A student's perspective on challenging the status quo

Published 4 November 2015 by Stephanie Hing, EIANZ Student Member

Caring is not enough. We have to turn our concerns into action.

Jon Womersley


This week I had the privilege of attending the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) Conference 2015, a gathering of environmental professionals from multiple sectors including industry, state and federal government, non-government organisations, environmental regulatory bodies, remote Indigenous communities and universities. The theme of the conference was ‘challenging the status quo’ and it was inspiring to see so many people mobilised as agents for change, moving as one to change how we approach environmental management.

Culture is a living system and like any biological system it needs to be maintained.

Mark, LJ and Christian

Kanyirininpa Jukurrpa

I learned a lot during the conference. A highlight was a shout out to woylies from the Threatened Species Commissioner during his presentation about the National Threatened Species Strategy. But what I am likely to carry with me for the rest of my life was today’s presentation by Mark, LJ and Christian from Kanyirininpa Jukurrpa, the Martu land management program in the Western Desert. It was incredibly inspiring to hear first-hand the challenges of conservation in one of the most remote places on Earth and the power of incorporating science with Indigenous knowledge of country.

It was eye opening to explore so many fields unfamiliar to me from environmental impact assessments to environmental law and environmental history. Professionally, I hope this experience will make me a more well rounded conservationist and personally, a more effective and empowered citizen.

Thank you to EIANZ and the organisers and particularly to Pendragon Environmental Solutions for the generous student scholarship to attend the conference and a year’s membership to the organisation. It has already renewed my resolve to keep challenging the status quo.

Originally published on Conserv8nVet. Republished with permission.