Island Life Diaries: Peter Quilliam

1. Where are you from? 

New Zealand

2. Why did you move from the comfort of your homeland? 

I was following an opportunity to work in Australia, I followed my heart and left the comfort of home. I pulled at that thread of opportunity and it took me in a number of directions, all vastly different from the one before. I had the chance to work in some great businesses and every job taught me something new that I was able to take to the next. Eventually I ended up working in the Maldives, Mozambique and now on the idyllic Little Cayman.


3. What made you choose Cayman? 

Haha, I wish I could tell you it was a passion to work in the Caribbean, but the truth is that my job in Mozambique ended sooner than I thought it would and I needed a job! The position of Field Station Manager here at CCMI was advertised and it looked like a great opportunity so I applied. I have always had a love of conservation and the marine world – I am scuba instructor by trade and have spent most of my life in that industry, so this seemed like a natural choice for me. It also presented a new challenge and I liked the thought of that.


4. What was the biggest challenge you faced when you arrived? 

My office is about 15 feet from the beach and I can see turtles and eagle rays from my desk. My biggest challenge was and still is having to stay behind my computer for as long as I do without jumping up and diving into the water constantly!

5. What surprised you the most about Cayman? 

How different each island is from each other. From the amazing bluffs of the Brac, to the quiet laid-back lifestyle Little Cayman offers and that Grand Cayman has a movie theatre! When you live in a small place like Little Cayman – something like a movie theatre is a big deal! But I do think a very special thing about all 3 islands is the face they all offer something very different and people fall in love with them for different reasons, I believe this is very important to protect.  


6. What is the single most unique thing about this beautiful island? 

The Little Cayman Airport. That the runway goes across the main road is brilliant. It is so typical of what Little Cayman is all about, completely laid-back, relaxed and where planes and cars share the same bit of road – what could go wrong?

7. What do you love most about living in Cayman? 

The people and the community here on Little Cayman. I have never lived in a place where the community spirit is as strong as what it is here. I look at the weekly lionfish cull we do. Each resort puts up a boat on a weekly rotation, instructors that have worked all day volunteer their time and we all head out to remove the lionfish from our work place – the beautiful reef. This happens every week without fail and it doesn’t just stop there, beach clean-ups, fundraising events and even when the local band plays – the community all come out and support the activity. This is very special and what makes living on a small island like Little Cayman one of the most amazing places I have ever lived.

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