Prue Bodsworth (Australia)
The Wilderness Society, Australia
Master of Integrated Water Management
As a water and sanitation engineer with a passion for social justice, Prue was chosen as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development in Papua New Guinea. She then returned to Australia to study the MIWM.
Prue Bodsworth was (PNG), not only for her technical skills as a water and sanitation engineer, but also because of her commitment to social justice.
Prue’s project team was commended by the donor agency on their initiatives to encourage community participation in their successful rural water supply and sanitation project in PNG.
Prue’s passion for encompassing social and cultural considerations in water and sanitation management to achieve sustainable outcomes led her to study the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management.
Its unique structure and holistic approach, Prue says, are enabling her to consolidate her formal engineering training with the hands-on learning experiences she has had, and to provide practical means for applying the principle of community involvement.
The partnerships that Prue established between water management and community organisations, including women’s counselling services and HIV and AIDS support NGOs, were essential to ensuring successful water management and community development.
Women’s daily duties are based around the use of water and people with weakened immune systems are vulnerable to water related disease, stigmatisation and discrimination, as well as the difficulties of collecting water.
“The interdisciplinary approach to water management directly benefits these and other people in the community,” Prue said.
“And the interdisciplinary approach of the Masters course is, in my view, unparalleled. Every day through discussion with my colleagues I gain insight into water management, not only because of the different nationalities and cultures of the students, but also because of the variety of professions represented in our class,” said Prue.
“Working with the engineers, social scientists and anthropologist in the course has provided me with a greater understanding of integrated water resource management and has been good practice for any future research, project management or policy position.
“I see participation in the Masters program as a critical step to my career development,” Prue said. “It will enable me to take on further leadership roles in water management in the rapidly changing landscape of water supply.”
In Australia, Prue wants to continue her role in rural and coastal regions where the Master’s integrated water management principles of acknowledging the inter-connectedness of water in the landscape and human and natural systems are a focal issue.
And in the future, Prue has ambitions to share her knowledge and benefit the community and environment on a larger scale, where social justice and water management can make lasting improvements to the lives of people around the world.