Thursday 5 September 2019

sustainable work life


It's been awhile, and I'm just going to level with you - this working parent business is hard! I feel like calling every parent I have ever worked with to say, "I'm sorry if I ever gave you the side-eye for leaving work on time! And please tell me how you managed to be so put together for work while wrangling a small child at home." 

Though they probably wouldn't have even noticed my side-eye if they are like me, one eye on my work and another on the clock to ensure I time my commute-daycare-dinner-bath-bedtime routine just perfectly to minimise the likelihood of a meltdown from my mini-one.

I am managing to complete (and enjoy!) my paid work each week, but my labours of love (like this blog and other sustainable fashion activism) have taken a backseat. As so many women have experienced before me, I'm learning firsthand that you can't "have it all", at least not at the same time.

Lucky for me my paid work is incredible. I have the opportunity to meet and work with dedicated, passionate and clever people, including bringing people together with various backgrounds and ideas, all in the name of sustainability. And I was able to write a blog post about it for the Sydney Environment Institute. Here's a sneak peek, and head over their website to learn more.

Living Lab Series: Sustainability Across Campus, From Wave Flumes to Waste Fighters

Lisa Heinze takes us on a journey through the University as she explores past projects and future plans for the Sustainability Strategy.

Image by Vital Sinkevich, via Unsplash

Did you know that the University of Sydney has a wind tunnel and wave flume in its Centre for Wind, Waves and Water? Or that students can take units titled “Building a Sustainable World” or “Poverty Alleviation and Profitability”? Or that we have both a community garden and a food co-opright here on campus?
Over the past few months, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know some of the people behind these initiatives as part of the University’s sustainability strategy development project. The Sydney Environment Institute has been supporting the development of the University’s new strategy, and I have the lucky job of connecting with people who are working hard to make a difference through their research, teaching and actions at the University. In particular, the SEI has been responsible for creating an Advisory Group consisting of staff and students from across the University, and overseen the development of over a dozen sub-groups, to help establish a sustainability vision, identify priorities, and determine guiding principles across a range of sustainability issues at the University.
So what exactly does this mean? And what does it look like on a daily basis? I began by poring over faculty websites and staff profiles, seeking sustainability connections through research or teaching, and sending inquisitive, hopeful emails, asking for participation in the project. I’ve had my fair share of coffees, meeting people to find out more about their work and interests, sharing details about how the working groups’ insights will feed into development of the strategy, and connecting people into various groups to focus on categories like Energy & Emissions, Social & Culture, Water, Built Environment, Landscapes & Biodiversity, and more.
I’ve had the distinct feeling I was standing inside the (thankfully idle) engine of an Airbus A380 as I stood inside the awe-inspiring Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel at the Centre for Wind, Waves and Water...

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