Forest & Bird mourns loss of Helen Bain

30 Dec 2009


The sudden death of Forest & Bird Communications Manager Helen Bain on December 29 is a tremendous tragedy for her family but also for conservation and for Forest & Bird.

Helen joined Forest & Bird almost four ago, first as our media officer but for the last two years heading up our communications team.

 During that time Helen and her colleagues completely transformed Forest & Bird’s ability to communicate its conservation message.

 She turned around some initial scepticism of the role of professional media in conservation to have it accepted a key part of Forest & Bird’s conservation work.

Helen had tremendous media and journalistic skills but, more importantly, she was a woman of great passion and enthusiasm. She had very high standards and this was shown most clearly in her editorship of Forest & Bird magazine. The magazine has always been a leader for all of its 75-plus years but Helen took it to new heights as a flagship for conservation.

Helen always got things done. The successful redevelopment of the Forest & Bird website and the re-launch on Christmas Eve of the Kiwi Conservation Club website were projects Forest & Bird had long discussed. Helen delivered on them.

Helen’s experience as a political journalist gave her great political skills and she was an excellent advocate. She learnt her skills in the rough and tumble of newspaper newsrooms and had worked for some legendary editors.

Seemingly at odds with her passion for the environment, Helen was also a car nut and enjoyed working as a motoring journalist. At the time of her death, she was also editor of the Mitsubishi In-house magazine Brilliant.

On a more personal level, Helen was a great colleague and a critical member of the Forest & Bird staff team. She was a leader and a doer and great fun to be around.
Helen truly did give nature a voice. Nature and Forest & Bird will really miss her
Mike Britton
Forest & Bird General Manager

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