> Impact and benefits
Green Impact Program
I led many of the actions undertaken by the ‘Mission S’ team and personally produced one of our bonus actions, the guide Sustainability in the Office to help improve the procurement of stationary, kitchen products, and office catering. This guide includes the promotion of Indigenous owned and managed suppliers and continues to be used in the Faculty today. In early 2021 I moved to a new role with UTS Legal and am currently in the process of establishing a new Green Impact team within the Legal Unit to get more people in other parts of the university involved in sustainability.
Faculty of Science Sustainability Committee
This committee is unique within the university and started because scientists felt frustrated that while they work in, and advocate for sustainability, they often feel disempowered to ‘walk the talk’ in their professional lives. This Committee was established to try and address this issue. It has been successful at helping to reduce the amount of animal products in office catering, and most significantly played an instrumental role in UTS becoming the first university in Australia to sign the UN Climate Emergency declaration. When the decision and announcement was made in September 2019 the Vice Chancellor Attila Brungs said the decision was made “ on a recommendation from the UTS Faculty of Science and the research community, UTS today signed the Climate Emergency Declaration.” The Science Faculty Sustainability Committee has since been invited to have a representative on the high level university wide Sustainable Steering Committee. Other faculties across the university are also considering how the Science Committee model could be used to establish similar local sustainability committees in other faculties.
Ocean Clean up
I love free diving and the underwater world. I am currently registered to dive to 26 meters and training for 35 meters. This depth is ample to collect rubbish from Sydney’s suburban and harbour shoreline. My team usually dives 2-3 times per week and we always carry collection bags and collect waste. Plastic is by far the largest waste item, including fishing line and tackle. Much of this needs to be painstakingly untangled from sea kelp and underwater landscape to avoid damaging underwater life. Every time we dive we photograph the material collected and post images on social media channels to raise awareness of the problem in the broader public. Data collected on the volume, location, and nature of waste is reported on the VIZ website. Our group also participates in the Sea Bees underwater group to highlight the threats facing marine animals from marine plastic pollution. We also record citizen science data on marine animal and fish species sightings on the NSW Underwater Research Group.
Marine animal rescue
When ever we come across an injured animal, of specific endangered species, we have to make sure that the animal receives proper care and is not traumatized so its chance of survival is high. In some cases when an animal requires additional care, they are transported to a specialized vet for rehabilitation at the rescue centre. The national parks then gives permission when the animal can be released back into the wild. For example, a green turtle needs the water temperature to be around 21 degrees to be released. I am a member of Australian Seabird Rescue and ORRCA.