Day 1 – Georgia

As a distance student it was great entering the classroom today and interacting with other like minded people and having the opportunity to ask questions. It was amazing to hear so many of the class members had a similar background, they too had chosen to have a career change.

As I grew up in Dubbo and my family has a farm it is important for me to understand all sides of current environmental issues so that I can apply it back home. I’m looking forward to listening to the presentations and sessions over the next few days regarding bushfires and feral animals.

The discussions we had throughout the day makes you realise just how large and interconnected environmental issues are. More and more I’m realising that we need to have a massive culture shift to gain any benefits. For example we discussed the abundance of kangaroos which is a real life issue in my region and the idea that maybe we should have more kangaroo in our diet. I love kangaroo meat however when I have suggested it to my friends in the past they have been disgusted by the idea. It then makes you wonder how you can shift behaviours.

In other aspects however behaviours are already changing. Dubbo has a high percentage of homes with solar panels, the town has one of the highest rates of uptake in NSW. Working in the real estate industry I listen to the needs and wants of our clients and many are noting solar panels as a want. Often the discussion amongst friends is the anguish at the price of energy, which is significantly higher than Sydney, and their plans to have solar panels installed. In this instance a few educated people have got the trend going and with the added incentive of saving on energy bills solar energy has really taken off.

I really enjoyed listening to the presentation on the Macquarie Marshes. The Macqurie River which runs through Dubbo also connects to the Macqurie Marshes. It was interesting to hear his research on the Kruger National Park and that South Africa have a better way of maintaining National Parks then us.

I also really enjoyed the presentation on Protected Area Policy. It was great to get an insight into just how much area of Australia was protected and interesting to hear about the indigenous protected areas.

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