Garry Sundin

Date of birth:

1953-07-01

Place of birth:

Sydney, Australia

Education History:

Bachelor of Building, UNSW

Organisation you work for:

Orangutan Odysseys

Position title:

Managing Director / Expedition Manager

How did you get into the work you do presently?

Having been a commercial building contractor all my life I had the opportunity of working on many zoological exhibits and aquariums. I also always had a keen interest in animals. After travelling to Central Borneo to see the orangutans on a fundraiser tour I organised, I was struck by the devastation and significant problems that were facing the orangutans, other animals, the rainforests and the indigenous peoples. After additional similar tours I decided I wanted to dedicate more time and effort towards raising much needed funds to support the conservation NGOs along with increasing awareness around the world . Hence the eco-tourism company ‘Orangutan Odysseys’, was born and its mission to “Save the Environment through Tourism” was created.

Describe the main aspects of your work:

I organise responsible eco-friendly tours across Borneo and Sumatra. These allow people from around the world to experience observing orangutans both in the wild and in conservation areas. I spend considerable time traveling throughout the various regions of Indonesia and Malaysia to find new and exciting locations where we can organize new tours that will allow guests a unique and exciting adventure. This includes meeting with local tourism groups and the non-profit conservation teams working in these areas to discuss the best methods for introducing tourism that can educate, compliment and benefit the existing conditions. I continually work on new ideas and tours that will further help to raise the funds and awareness that is needed for us to succeed in our mission.

What do you like best about your job?

Having an office where I get to trek through jungles, cruise up rivers and see some of the most magnificent animals and environments that exist on earth. I have been very fortunate to be given opportunities to get to know the many fantastic dedicated people who are working so hard, under difficult circumstances, to save the orangutans and rainforests. They really do inspire me. I greatly enjoy the chance to experience visiting and watching the orangutans, elephants, and an amazing array of wildlife and exploring new places where few people have ever ventured.

I feel very privileged to have met with and become friends with an exceptional collection of individuals who have devoted their lives to saving and protecting these amazing animals.

Finally, I feel a great sense of satisfaction and reward from seeing our hard work and efforts actually making a real difference in the field.