began postgraduate studies in Journalism, Media and Communications at UTAS shortly after. Winning the BookEnd scholarship is full circle for Ninna, as she dreamed of being an independent documentary film maker in her teens. She believes the Bonorong project will give her experience in many of the skills required to realise this dream. Since completing the HSC in 1997, in which she was ranked in the top 50 in NSW for both English and Art, she has worked as an educator of people with disabilities, taught English as a second language, tutored people with learning difficulties and worked in outdoor education. She has travelled, mostly solo, throughout Australia, Latin America, Europe and Asia. A highlight of these travels was the two solo bushwalking treks she completed in Torres Del Paine National Park in Southern Chile. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Spanish, History and Literature from the University of New South Wales in 2001, which included an exchange program to Santiago, Chile. There she lived with a family who shared their way of life and many stories about that country's recent history. She is also a folk musician and fiction writer. Ninna aims to work in the media, communicating character-based stories across new and traditional media forms.

Profiles of BookEnd the program team

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Photos this page: Kevin Doran, Niall Doran & W.E. Brown.

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