A sustainable career

After working in the private sector for more than 30 years, Willow Forsyth
was drawn to study at the University of Newcastle because the Master of
Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development is the only course of its
type in Australia certified by the United Nations (UN). Willow says, “I’ve always been interested in learning more about sustainable development but I decided if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it with the best possible knowledge.” Students of the two-year course learn how to implement UN sustainable development goals, develop strategies to avoid disasters and further their understanding of resilience and sustainable development
principles. “I’m using my knowledge to support our committee in rolling out a strategic transformation. It’s important in times of disaster, as communities that have strong social capital have a much better chance
at recovery,” Willow said. In her volunteer role as Vice-President
of Stockton Surf Lifesaving Club, Willow is applying her knowledge to create community impact by lobbying for surf lifesaving clubs to become disaster refuges. “There is an opportunity for the physical space of surf clubs to be utilised in a refuge capacity, so that the coastline offers a number of community-trusted spaces for victims of disaster,” she said.
“We are working on building stronger ties between various organisations from government, through to the private sector and community bodies.”

Read more about what’s happening in the community in Edition 92, Summer Edition 2018/2019 of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine.

Edited by Maxine Throll