Jen Dainer


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The prospect of having to recite my professional achievements seems fraught given memories of accomplishment are accompanied by equally strong memories of standing atop a table at a Christmas Party reciting all the words to Ice Ice Baby.

So instead I thought I’d regale you with a favourably edited tale of my professional life that brings me to The Undercurrent today.  Let me assure you the overwhelming majority of what you’re about to read is true.

I’ll skip the first job at McDonald’s where I learned there is no shower long, deep or hot enough to remove an eight hour shift at the fry station and go dive straight into my role as admissions officer in a men’s maximum security prison.  In the game of Prison Paper, Scissors, Rock it turns out Angry Ranga always beats size and number of tattoos.

It was here I honed my skills of mediation, negotiation and swearing.

Once my prison days were over I decided to study forensic science. When people ask me why I chose that degree I tell the truth, which was I didn’t think I’d get accepted and I could use the rejection as fuel for resentment for the rest of my life.  Alas, my plan was thwarted and I was enrolled. I graduated with an appreciation of the culinary nuances of the supermarket cereal aisle and first class honours.

It was here I learned how to research, critically analyse and interpret complex data sets and present well balanced arguments for court appearances

I took my shiny new degree along to the NSW Rural Fire Service where I held a variety of jobs including researcher, photographer and accident investigator.  I learned many things; like sometimes the level of bureaucracy can create an overwhelming desire for you to excise your own eyeballs and sometimes people can work together with compassion and empathy to achieve outcomes beyond what you thought the human race was capable of.

It was here I honed my ability to think and respond under pressure, strategically analyse issues to see how they’d developed over time, and interview reluctant subjects to reveal the truth

Cadavers make terrible conversationalists so I took what I loved (photography and video production) and combined it with what I knew (heavy industry).  My business, Industrial Arc Photography, was born. I count the likes of Airbus and Brisbane Airport as some of my clients.

It’s here I’ve learned how to dig out and communicate interesting, incredible stories

At The Undercurrent I use all the skills I’ve gathered during my varied career to simplify complex issues without dumbing them down.  Combined with Dan’s capabilities, this makes The Undercurrent an antidote to the reductive five second sound bite world we live in.