The Capel Library was overflowing Wednesday the 20th with food, people and amazing stories of an incredible life. Dr Deb Thiele, a marine biologist and specialist in dolphins, was invited to celebrate the launch of her book along with friends, family and Capel community. Deb’s achievements and research have been many, but she is now stepping back as she lives with her medical condition (Bensons Syndrome). During the presentation in which Deb’s sister recounted many an expedition, Deb’s wit, intelligence, passion and quick sense of humor shone through. Deb has a long list of academic credentials, she graduated with first class honours from Macquarie University with a double major in Biology and Paleontology. Deb then graduated again in 1991 from the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies in political science, international law, polar engineering and logistics, eventually obtaining a PhD from the Department of Zoology at the University of Tasmania.
Deb however is not just an academic, she has counted whales in Bruny Island, collected whale samples in the Faroe Islands, been a zookeeper, broke new ground as the first woman NOT to have a PhD to lead an Antarctic project which she has now been to approximately 25 times. Her favourite place was the Kimberley where she spent ten years surveying inshore dolphins. Her work has led to developing policies for marine protected areas, developing conservation programmes and working with the International Whaling Commission.
In 2013 Deb moved to the Shire of Capel to live. It is through her friends and community that her wonderful achievements can now be read about in a photographic book. Many groups and people have been involved in this project, The South West Women’s Health Centre Inc., Capel SNUG Group, Sarah Evans (author) and Deb’s sister Leslie.
She gives us another reason to be proud of the place that we live and work.