By Justine Mannan, journalism student at FNU
Pacific Nature Conference Closing Bulletin 2013, Suva Fiji - She's a bird lover and model-maker and during the 9th Pacific Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, Ms. Ann O'Brien, 53, was able to bring both those interests together. British national Ms. O'Brien is the wife of Mr. Mark O'Brien, the Senior Technical Adviser at BirdLife International in Suva.
She has been modelling from a young age. “The first thing I can remember was when I was about six, I was watching the football, the World Cup, and the mascot at the time was a lion and I was given some fabric and I sat and stitched a lion,” she recalls.
Now she is able to create lifelike birds, sharks, beetles and anteaters.
“It took me about three days (to make a bird), they are easy to make now that I know what I’m doing. I get better as I go along, the very first one that I made was a puppet and it took me three weeks but it took me a while to learn how to make model figures of birds,” she said.
Justine Mannan is a member of the Media Team providing coverage of the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas from 2 to 6 December in Suva, Fiji. This is a partnership between the Fiji National University (FNU), University of the South Pacific (USP), SPREP and Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) whereby a team of 10 journalism students are mentored by senior reporters as they cover the conference. This activity is funded by the Pacific Assistance Media Scheme (PACMAS).