Anne-Elise Smithson: What skills have you trained in?

I have an unusual degree: a BA/BSc, majors Biology and French, from the University of Auckland. So I have a background in New Zealand ecology and conservation and I speak French!
Having a background in science is particularly invaluable, as it’s great to have an understanding of how the natural world works, and humans’ relationship to it.
A few years after completing my degree, and living and teaching in France, I re-trained in documentary directing and production at South Seas Film and Television School. Over the years, I worked in film and television research and production.
My first role in the industry was PA for the feature film 30 Days of Night, and later I worked for the BBC for one of their ongoing television series filmed in NZ; I co-produced a documentary about a young woman returning to her birth country, Iran (Iran in Transit), worked on the publicity side of the award-winning documentary There Once was an Island: Te Henua e Nnoho; and did some archivist and translation work for the film Brother Number One. I have also had many other roles in television and film, but it’s a very difficult industry to find ongoing work in – and that challenge in itself teaches you many great skills – and so I eventually turned to the public sector.
Currently, I work in community development for charities.
– Anne-Elise Smithson, The Green Party of Aotearoa
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