Melanie always had a passion for environmental sustainability and while her economics background helped her gain roles in Environmental advocacy with the ACT government, she was hungry for more.
That’s when she decided to enrol in the Master of Environmental Management and Development at Crawford School of Public Policy.
Graduating in July 2016, she found her economics background a useful backbone to her environmental studies and one which focused on resource allocation and resource management and international climate change policy.
“A highlight for me was going on a field trip to Cairns. We developed a survey to write a report on the willingness of people to pay for flora and fauna conservation. That trip gave me hands-on experience and was hugely influential on the direction of my studies and career goals,” said Melanie.
Melanie went on to write her thesis on ‘Distributional justice in the selection criteria of the Green Climate Fund for loss and damage in Small Islands Developing States’. This research project allowed her to develop strong networks and relationships with her tutors and industry professionals.
“I developed really good relationships with my professors. They are all very supportive. Whenever you need help - they were there. One of the best things is that their knowledge is informed not just by theory but also from ongoing field work,” said Melanie.
“When I finished my degree I reached out to my Professors for career advice. They suggested some organisations that aligned with my research interests and within weeks I was flying internationally for job interviews.”
Melanie is about to embark on a new adventure and has recently accepted a new job with the Federal Government in the Environment Department as a Policy Officer in the International Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Section.
“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity. I can apply my knowledge and passion in international climate change policy and influence real change. I’ll be developing policy to fulfil Australia’s commitments under the Montreal Protocol, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ozone-depleting substances,” said Melanie.
Melanie is also working alongside her former Professors examining greenhouse gas emissions from forest activity in developing countries to study how this might affect the global climate change trajectory.
“I just feel proud and privileged to be able to say I have a Master of Environmental Management and Development from ANU. Picking up that certificate on graduation day was an incredible moment for me,” said Melanie.