Let’s be honest, environmental work hasn’t always been the most popular of past times. It’s muddy, it’s not always supported and the media keeps presenting environmental crises as completely irreversible. So why would you want to try to start a career in environmentalism? Well, because I don’t think that it is irreversible yet, I think that there is still time to change our ways and I think that we can still save the world. And that’s what I have set out to do. This earth needs some saving and I want to be the green caped hero who does it!
So how do I go about it? You know that saying; never work with kids and animals? Well, I really didn’t heed those words, because working with kids and animals is exactly what I do.
I run two environmental youth groups that participate in a whole host of activities such as flora and fauna identification, revegetation projects, endangered species monitoring and much more. To say that this is rewarding would be a huge understatement; working with these kids absolutely inspires me. It is heartwarming to see a group of 15-year-olds who want to save the world, and it fills me with hope to know that the 35 kids that I work with will one day run our planet and that they care about it.
I’m also studying my second year of Biodiversity and Conservation at Flinders University. It is a fantastic degree that I would recommend to anyone who has their heart set on saving the world. The lecturers are the best in their field and there are so many opportunities to learn about the work, but also participate in real research and conservation activities. I really think that this is important because as much as we need to learn about the theory, what we are trying to save is the outdoors, so it’s great that the Biodiversity and Conservation degree actually gives you the opportunity to get out into the field.
But environmentalism isn’t one of those things you do for recognition; I just do it because I want to make a positive difference. So it was to my complete surprise when I was announced the Channel 9 Young Achiever for the environmental division! Receiving this award is like everyone letting me know that I’m doing the right thing environmentally and that my actions are making a positive difference. The fact that we now have awards for people who are environmentally aware is a real mark of how society is changing towards a more sustainable future. We don’t want to hide the environmental problems; we want to encourage those who are trying to solve them! I think this is a great move towards the future and I am very humbled to be presented with this award. I’d like to thank every one who has encouraged me, including Flinders University, and thank anyone who does their part environmentally. Whether you picked up a bit of rubbish, turned your lights off, walked into work rather than drove, planted a tree, or just tried to make an environmental difference, thank you!
Read more about how Saskia was announced as the Channel 9 Young Achiever for the environmental division here!