FSL Alumni 2005
I recently completed a Bachelor of Science degree, with a double major in Conservation and Australian Wildlife / Animal Behaviour and Evolution. I was offered an Honours place and finished my research thesis on ‘Nest-mate Recognition in Argentine Ants’ in August 2004.
I work part-time as a safari guides at Werribee Open Range Zoo where my primary role is to educate the public about bio-diversity conservation. In my spare time I am a committee member of The Yarra Riverkeeper Association, a community based organisation that aims to protect and restore the Yarra River and its environs. My roles includ Middle Yarra representative, Communications/Media and Water Quality sub-committee member and I am also involved in developing a YRKA schools program.
My passions are the conservation of the world’s flora and fauna and environmental education, which I believe to be a vital component in achieving sustainability goals.
I aim to make a global contribution to environmental awareness by using media, such as film, T.V. and radio, to enhance peoples understanding and appreciation of their natural world so that they themselves want to see it protected.
I graduated with an honours degree in science from Monash University in 2000, a Masters of Environmental Science (Monash University) in 2004 and began my Masters of Business Administration (Deakin University) in the same year.
Over the last ten years I have been an active member of, and worked for, several environmental organisations including Environment Victoria and Operation Revegetation. As an environmental advocate, I have campaigned on issues such as endangered species preservation, land use and transport planning, water quality and urban development.
Although currently employed in the healthcare sector (Professional Standards Manager), over the coming years I aim to develop a career in environmental management.
My history of actively working in community and environmental work extends back to 1999 when a group of us studying at Melbourne University got together to establish a non-profit organisation called Tranceplant. Tranceplant was set up to combine the electronic music and art festival with environmental education and activities such as treeplanting and weed pulling. For the next four years I helped to organise 12 tree planting festivals throughout Victoria and the Northern Territory and assist over 100 000 trees being planted in rural and urban environments. In mid 2002 I began working at TreeProject, a non-profit organisation that enlists the help of volunteers in rural and urban settings to propagate native seedlings for plantings on farms and public land throughout Victoria. My work here continued until 2004 when I returned to study Environmental Science at Monash University to learn more about the science and art of restoration and revegetation. I am now into my second year and whilst I enjoy studying I look forward to finishing my degree and putting my new knowledge back into action, working alongside artists, engineers, scientists and the greater community to continue my work in restoration ecology throughout Australia and beyond.
Belinda has worked for nine years in both terrestrial and freshwater systems as an ecologist. Currently she is completing a PhD at Monash University on the impact of salinity on wetlands. Before this she worked for 5 years at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Conservation Research on endangered species, aquatic ecology and flows research. Belinda has also developed the National Framework for River Restoration which is being used to guide river restoration work in Australia. Belinda has been heavily involved in the area of human rights and community development, working on young people’s health, education and employment with several management committees and policy development working groups at local, state and federal levels. Belinda has also been involved with international direct action organisations such as the International Solidarity Movement, and People Global Action in discussions and actions around housing security, women’s rights, occupation and displaced people in the Middle East and North Africa.
My passion for the environment, agriculture, and community participation started with my upbringing on a rural property. I have tried to implement as many working projects possible on our property that combines all of the above three. This passion directed my education and I completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in freshwater ecology. After this I worked in the environmental field before heading overseas where I completed an International Master of Science majoring in Environmental Policy and the Global Challenge. I am currently working for an environmental consulting firm in Melbourne. In the future I would like to study a PhD in a field related to water conservation and ways of devising accurate environmentally acceptable flow regimes for rivers, that also satisfy the requirements of other users such as industry and agriculture.
Serena de Kretser
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Graphic Design) in 1990 and have since then worked in various design studios both here in Melbourne and in the UK. I have also spent the extended periods of time travelling overseas in Asia, Africa and Europe.
I have spent the last five years raising a young family combined with part-time work and further study. I am nearing completion of a Bachelor of Business (Law) and have been utilising my electives to build a specialisation in the environment and the Australian regulatory regime encouraging responsible behaviour toward it.
I hope to further develop my understanding of current environmental issues and become more active in finding ways to encourage each individual to behave more responsibly towards it. I hope to gain the skills that enable me to work within the corporate sector, concurrently educating and helping to develop strategy which enhances their ability to become sustainable businesses of the future.
