Melanie Ball

NCP Borneo Project Officer (SELS), ISSP Tutor (Wollotuka), The University of Newcastle2018 Hunter Central Coast SLDP

Melanie Ball Website image

To contribute knowledge, experience, effort and care to the continuing sound improvement of human relationships with earth, and our present, past and future generations.

What was the most valuable thing you got out of the program?

A new array of inspiring colleagues refreshed my life’s zeal to act for earth and society.

Why are you passionate about sustainability? What was the moment or event that made you decide to become a ‘change maker’ in your field?

During environmental study in the 1970’s, we traced the details of the science of the flip of a wall switch from the building through the physics of electrical wires and substations to the coal-fired power plants, then on to the coal mines and at last into the ecology of the Carboniferous Period. A whole epoch of planetary life was woven and being tapped into for our comfort and success. It was then my awareness of the incredible technological accomplishment we ‘flick’ to command the near and far results of life on earth. This tiny useful act, among many, causes a widely complex impact on earth and ultimately ourselves, alone and together. It was then I decided to go forward with this view to share in forging the best pathways of human natural resources use into far future epochs.

I helped manufacturing people lead their best way to manage and reduce environmental impact and pollution, scientifically monitor and accurately report performance with standards. While tiered legislations grew, so did technology and expertise. Fines and arbitration were replaced with awards and recognition. When change happens from your efforts, it becomes time to move on to another place to be of service, find another way.

How did the program play a role in directing your current path or project?

I stepped aside, across earth, from a widely cast industrial environmental career to grow my children with experience in nature and technological creativity, to travel life with them, not weekly away to work. I shifted sight to family and then community education, away from industry leadership learning. Over time the threads I had used to weave responsible sustainability were dissolved into the local mining culture and economic mindsets. The program revealed to me a regional collective of caring people, like a new family, looking for improving ways to make solutions for our use of resources and our ingenuity. It also displayed for me a sphere of resources that have developed over the lives of my children and my own focus on motherhood. It has helped me reconnect to my environmental passion in an emerging setting of possibilities with amazing people. It’s illuminated contemporary paths to return to contributing to the broader world of sustainable activity.

In 25 words or less, tell us why leadership for sustainability is important.

As technologies seem to separate ourselves from using natural resources, we lose sight of holistic sustainability. Leadership helps us balance our activity to our impacts.

What do you plan to do next on your sustainability journey?

I am keeping myself alert to opportunities to contribute knowledge, experience, effort and care to the continuing sound improvement of human relationships with earth, and our present, past and future generations. I plan to continue mentoring our younger people towards their sustainable goals.

What are three words you would use to describe the Program?

Dynamic, within & around.

More alumni from 2018 Hunter Central Coast SLDP

2018 Sustainability Leadership Development Program Hunter Central Coast region Website image

2018 Sustainability Leadership Development Program

Newcastle and the Hunter Central Coast region, New South Wales

2018 Hunter Central Coast SLDP
Daan Schiebaan Website image

Daan Schiebaan

Environment Manager, The University of Newcastle

2018 Hunter Central Coast SLDP
Nick Grinpukel Website image

Nick Grinpukel

Youth Engagement Facilitator, Newcastle Council

2018 Hunter Central Coast SLDP

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