These days, RMIT Vietnam alumnus Thoi Thi Chau Nhi is Program Director of the NGO CHANGE, and working with artists to bring an end to the illegal rhino horn trade.
As a lover of the environment, the Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) graduate has finally found her true calling building projects to positively impact society. But her journey here was not straight-forward.
Initially Nhi had hoped to work in events, but found that sector wanting. Then a conversation with a friend changed everything.
“One day I talked to one of my friends who was working for an NGO,” she recalled.
“I became fascinated by her job, and was interested in environmental issues, so I decided to try working as a volunteer and see if that was for me.”
The 350 group was her first stop. As a small group of environment lovers, 350 was preparing a campaign called Water World, with the aim of raising awareness of marine life protection.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t find a sponsor so my very first project failed,” she admitted.
Luckily, the 350 director didn’t give up, and she soon founded CHANGE (Centre for Hands-on Action and Networking for Growth and Environment) and appointed Nhi as a project manager.
“In the beginning, I had to do everything myself – form a team, plan the project, find sponsors, everything. I learned a lot from that job,” Nhi explained.
“I’d always cared about the environment, but never thought I would work for a related organisation until then.”
Studying Professional Communication and then working for an environmental group might sound quite dissimilar to some people, but Nhi has found meaning in the way she arrived there.
“The subjects I studied at RMIT helped me a lot,” she confirmed.
“All of our projects require co-operation with advertising agencies and the press, and because I’ve studied the industry, I’ve found it easy to work with them.”
Nhi was also thankful for the time she spent at RMIT student clubs.
“Back then, I was the President of English Club,” she recalled.
“There, I gained crucial skills that apply to my current role.”
Story: Hai Yen