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SEI News: Meet Master of Sustainability Candidate Calla MacGregor

Get to know Master of Sustainability Candidate Calla MacGregor and her Capstone Project.

Image by Branislav Nenin, sourced via Shutterstock. Stock photo ID: 1086035975.

We are excited to announce that Master of Sustainability Candidate Calla MacGregor will be joining us in Semester 2, 2018, for her Master of Sustainability Capstone Project.

Calla’s capstone project will be the creation of a sustainability podcast that takes the knowledge that Calla has learnt from the Masters of Sustainability programme and combines it with her communications background. The podcast will provide accessible information on sustainability and aims to engage with people who are eager to make everyday changes to live more sustainably, but who don’t know how.

Find out more about Calla and her research below, where we ask her about her project, environmental interests and what drew her to sustainability.


What are the environmental issues or problems that most interest you?

Sustainability is such a far-reaching, broad concept, and it interacts with an exceedingly long list of environmental issues, each more complicated to resolve than the last. For me, this fact can sometimes make me feel pretty hopeless and helpless, and it can seem like the increasing problems our planet is facing are insurmountable. However, when I take a breath and look around me properly, I see incredible creativity, practicality and positivity in groups and individuals who are working towards making change. This inspires me, and I guess you could say this is what I’m most interested in – the changing relationship between humans and environment, and how people are approaching sustainability.

How did you become interested in issues of sustainability, and what made you want to study a Master of Sustainability?

To be honest, before I looked into this Master, the concept of sustainability was something that I was only vaguely aware of. I loved nature and the outdoors, I recycled, I knew cars were bad for the environment, and I knew climate change was probably a thing – but that was about as far as I got. It was only last year, when I decided I needed to make a personal change away from communications and forge a new career that had greater purpose, that I started doing some research into my options. When I came across this course, I was hooked – a degree that was entirely focused on literally saving the planet? Talk about having a purpose. Choosing it was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.

What sustainability issue(s) does your capstone project explore?

My capstone project is going to manifest as a series of podcasts, specifically directed towards people like me – particularly who I was before I started this Masters degree. I want to bring sustainability issues, big and small, to the table, and openly discuss and explore them in a way that is informative yet digestible. I truly believe that when it comes to making change, the power is in the people; but I know from experience that ‘saving the planet’ can feel like it’s all too much to deal with, that the problems are too big, or complicated, or even just too scary. I am creating these podcasts because I think it is vital to invite the everyday person into the conversation, and I hope to do so with interviews and topics that explain, educate, inspire and inform. Education is powerful, and the fate of the planet shouldn’t be decided above our heads. It sounds cliché, but it really is up to us.

What made you interested in undertaking your Capstone research with the SEI?

I believe that the Sydney Environment Institute is an incredible resource and network. Their whole focus is on providing a platform to engage the community and make a difference, which is exactly what I hope to do with my capstone project and beyond. I look forward to working with the SEI.