Southern Cross graduate and marine biologist Olly Pitt rescues turtles and pelicans. (2:52)

 Video transcript

Olly Pitt: No two days are the same you never know what you're gonna get here. We do rescues we go out in the field we monitor pelicans we um we scrub down turtles we rehab them back to health… Over the past maybe three years the increase in sea turtles has been dramatic so yes we are starting to see more sea turtles come through the hospital. It's gone from about 10 a year upwards of 80 a year and that's in a matter of years so something's going on. What that is we're not exactly sure of but we can start putting the putting the puzzle together and realizing that we might be seeing some climate shifts going on.

The other most common animal that we get in care of course are our pelicans that are always affected by discarded fishing tackle hooks lures fishing line. The wall of shame is a wall of jars that is full of plastic and hooks and lures and everything in that wall has been found in or on the outside of an animal. This jar here is a jar full of plastic that came from one turtle.

When I started studying marine science at Southern Cross University it really changed my life it was the best decision I ever made to be honest with you and then it prepped me to start understanding the natural world and how it works by starting with the fundamentals, fundamentals like studying rocks which I was always like ‘why am I studying rocks?’ in marine biology and literally to this day I think back to that and that is the foundation of everything I know about turtles, birds, the earth everything. So that that really shaped me for learning about the animals and my work here because if I can't understand that, I can't understand the world in which these animals live in and how to create a better world to release them back into.

Southern Cross University has got a good reputation for being out in the field but every single subject that we did had field work involved. Now whether that was freshwater or marine there was always fieldwork which really connected everything so very vital to be able to understand that.

Working in a pet shop, I did have a love for animals and a passion for sharks but never thought of it as a career. I was never an over-achiever at school or anything so I thought that that was only for people that were high achievers but that's just not the case. If you're dedicated and if you're passionate you can you can knuckle down and get it done. I just went one day you know what I'm gonna give it a go and I did and never looked back and got through it, got honours, got a job and here we are.