CSL opened up opportunity to step up and make a meaningful contribution
What was the most valuable thing you got out of the program?
Grew confidence in capacity to make real change and find others in support
Why are you passionate about sustainability? What was the moment or event that made you decide to become a ‘change maker’ in your field?
Although I've always cherished our natural world and been passionate, I ended up working in the petrochemical field - on an offshore platform there's plenty of time for thinking. I couldn't continue in an industry I didn't believe in, so moved and became more and more motivated to commit time and energy to a sustainable world - working in ecology, urban design and engineering. When CSL came along, a friend gave me the boost to apply and it helped to solidify that drive.
How did the program play a role in directing your current path or project?
CSL opened up opportunity to step up and make a meaningful contribution. I was fascinated by the program and facilitation, and kept in contact. My 'essence' from the program was to empower others, and I volunteered at the next intensive retreat with Dave Seignior and Diana Renner - this set me on the path to follow leadership facilitation and led to a role in Leadership Victoria. I was also volunteering in Sri Lanka during CSL, this led to a community connection that I maintain here and in country. Recently with Helga Svendsen, I've taken the leap to joining Bridging Lanka's board and so each part of my working and volunteering life has somewhat come from those pivotal moments in CSL. My part time work is with our Somali-Australian community, working with a small team and creating a homework club - completely new for me but great to see young faces light up with learning and challenges, tutors rediscovering learning and to establish a comfortable environment for growth and new connections.
In 25 words or less, tell us why leadership for sustainability is important.
Leadership isn't about the 'big' person up the front - it's in all our actions and is a choice. Inspiring someone, supporting a cause, caring enough to step up are all leadership and are the cumulative changes that normalise a new view and push our whole community towards a better future. We do all need to stop and think about what's important to us, and then refocus our energy towards that - it doesn't mean that you need to give up your day to day life and embark on a Sea Shepherd voyage, but it can be a choice between packaged goods, attending a rally, challenging your local MP, chatting with a friend about your view of the world and supporting those who are stepping up into the public and speaking out. Of course, it would be great to have CSL alumni in formal authority too - in our government, corporate world and community!
What do you plan to do next on your sustainability journey?
Continue on, integrate environmental sustainability into day to day work and life and inspire others to notice and care.
What are three words you would use to describe the Program?
Inspiring, possibility, ongoing
More alumni from 2014 May Intensive Fellowship
Data & Procedures Officer, NSW Office of Water
Marketing & Corporate Relations Coordinator, Port Phillip EcoCentre Inc.
Lawyer & Law Lab Designer, Law Lab (Environmental Justice Australia)
Lecturer, Monash University; Freelance Graphic Designer
Co-Curator Venice International Performance Art Week, Independent Curator, Artist Maker, Teacher and Mentor of Performance.
Project Lead - Renovations, Sustainability Victoria
Sustainability Projects Officer, Wyndham City Council
Community Relations Co-ordinator, ACCIONA Energy