As an Environmental Engineer, I have worked in areas ranging from environmental rehabilitation to renewable energy supply design and to balance that I have also done a lot of environmental education, theatre and training.
Currently, I’m working for an international local government association called ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. ICLEI has a number of international campaigns that support local government to improve energy consumption and water management in practical, quantifiable ways. I am currently helping to develop CCP™ Plus, the extension of ICLEI’s primary greenhouse campaign, Cities for Climate Protection™ (CCP™). I am also working with local government to build their capacity to tackle the challenging task of improving the energy efficiency in public lighting.
From here… who knows what the future holds?! I’m interested in sustainable community design – redesigning and retrofitting neighborhoods to encourage cultural diversity and reduce environmental impacts. I don’t know where I will find myself doing this… it’s hard to choose between traveling the whole world over or building a strong connection to one place… maybe I can do both!
I graduated from the University of South Australia with an Occupational Therapy degree in 2001. Since then I have worked mainly in the vocational rehabilitation sector. I became interested in sustainability in early 2002 after reading David Suzuki’s “Good News For a Change” and looked for ways to apply my energy in this area.
I am undertaking a postgraduate Masters in Corporate Environmental and Sustainability Management with Monash University. I am working part time for a corporate health company and also a public hospital. I am greatly enjoying the course, and I am seeking my first environmental job.
I would like to assist organisations in moving towards sustainability as a Corporate Sustainability Strategist. My goal is to run a retreat centre for management teams to workshop their sustainability practices.
Nic Jacobson, an engineer working to provide renewable energy to Australians. Nic currently works for the Spanish based wind farm developer EHN Oceania providing wind monitoring, wind farm design and energy assessment services to the other members of the team.
Past work experience includes installing solar power systems in Vanuatu, consulting to the wind power industry, earth building and commercial construction. He has a degree in civil engineering from Monash University, a CertIV in Renewable Energy Technology from Swinburne TAFE and a Grad Dip in Science (Renewable Energy) from Murdoch University where he is completing a MSc.
Nic is interested in the application of renewable energy and sustainable technologies in Australia and developing nations. He is looking to broaden his skills into community action and hopes to foster sustainable practices within society.
I have a background in conservation in New Zealand (my father went on to be the Director of Policy for The NZ Department of Conservation, brothers are Zoologists). I am highly involved in community environmental projects and assisting ecology research (Kakapo, Kea, NZ Back Beach Beetle, Cave Spider, Mount Arthur Weta, Geckoes, ecological restoration). At age 16, I was successful at bringing national media attention to unsustainable whaling practices during an international whaling conference. I have degree in Genetics from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ.
I am presently working in scientific research.
I am looking to become an independent science journalist and would like to create highly effective projects which bring about real behaviour change for a sustainable future. In FSL to direct my skills in order to achieve this.
I recently paused my career as a business and communications strategist to study sustainability strategies and, in particular, climate change hoping to apply my skills to required solutions in the future.
Now at Uni and nurturing my sustainability consultancy ‘freshFuture4′, I currently provide event management and policy support for the Australian Wind Energy Association and recently developed a comprehensive database of corporate environmental initiatives for ANZ Bank.
I hold a certificate in Environmental Change Management and a Grad. Dip. in International Development and Environmental Analysis, and this year will complete my Masters in Corporate Environmental and Sustainability Management at Monash University. I am currently researching the impact of greenhouse governance and have been developing an interactive documentary on climate change and renewable energy over recent years.
I am interested in creating strategies for sustainable behaviour change at a corporate and community level, in particular working on outcomes for climate change mitigation and sustainable living. I hope the FSL program will strengthen and enhance my thinking and communication skills and provide me a great foundation for assisting in the much needed paradigm shift.
My education began with home-schooling and I have carried the associated principles of imagination and self-motivation with me through my life. In 2000 I completed Arts (Anthropology and Archaeology) and Science (Geology, honours in Hydrogeology) degrees at Melbourne University.
Working as a Hydrogeologist in a consulting firm, my environmental focus is on sustainable natural resource management. Consulting has taught me that the environmental dream, i.e. sustainability and accountability, is not always practical, economical or rational in the world of business. But there are small steps to be gained all the time and education of staff, clients and the public is the key to environmental success.
