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Sean Paul Smith on life as a Wheen Bee Foundation Ambassador

Sean-Paul Smith became a Wheen Bee Foundation Ambassador after hearing CEO Fiona Chambers speak about the organisation’s work promoting bees and pollination.

It was 2019 – just the second year of our Ambassador Program – and Sean-Paul was one of 17 who took part in the annual intake.

The 49-year old father-of-four (aged two to 17) lives on 10 hectares in Gippsland where he and his partner grow nut and fruit trees, tend a big cottage garden and 11 beehives.

They’re gradually building a “pollinator habitat” on an old-fashioned farm once dominated by grass and cypress trees with few floral features.

It’s a long way from his upbringing in urban Cairns and later Kew in Melbourne where his parents worked in aviation and school teaching.

After 20 years in local government, ending with a stint as environmental coordinator with LaTrobe City in Morwell, Sean-Paul is now the Environment General Manager of Habitat Creations.

The company employs 76 people. It does ecological restoration planting works, creates wetlands in new subdivisions and installs trees for organisations like Greening Australia. It also runs nurseries which grows two million native Australian plants each year.

Sean-Paul has a double degree from James Cook University in Cairns in microclimatology and entomology.

He loved the huge learning curve of the WBF’s three-day residential training program for new Ambassadors.

He has made lasting friends from the 2019 cohort, been inspired, learnt much and met some “brilliant” people.

Sean-Paul is a big fan of the WBF’s Bee Friendly Farming program. “It’s something I’m really passionate about,” he says, “and it ties in with everything I’m doing in my personal and professional life.”

Sean-Paul suggests that anyone interested should start out by offering their services to WBF as a volunteer.

The Ambassador Program is “meaningful volunteerism,” he enthuses. It gives you a chance to make a difference. You can bite off as much or as little as you want. It gives you meaning and purpose… and you’re helping to grow a really worthwhile charity in the process.”

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