With a Bachelor of Marketing and Communications under her belt and currently studying a Post-Graduate Certificate in UX and Web Design, Shivawn began her career in media as an expert in digital and offline channels, where she consulted for industries such as banking, automotive, retail, government and not-for-profit.
Shivawn then joined Southern Launch in early 2021, taking on the exciting role of leading the company’s marketing, communications, media and public relations activities, as well as community outreach.
We spoke to her about her journey and what she loves about working in South Australia’s space industry.
What does a typical day look like for you as a Media and Communications Coordinator?
My role encapsulates anything to do with marketing, communications, and media, as well outreach and community engagement. I think that’s what is most exciting is that every single day is completely different – I could be doing any number of my roles! There’ll be days where I’ll get to go to Port Lincoln and focus on a media day where I meet with journalists to talk about what Southern Launch is developing and what it will mean for the region, and on another day, I might be in the office filming a content to post on socials.
How did you start your career?
I went to Uni SA and studied a Bachelor of Marketing and Communications. I then undertook about three months of work experience shadowing a choreographer, working as her marketing assistant for various dance schools and businesses. After that I started my media career working for Starcom, a media agency, for five years helping clients with their paid advertising campaigns, I then moved to another media agency, Wavemaker, for just under three years managing digital media campaigns for Mitsubishi and SA Government, including Defence SA.
When I had the opportunity to work at Southern Launch, I knew absolutely nothing about space; nothing about orbits or rockets and then in my first week I got to carry a DART rocket through Adelaide!
What is it you love about your job and working in the space industry?
I love that there isn’t a lot of history in terms of marketing for space. It’s very new, especially in Australia. So, to be at the forefront of that is an exciting opportunity.
Southern Launch is developing a new industry for South Australia; so, we aren’t just trying to find customers to get rockets to come to Australia, a big part of what we are doing now is focused on engagement with the community. Its vital that South Australia gets behind the space industry and understands how much impact it has on everyday things we do.
In terms of marketing, there are no benchmarks; everything we do is focus on innovation and developing the Southern Launch brand, having the chance to come into a company where I get to create a marketing department from the ground up is a once in a career opportunity.
In your time at Southern Launch, what has been the most exciting project you’ve been involved in?
Being on the launch range at Whalers Way during Australia’s first commercial launch attempt. I never envisioned I’d have a marketing role where I would be hanging out on a rocket range, waiting for a rocket to possibly go into space so that I could then market it. That was pretty exciting.
That experience, I don’t think we will really understand the significance until further down the track when we look back on what we achieved.
What do you think makes South Australia’s space industry so special?
I think it’s very vibrant here because we do have over 80 different businesses all working towards building the space industry – we’re in a prime location.
For Southern Launch to be able to launch into space from South Australia is incredibly exciting. Bringing a space hub to the Lower Eyre Peninsula is really excited for the region because it means kids are going to want to stay in Port Lincoln and in Adelaide. We have spoken with local families during our public consultations, and they see this as an opportunity for their kids to have an amazing career while not be too far from their home. This project is going to have a real significant benefit for the community long term.
What piece of advice would you give to women and young girls who are considering a career in the space industry?
Put your hand up and have a go. Just because you think it’s going to be a “no”, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try in the first instance. I’d rather try and get told “no” than not try at all. That frame of mind as led me to travelling to Germany for a work exchange, performing across Adelaide with various theatre companies, and now working in the space industry.
Also, it takes time – you really need to work your way up to these things and it won’t happen overnight.