As an adult I am learning my own skills, motivations and desires and I hope that the FSL Program will help me to sharpen my focus and develop and enhance my skills in communication, education, problem-solving and networking with a focus on critical environmental issues.
Damon Rao inhabits inner city Melbourne where he was born and raised. He is an Urban Planner currently working for the Victorian Government at the Department of Infrastructure. His scene is Urban Transport and is currently working TravelSmart program and a variety of cycling, walking and public transport projects.
The future is a long way away, but gets nearer every day. Before the future comes he would like to refine his organisational and influential skills to use with a bit of mischief and strategy, so that we may have an environment and a future at the same time!
I am currently undertaking a PhD in Wetland Ecology at Monash University. My research investigates the effects of both salinity and water regime on two important wetland plants. Following my Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours) at Monash, I was fortunate to be one of four students in Australia to be offered a Land and Water Australia Scholarship. My research is conducted as part of the Wetland Ecology Group, who are presently undertaking one of the largest water manipulation projects in the world. The project aims to provide strategies for future management of degraded systems throughout Australia. I have presented my research at a number of National conferences, including the Ecological Society of Australia and the Australian Limnological Society.
Throughout my career, I have worked passionately and enthusiastically to implement positive environmental change. My passion for the environment began as a child, whilst wandering around the rocky hills of central Victoria, and has been fuelled by a number of inspirational teachers and friends along the way. In addition to my academic career, I enjoy exploring the amazing diversity of Melbourne’s marine life. This led to my involvement in a number of marine community projects, including the Inverloch Northern Pacific Seastar eradication project, Reefwatch and the “Save the Bay” campaign. I am also an active advocate for forestry issues, and have campaigned with the Wilderness Society for an end to logging of water catchments.
As an ecologist, I seek to utilise my communication skills and knowledge of environmental systems to work together with communities towards a more sustainable future. After finishing my PhD, my goal is to seek funding and government support for a project in which researchers work together with communities and indigenous groups to improve the health of wetland ecosystems.
I have completed a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) with a second major in Economics. I have worked as an accountant in practice and industry including being the Deputy Treasurer for Port Phillip Ecocentre.
I am currently the Assistant Accountant at the Australian Conservation Foundation and am completing the CPA (Certified Practicing Accountant) Program while being a member of CPA’s Environmental and Social Accounting Discussion Group.
As a future sustainability leader I will contribute to the creation of a sustainable future for our planet through the corporate world by advocating the need for reporting requirements to extend to social, environmental and economic activity disclosure.
I have recently completed a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at Melbourne University. A particular focus of my studies was international laws of intellectual property, and the extent to which they impede sustainable development. I lived in Paris during 2002, studying European and global politics at Sciences Po and rediscovering bohemia. In 2003 I spent 6 months in India, pursuing an interest in alternative globalisations at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and at the World Social Forum held in Mumbai.
Over 2005 I hope to unlearn some of the more stultifying lessons of tertiary education, and to reclaim a more active role in building environmental awareness. My aim is to whittle away at the conventional wisdoms which continue to normalise environmental destruction.
Where have I been? Sheltered in the country charm of Yackandandah. A blur of catching tadpoles in my lunchbox and long afternoons at the local footy.
Where am I now? Embracing the fenetic pace and cultural dynamism of the wider world. I moved to the city to study: tried science; tried environmental engineering. Right now I’m closer to a degree than ever before, writing an honours thesis in political science.
Where am I going? Arts – the beauty of a non-vocation based degree! I’m set to gravitate towards anything exciting in the political sphere that provides opportunity to instigate positive change towards global social justice and sustainability.
Agata’s passion for the environment was born in a place that precedes her memory and has manifested itself in multifarious ways over the years, from recycling initiatives in her workplace to founding her own reusable shopping bags. Currently she is studying Science/Law at the University of Melbourne, and is the Artistic Director of the Law Students for a Just Community Conference 2005 and co-ordinator of it’s “Environment and Human Rights” plenary. She strongly believes that there is a possibility of shifting Australia away from consumerism and towards a more sustainable state by rebuilding community through environmental initiatives and effectively normalising environmentalism. That is where her next project lies. Agata enthusiastically welcomes all to contact her about proposals for projects, events, or ideas (no matter how unconventional) via email.