Thriving on the diversity that environmental health offers

Sally Modystach (BAppSc(EnvHlth) ’96) works to promote health, wellbeing and environmental sustainability around Australia.

She established Healthy Environs in 2011 and now leads a team of professionals who work with clients promoting healthier communities and workplaces. These include corporate organisations and local councils who are focused on building healthy and vibrant communities.

Sally had previously worked in the local government and consultancy sectors before she established Healthy Environs. After graduating from Flinders University with a Bachelor of Applied Science and Environmental Health, she became an environmental health officer in a metro Adelaide council.

“The Environmental Health degree was fascinating,” Sally says.

“It looked at the relationships between humans and their environment with a focus on human health.

“My role in councils was to educate, and enforce legislation aimed at ensuring that we had a safe and sanitary environment.

“That captured food safety, cooling towers and Legionella control, elements of waste management, environmental management systems and more. Early in my career I transitioned into policy areas within local government in the areas of waste management and sustainability sectors.

“Working in local government was great, I was really fortunate to work on some hands-on projects tackling waste minimisation and sustainability.”

After several years in local government and further studies in public health, Sally shifted into consultancy firms.

“I was keen to try something different,” Sally says.

“Once I got into the consulting side, I knew it was for me because I like the phases of scoping, delivering and closing out a project. And you never know what challenge or project you’re going to have around the corner.

“I enjoy working with different people in different places, the diversity of sectors you get to work across – you gain great experience.”

Since establishing Healthy Environs in 2011, Sally still thrives on the project management side of her work as well as the diversity.

Healthy Environs now works collectively with communities to strengthen wellbeing and resilience through policy, projects and community development approaches. The team, all based in South Australia, take an integrated approach to projects focussed on improving sustainability and community wellbeing outcomes, with experience across a range of areas including health protection and promotion, sustainability and climate change adaptation, healthy and active aging and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Through a social investment partnership with BHP, the company manages the Roxby Community Hub, a welcoming space designed to support community connections and wellbeing.

“Essentially, we’re a social purpose business with a vision to build resilient communities together with our clients. We’ve consulted on lots of satisfying projects around Australia,” Sally says.

“We love meeting people and working with communities around the country, including some quite remote areas of Australia.”

“The projects we’re engaged in are often backed by committed people in the community, including local workers and community volunteers. It’s terrific to be part of those partnerships and to promote health, wellbeing and environmental sustainability within local communities.”

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College of Science and Engineering Environment Health

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