IWC Water Leader Scholarship recipient story
I have acquired two very different professional backgrounds that have led me to the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management. The first is my academic and research background in aquatic eco-chemistry at the University of Canberra and my position as lab technician within the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University.
The second is my involvement in community and youth development programs in the Pacific islands and remote Aboriginal communities in Australia. These programs have focussed on providing reliable freshwater supplies in the Pacific and capacity building among young women in remote communities.
I was looking for a program where science, management and community development meet in an exciting new environment and the MIWM offers just this. It will provide access to interdisciplinary staff and practical fieldwork experiences that will be invaluable when facing unique water challenges in the future.
The program provides a formal education in management techniques and the multiple issues facing water management while connecting me with an array of experienced people, further expanding my knowledge and understanding of the different perspectives toward water management.
It will be the bridge between my science and community development backgrounds, enabling me to pursue a career as a water leader with the knowledge and skills needed to make effective improvements in water supply and security in Australia and the Pacific region.
Born and bred in New Zealand I grew up in a land of abundant water supplies, surrounded by ocean, where my interest in and love of all things H2O began.
As a teenager I lived on the island of Rarotonga, capital of the Cook Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It was here that I first experienced the importance of reliable freshwater supplies; for though the island was blessed with tropical rain, when it stopped it wouldn’t take long for the water to run out. When this happened we relied on water from a reservoir that was full of bacteria, water that would make the community very sick if not boiled properly before drinking.
Through this and similar experiences in remote communities across the Pacific I am driven to explore issues surrounding sanitation, hygiene and nutrition in remote communities. My goal is to include local women in the discourse on sustainable water use and local food production within the context of health.