I have worked in state and local government in environmental and catchment management roles throughout my career. As I gain more experience, I realise that in these agencies there is a strong desire to manage our environment better but a number of common barriers inhibit this progress. These include financial, the fear of change and a lack of understanding and ability to persuade the decision makers.
That is why I think it is so important throughout your career to stay educated, continuous professional development, not just in the technical area of your career, but developing the soft skills to shape leadership.
Stormwater NSW plays such an important role as a conduit for industry education, as advocates and even potential mentors. Networking with like-minded individuals creates a real community of practice that can support you.
I am currently working on the make Parramatta River swimmable campaign run through the Parramatta River Catchment Group, funded by Sydney Water. This is such an exciting project to be working on, with such a clear goal but a requirement to make tangible changes through policy, development, stormwater and sewer management, community and industry education, leadership and collaboration. I feel very fortunate that I am surrounded by people who are as passionate as I am, and who have different skills to contribute to this project.
On a personal note I live in the Blue Mountains on a property that backs onto Birdwood Gully. I get to share my little slice of paradise with my husband and kids and a menagerie of wildlife including some heavy-footed possums and cute little bandicoots.