The Students talk sustainability series of workshops is under way. We’re keen to introduce the amazing student leaders who are going to be facilitating these workshops. Last week we chatted with Issac and Jayan from the UTS Business Society.

The students featured here are from UTS Sustainability Alliance of Students and Staff (SASS) and they are facilitating a Practical subject materials workshop on November 11th.

Meet Nodoka

Head shot of Nodoka Nakamichi

What are you studying and what year of your degree are you in?

I’m currently in my second year of my combined degree: Bachelor of Health Science and Bachelor of Sustainability and the Environment

When/how did you become involved in SASS?

A group of seven of us who are all studying the Bachelor of Sustainability and Environment created SASS in April this year! We started SASS because there was a need for a faculty degree and we also saw a gap for building student-led industry relationships. Even though it was started by students studying BSE, our club is open to anyone who is interested in sustainability!

What’s an area of industry that you can see yourself working in?

I can see myself working in the corporate sustainability sector, and hopefully managing projects. I think it’s an exciting time to be helping corporations transition to net zero. There’s plenty of challenges but it’s also a good creative opportunity for some new systems thinking!

I’m currently working as a project officer at Climate-KIC Australia. Climate-KIC is a not-for-profit organisation that convenes research, government and industry to identify levers for systemic transformation and drive action towards climate change needs.

What’s an interesting book or article you’ve read about sustainability?

This article by Donella Meadows on ‘Leverage Points: Places to intervene in a system’ is really interesting! It’s not directly about sustainability but it’s a useful framework for understanding the sustainability solutions needed, because as we all know, our economy, ecosystem, and governance structures are all complex systems!

Leverage points are intervention points where a small shift in one piece produces a large, knock-on effect in a system. Sometimes the climate tackle can feel overwhelming but this framework narrows the focus and priority, which feels manageable. We just need to be strategic by acknowledging that everything is a system and interconnected!

Meet Peter

Head shot of Peter Rugg

What are you studying and what year of your degree are you in?

I’m currently in my second year of a combined Bachelor of Science (Environmental Biology) and Bachelor of Sustainability and Environment, and concurrently studying a Diploma in Languages (Spanish).

When/how did you become involved in SASS?

Myself and six other students all came together earlier this year to start creating SASS, as we had a desire to create a community of like-minded students. As second-year students in the first cohort of the Sustainability and Environment Degree, we wanted to start building industry connections and preparing ourselves and our peers for careers in sustainability.

Who inspires you and why?

Corey Tutt, a Kamilaroi man and CEO and founder of DeadlyScience, an organisation that works to provide STEM resources to regional and remote schools, with a particular focus on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to access culturally appropriate and engaging STEM books and equipment. As a non-Indigenous Australian who grew up in Sydney, I often take for granted the resources that I had available, and I hope to contribute to the equitable access to STEM resources and education in my future.

What’s one low CO2 activity that brings you joy?

I’m a big fan of cycling, whether it’s riding my bike to the station, or going on a ride through my local area. I think it’s such a freeing and enjoyable way to explore!

Tell us about a great learning experience from your studies

As a science student, my favourite learning experiences so far have been working in the labs doing practical experiments. I always find these so interesting, being able to get hands on and further my learning. I’ve also had some fantastic field trips, where we’ve gone into an environment to take measurements and readings of various factors. All these experiences have really opened my eyes to how complex our natural world is.

Join Nodoka and Peter in the conversation at this upcoming event

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