Wildlife Tourism/Member Profile: Sonya McGuire
Sonya joined WTA last year, and is helping to spread the word about wildlife conservation and about women working in this field.
As part of celebrating 25 years of success as an education provider, Sonya McGuire is combining her passion for documentary making and wildlife conservation. As an educator in Screen Production and IT, Sonya brings an irreplaceable perspective of understanding the value of film and documentary in increasing awareness about the environment and wildlife conservation. “Educational content delivered online around the globe has the potential to change minds and enrich lives.”
Sonya McGuireis the founder and CEO of IFTV Studiosbased on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Through IFTV Studios, Sonya is currently developing a screen play for a documentary about conservation in Australia. Her work is fuelled by an ardent belief in the power of documentary as an educational tool and by her genuine concern for conservation awareness, particularly in Queensland with its unique land and marine environments. “The power of image combined with persuasive script can heighten awareness of the need for conservation of wildlife and unspoiled places. Natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef need immediate representation and the fragility of Australia’s wildlife can be portrayed through documentary.”
Sonya McGuire’s extensive experience in online education and her relationships with screen industry professionals in Australia, Bollywood and Hollywood, place her in a unique position to educate viewers about immediate, contemporary concerns. Sonya has had a history of seeing her values and inspiration turn into tangible reality. With a dream to provide IT education for local and international students, she opened a college on the Gold Coast in 1995 for teaching IT courses. This was the first college in Australia to develop network engineering courses that had the capacity to place people directly into the industry. As the courses progressed from accredited Certificate to Advanced Diploma qualifications, partnerships developed with Microsoft, Cisco Systems, VMware and Juniper Networks to offer a distinctive skill-set. Still a family-run business, the Australian College of Information Technology & Institute of Film and Television (ACIT & IFTV) is respected in the industry as a government-registered training organization delivering industry-approved education to international students from over 20 countries.
Travelling globally as a member of trade delegations and as an exporter of Australian education, Sonya McGuire has the opportunity to see first-hand the role women play in the conservation movement. “From small projects to large eco-tourism enterprise, women are leading the way.” This perspective has inspired Sonya to altruistic endeavor. “There is a time for giving back.” Sonya is currently studying Law at Bond University, Master of Legal Administration at the Juris Doctor level specializing in Corporate Governance, International Business and Finance, and is committed to using her education, experience and passion to bring about positive change for women and the environment. “As a mother, wife and educator, my vision is to be a change maker, using media, technology and law as tools for positive change.”