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Open Right

Sean Dooley

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Social Commentator, Speaking Out

Sean Dooley has written for TV comedies like Full Frontal, Hamish and Andy and Spicks and Specks, is author of books such as The Big Twitch and Cooking with Baz, and is currently editor of Australian Birdlife magazine. He was also the national birdwatching champion, holding the record for seeing the most birds seen in one year. Sean Dooley is the Birdman.

Where were you born?

I was born in Melbourne and grew up at Seaford, a stone’s throw from Seaford Swamp, where I have now seen over 180 species of birds.

What other jobs have you had?

Outside of writing for TV, stage, books and magazines, I have had jobs as a bookie, seat filler at award ceremonies and debt collector. I also once was hired to serve drinks at a party – not for my cocktail mixing abilities, but to make witty banter with the guests. Like Isaac from Love Boat without the ‘fro.

What themes are recurring in your work?

My writing about birds is driven by the desire to connect people with nature. Conservation can’t happen without people and people won’t bother to care unless they have some connection to it.

My writing about my life is driven by the awareness of the absurdity of a boy from Seaford training as a lawyer only to become a birdwatching comedian and ultimately a conservation advocate.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Breaking the Australian twitching record for most bird species seen in one year and publishing a book about it in 2005- The Big Twitch– thereby outing myself as a bird-nerd in the most public manner. Getting to write with my comedy heroes such Max Gillies and John Clarke, whom I recently convinced to do a series of Clarke and Dawe style interviews as various species of migratory shorebirds. Being a small part of the team that saved the Norfolk Island Green Parrot from extinction (for the second time).

Where have your works been published?

Books with Allen and Unwin. Comedy on Australian TV as well as a stint as head writer of a Singaporean sitcom. Opinion pieces and non-fiction in publications such as The Age, the Monthly and Australian Geographic.

What are you passionate about?

Birds are alright. I guess.

Haven’t I seen you before?

Occasional featured extra in shows such as Full Frontal and Comedy Inc, bob up every now and then talking birds on ABC News 24 or The Project. Stood behind the winning post for every televised race at Moonee Valley one day in 1979 enacting little scenarios for the cameras such as pretending to tear up my losing ticket. (I was 11.)

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

If you live in Victoria, those big black birds that you see ‘cawing’ are not crows. They are ravens. This is very important.

Testimonials

In a word, Sean was awesome!!

Sean perfectly captured the story I wanted on the day – he was interesting, funny, engaging and I believe people walked away from his talk feeling really proud of Lake Hawthorn. The feedback we having been getting back from community is in the same vein. He was a great speaker and I highly recommend him.

—S. Saris, Mallee Catchment Management Authority, October 2017

Just wanted to pass on our appreciation for booking Sean Dooley for our organisations end of year function. Sean was delightfully funny, informative and generous with his time with the members. His talk was well received and we had record numbers turn up to hear him.

—E. Kefford, Frankston Mornington Peninsula Local Learning & Employment Network, December 2011

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