Gray Ralph CEnvP
Principal Consultant - Contaminated Sites | Ralph Consulting Environmental Management
Qualifications | BSc (Natural Resource Management) and Graduate Diploma Hydrogeology from the University of Western Australia
What do you do?
I help my clients in the resources, transport and local government industries to manage their obligations to protect the environment through the application of good science. The work I do is extremely varied and no two days are ever the same. For instance, today I am working with Bushcare Officers to help them manage the insidious problem of illegal dumping in Perth's invaluable urban bushland. Last week I was supervising drilling works and groundwater investigations at a regional mine site and last month I was in Singapore applying the Equator Principles in support of project financing for private equity.
Best aspect of your work?
I like to help people and I like to know what I do is good for the environment.
How did you get there?
I was amongst the first graduates in NRM in 1994. When I was studying I worked my summer holidays on mine sites throughout Western Australia including Tarmoola, Mount Magnet and Labouchere gold mines and Scuddles CLZ mine. After graduation, I worked for a small Perth based consultancy. That first job exposed me to the high pace and exciting world of consulting and also taught me to cherish life and take care of each other. Since then I have worked for SME and multi-national consultancies, always in the field of contaminated land management and today I find myself working independently and in partnership with other small consultants.
Biggest environmental concern?
Possibly my biggest concern is the overstressing of groundwater systems including unsustainable production levels and pollution caused by spills and leaks from industry, leaching of nutrients from agriculture and saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers. Many have the capacity to rebound from a disturbance in a matter of years, however other aquifers contain groundwater that is millions of years old and can be permanently damaged as a result of poorly managed development and environmental incident.
How and why did you get involved in the EIANZ?
Above: Gray Ralph (third from left) and his wife Renee (second from left) with family and close friends at a recent camping trip to Wooleen Station.
"[This is] a photo of my family and close friends at a recent camping trip to Wooleen Station where David Pollock and Frances Jones are managing another environmental problem which is erosion and loss of topsoil due to overgrazing in rangelands. I would encourage everyone to visit Wooleen Station to support them make a go of their efforts to reduce grazing pressure and diversify their income base through tourism. I'm the one with the Just Do It shirt and my wife Renee is wearing the C'Est La Vie shirt with our daughter Erin on the foreground. The shirts weren't planned but were fitting given we were 700km from Perth standing in front of a sacred site where a natural spring in the granite containing permanent water has sustained the traditional owners for millennia." - Ralph Grey CEnvP