Dr Marc Daley
- Studied: Marine Science with Honours, plus PhD
- Now works as: Coastal Advisor, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Growing up on Sydney’s northern beaches, Marc Daley forged a close relationship with the coast from a young age. “I was part of the local surf club and was in the water pretty much every day,” remembers Marc.
This daily exposure to the beach enabled Marc to see first-hand how his local coastline was being managed, and the problems in balancing public access, development and protection of the coast. “From then on, I wanted to play a key role in coastal management,” he says.
In keeping with his childhood dreams, Marc is now a Coastal Advisor for the NSW government and in his role, provides advice on managing the impacts of hazards on NSW coasts, beaches and estuaries.
Marc’s path to winning his dream job started with a marine science degree at Sydney, where he studied marine biology, oceanography, geology and coastal zone management. Next, Marc enrolled in Honours, which he says was essential in opening the door to his PhD and future job.
Through contacts developed during his PhD, Marc was offered a 12-month temporary job as Coastal Advisor with the Office of Environment and Heritage, which he now holds on a permanent, full-time basis.
“The professional network I developed during Honours and PhD was essential in helping me secure my job,” says Marc. “University is a great time to build networks, and you can also make contacts through groups like the Australian Coastal Society.”
After two years on the job, Marc says the best thing about being Coastal Advisor is the variety. “Any day could see me implementing policy reform, improving planning and management within the coastal zone or writing briefing notes for the Minister.”
Although Marc credits on-the-job experience for teaching him much of what he knows, he says the technical skills developed during university are needed for almost every task. “It’s helpful to have good communication skills and be able to liaise across all levels of government and with stakeholders, but you also need scientific skills like interpreting and analysing data, and using specialised tools such as simulation modeling software,” he says.
Not only did Marc’s postgraduate study provide the technical grounding for his job, but it also marks a highlight of his career. “Completing my PhD gave me a real sense of achievement. I feel lucky to have landed a job that’s in-line with my studies in the field I’m passionate about, and it’s rewarding to be making an ongoing difference to how we manage our coastline for both our and future generations.”