CAREERS: How I Got Here - Claire Mallinson, marketing and fundraising director, Greenpeace

What was your first job? Selling garden gnomes in Woolworths, so I wasn't exactly rushed off my feet. Still, it was a good grounding in learning to deal with the public.

What does your current role involve? Greenpeace is taking action all over the world for our planet's future and I have always supported its beliefs and ideals. As marketing and fundraising director, I am responsible for formulating and executing specific campaigns covering Australia and the Pacific region. I also provide a mentoring and support role for South-East Asia.

Roughly outline your career path. After leaving university, I went straight into the charity sector and worked in a fundraising and marketing role.

Obviously, my experience with garden gnomes had a greater influence on me than I realised. In the past 18 years, my jobs have included head of fundraising and later assistant director at Scope, executive director of fundraising and marketing at The Cancer Research Campaign and latterly, international director at Cancer Research UK. I joined Greenpeace in mid-February.

What has been your greatest career achievement? This is difficult to narrow down, but the projects I am most proud of are ensuring a smooth merger of fundraising and marketing teams at Cancer Research UK, and recently forming the global partnership of Cancer Research UK, the American Cancer Society and UICC (Union Internationale Contre le Cancer) to develop a global tobacco control initiative.

What is your advice to people starting out in the sector?

Believe in the mission of your organisation and share your passion for it with colleagues, supporters and the public.

Are there any charities you support financially? I support the causes I have been involved with throughout my career, most notably the UICC.

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